Category: Samurai/Bushido

The Naginata

Just like the katana, the naginata conjures up many images of feudal Japan: the dedicated footsoldier, the heroic onna-bushi and also the devout warrior-monk to name, but a few. Whilst grounded in truth, these perceptions have warped our image of the naginata and its use perhaps more so than any other traditional Japanese weapon. To many the naginata and its accompanying ryu-ha are “feminine” or the sole domain of the warrior-monks. This is far from the case!

Where did your fascination with budo come from?

We have another of our essay contest winning entries to kick off this week. In this article Arash explores how his connection to Japanese budo developed and also shows how it now manifests in his sons. We all have our own experiences with discovering budo, but many of us did it alone.

Kendo practice Keiko in the sunset

Tozando 2019 Essay contest Winner: Kendo as a way of life is hard

This article by Mihai Dutescu takes a look at the objectives of kendo and why we should embrace the difficulty that lies ahead on our chosen path. Kendo as a way of life is hard Choosing to practice kendo as a way of life as opposed to only a sport Read More

Image of Kendo player hitting Do

Tozando 2019 Essay Contest Winner: Olympics and Budo – a Questionable Mix

This article by Tyler Duffield explores the interesting relationship between Japanese budo and the Olympics. The Olympics and Budo: a Questionable Mix With the coming inclusion of Karate in the 2020 Tokyo Games, it is timely to pause and think about the effect of Olympic inclusion on Judo, possible ramifications Read More

The samurai ate much like everyone else, but not everything was on the menu.

Forbidden Food for Samurai

Nowadays, people usually eat three times a day, and we are strongly advised not to skip breakfast.  By the Meiji era, the three-meal-a-day custom was already in place, but during the Sengoku period two meals a day was the norm.  It was quite random, as sometimes there would only be Read More

Samurai warrior cutting a roll of Tatami(Batto)

The Japanese Sword and the Japanese Idioms Part 5

Previously we have shared 4 articles introducing Japanese idioms that derive from the sword, for which we have received positive feedback as well as requests for more idiomatic expressions. Upon further research, we found plenty more. Here are 7 new idioms we would like to add to the list. “Kitaeru” Read More

Japanese sword Kissaki image

The Face of the Japanese Sword

The sharp point of a Japanese katana is called the “kissaki”. It is sometimes also called the “boshi” – hat, but boshi can refer to the kissaki itself or the hamon (temper pattern) that spills onto the kissaki. Kissaki is used more often to avoid this confusion, it is also Read More

Mastering the Manners and Aiming for Beautiful Kendo

There are all kinds of sports in our world, but a big difference between kendo and other sports is its approach towards “manners”. Many people have the image that if you take up kendo you will learn good manners. Why is kendo so strict when ti comes to enfocring etiquette? Read More

mokuso meditation in dojo

Why Mokuso?

I’m sure many of you would sit silently and meditate with your eyes closed both before and after practice. Some groups call it mokuso (silent thinking), some meiso (closed-eye thinking), or seiza (simply, sitting). When you join the dojo, the instructor will tell you the meaning and how to do Read More