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

With All The Types of Shinai Out There, How Do I Choose?

The Shinai is commonly viewed as a substitute for the Japanese sword, and while the Japanese sword is regarded as ‘the samurai’s spirit’, so to speak, the Shinai is regarded as ‘the soul of the Kenshi’. The Shinai used in contemporary Kendo is made out of a bamboo split into Read More

Seppuku – Why did the samurai cut their own bellies?

When watching historical plays you often see samurai committing Seppuku. He would hold a dagger and plunge it into his stomach, cutting it until his own death. It is a shocking custom of the Samurai, famously known outside Japan as Harakiri. Seppuku was only allowed for samurai, and it was 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

A Samurai’s Working Schedule

A 5 working day week has become the norm in Japan, but the concept of a “day off” is a something that was only introduced into Japan in the Meiji era. Up until the Edo period, there was no concept of a “week”, and therefore no “days off”. In other Read More

Reflections on the Shinai’s History – Is the Shinai Simply a Bamboo Sword or Is There More to It?

A ‘Shinai’ is commonly known as a practice tool replacing a live blade in Kendo and Kenjutsu. And yet, it goes beyond being simply a tool in that it’s treated with reverence. More than just being a bamboo sword used during practice or competitions, by standing in for a real Read More

The World is Full of Seeds of Fakeness

Fake swords apparently started being made around the Kamakura period. In the Muromachi period there was already a “certificate of authenticity” which included an inscription on the tang of the words and a description of the blade. In the Edo period fake swords “developed” further, and all sorts of fakes Read More

A very nice end of the year 2017

Written by Veronika Orasch (Switzerland), winner of the 10th Edition of Tozando’s “Win a Trip to Japan” Experience.  One day before the Swiss Kendo Championship, I received the email from Tozando that I have won the Trip to Japan. I couldn’t believe it and needed a weekend to realise what Read More

Kendo Kote – The Most Highly Consumable Part of Your Bogu that Dictates Victory or Defeat

The Kendo bogu  breaks down into Men, Do, Tare and Kote. Among these components, the Kote are particularly known for wearing out the fastest. As a matter of fact, by the time you wear one breastplate out, you’ll probably have already eaten your way through three sets of gloves. The Read More

Burei-uchi – Samurai Defending their Honor with their Lives

When you watch historical plays, you often see a scene in which commoner touches a samurai’s shoulder, whereupon the samurai immediately draws his sword and cuts him down. This is called “burei-uchi”, meaning “striking for improper manners”. Another term used is “Kirisute Gomen” which means “permission to cut down”. There Read More