Category: Samurai/Bushido

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

Kendo Kamae holding Shinai

Budo and the core muscle

The core muscle is very important not only in Budo but in many sports, and training your core muscle has many benefits. In this edition I will introduce some ways of training your core muscle, including ways that are effective for Budo. The core muscle (Japanese taikan) broadly refers to Read More

Miyamoto Musashi with two swords

Nitoryu and the Brain

Miyamoto Musashi is well known for “Nitoryu” (double-sword style) and the founder of his own school “Niten-ichi-ryu”. With Nitoryu, you attack with swords in your right and left hands. Generally, in you stronger hand you hold a tachiI (large sword) and in your weaker hand a dagger. Originally the Japanese Read More

Kendo player with Chudan no Kamae

Mental Training in Kendo

Kendo of course requires physical strength but also mental strength. There are many ways to train up your mentality, but the most basic level is mannerisms. This relates to other martial arts too, but it all “begins and ends with manners”. If you are aiming to be a strong kenshi, Read More