Category: Aikido

Iron Sword Wood - Tagayasan

A story about wood as hard as iron – know from bokken

For bokken, people from old time have always preferred heavy, hard wood. The oak tree, the distylium racemosum (isunoki), and the loquat tree are among the wood favored by swordsmen, but among them are wood that was said to be as hard as iron. One is called tetsuboku (iron wood) Read More

Aikido Nagewaza

3 Tips for Improving Your Aikido

If you’re an Aikido practitioner, it’s safe to presume that you want to see improvements in your technique. And with that goal in mind, you practice day in day out to achieve it. The truth of the matter, however, is that there are probably a lot of practitioners who feel Read More

Sunuke Bokken Image

Sunuke – Wood that has survived many centuries

For wooden swords wood from trees such as the bamboo-leaved oak, the Japanese evergreen oak, and the distylium racemosum have been used. For top quality swords, the Japanese plum tree, ebony, and sunuke have been used. Sunuke refers to the core wood taken from distylium racemosum (isunoki) that has grown Read More

Akagashi: What is Japanese Red Oak?

Japanese Red Oak (赤樫; Akagashi) is generally found in the mountain ranges in the west part of Japan and has gotten its name from the fact that the wood has a distinct red hue to it compared to other oak woods. The Japanese red oak can mostly be found growing Read More

What is Japanese White Oak, Shirakashi?

“Japanese oak” is a collection of evergreen tall trees, from which long oval green leaves with an elegant luster and uneven edges grow. The Japanese oak is native to many countries in Asia, including Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, having more than 150 varieties. In Japan, the trees can Read More

Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu

Just a Round Bar, Yet Still a Round Bar – The Man who Won against Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi is legendary Japanese swordsman known not only to all in Japan but even to many around the world. He has been appeared as the main character in many novels and movies. He is possibly the most well-known swordsman, and the strongest swordsman. He himself wrote in the Gorinsho Read More

Biwa – Loquat Tree That Even Musashi Himself Loved

The first thing that springs to mind when we mention the Biwa Tree is the yellowish orange sweet fruit, shaped somewhat like the Chinese musical instrument by the same name. It’s often used to treat cough and vomiting, and has a strong quenching quality, and the Japanese love to produce Read More

Samurai meals

Japanese food is surged in popularity worldwide and is loved for its healthiness. The Japanese food or washoku that we eat now has gone through many changes, yet still keeps some traditional elements. But what about in historical times, when they did not have all the foodstuff we have today? Read More

Isunoki – The little known yet hardest and heaviest tree in Japan

The isunoki tree (English; distylium racemosum), often shortened to isu in Japanese, is an evergreen, broad-leaved tree that stretches up to 20m in height. It grows mostly to the east of the Kanto region. Often the leaves will have insect galls forming on them. In the old days, children picked Read More

Are you avoiding Aizome for fear of fading?

The Ai (indigo) color is used not only in Kendo equipment but has been used throughout Japanese culture. Its deepness has naturally blended with the Japanese lifestyle. There is a saying; “Blue comes from Ai and is bluer than the Ai”. This refers to the blue color extracted from the Read More