News

  • April Special Discount

    10% OFF ALL IAITO + 5% FROM ALL ORDERS DONATED FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 (until May 1st, 11 am JPT)

    10% OFF ALL IAITO + 5% FROM ALL ORDERS DONATED FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

    Currently, people are confined home in most of the countries we serve on a daily basis. It is not a time for non-vital martial art equipment purchase, and we naturally do not feel comfortable with pushing discounts and promotions. Still, it's not a time to do nothing and Seido is also severely impacted by the situation and needs to stay in business. This is why we opted for this compromise: 10% OFF on all Iaito, items who are long to produce and who probably won't be delivered before the end of the containment measures anyway, and 5% donation to Doctor Without Borders, a charity which is involved in the fight against the coronavirus outbreaks worldwide. For now, all donations will go to Doctors Without Borders only. We chose them because they have a special expertise in epidemic management and their doctors work everywhere in the world, including in European and North American countries where they currently provide support to local medical facilities.

    This offer will end on May 1st at 11 am, Japan time.

    March Report:

    - March has been a tough month for a significant part of the world and we would like to express our sincere support to all those who are affected directly or indirectly by this situation. We first thought that Japan would be struck the hardest after China and Korea, but the situation evolved on a different path and Europe and North America are now under enormous stress.

    - On the Youtube side, we published some videos from our Fukushima Budo Tour event: the history of the Nisshinkan Samurai School, two Yosakoi videos, which is a japanese traditional dance, a one hour lecture from Alexander Bennett about Bushido in the Aizu Clan.
    We also continued to publish video from the last 43rd Kobudo Embu Taikai 2020.

    That's all for now. Enjoy our discounts and contents, stay safe and see you soon on SeidoShop.com!

  • Coronavirus COVID-19 - Impact on international Shipping

    For the latest information on shipping & delivery, please refer to the info box that we put in place on all products pages, category pages and shopping cart page.

    For the latest information on shipping & delivery, please refer to the info box that we put in place on all products pages, category pages and shopping cart page.

    Coronavirus COVID-19 - Impact on international Shipping

    Update: May 7th, 2020

    Japan Post has decided to suspend all shipments to more than 150 countries. FedEx shipments are suspended worldwide. DHL has implemented a significant price surcharge and suspended shipment to some countries and updates partial suspensions daily. Therefore, Seido is no longer in capacity to promise that your orders will ship on the announce date below.
    • We recommend all customers to upgrade the shipping method at checkout if the displayed shipping method is "Japan Post".
    • We will email you on or before the announced shipping date if your order cannot ship. We may offer you a paid shipping upgrade if you want your order shipped via one of the few priority services that remains active with one of our carriers (FedEx, UPS and DHL).
    • Packages that are longer than 120 cm are subject to additional restrictions so all packages containing weapons longer than 119 cm are more subject to delays than others.
    • As of today, we are still able to ship almost normally to:
      United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Norway, Romania, Mexico, Denmark, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Slovakia.
      (This is not a guarantee that we will be able to ship, especially items above 120 cm in length, but we do not expect major issues for those destinations).
    • For other countries, please contact us PRIOR to placing your order or your order might be put on hold for several weeks
    • Other orders will be put prepared, packed and stored until one of the 5 carriers we are working with reopens the destination (you will be updated via email).

    Side effects and production issues:

    The Japanese government has issued a temporary closing order for all schools in Japan, canceled all major events, and put heavy restrictions on flights coming from Korean and China. If Seido's products are 100% made in Japan, the Japanese economy is heavily dependent on the importation from China and the current restrictions have for consequences the slow down of the production, even of our 100% made in Japan products.
    The shortage of some chemicals causes some manufacture processes to slow down or stop (bleaching process, fabric dyeing, etc.).
    The country also suffers from a lack of production capacity due to the fact that an important part of the workforce manufacturing clothes is composed of mothers who have to stay at home and watch over their kids, and because of the relatively old age of some craftsmen who absolutely need to stay away from any risks of contamination.

    As a result, we are expecting to suffer from Dogi, Obi, and Hakama shortages.
    The situation is already very tight at the workshops and since our craftsmen must take all precautions and avoid coming to work if they suffer any flu-like symptoms, we also expect further delays regarding weapons production.
    As you all know, unlike any other companies in our industry, Seido has a very well-made system that announces the production time or restocking dates of all products. We cannot guarantee that we have all the elements that would allow us to give you a 100% accurate information, but we can guarantee that we are updating product information every day, weekends included, so it reflects the current situation to the best of our knowledge.


    Sanitary risks of products originating from Japan & Financial Situation at Seido

    The coronavirus is transmitted by one person to another in respiratory droplets. That means the virus can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and releases these droplets into the air, where they are either inhaled by others, or can land on other people's mouths or noses if they're near enough generally at a distance of about six feet (1.8 meters).

    At the time, it is considered that touching infected surfaces isn't' a major source of transmission, but transmission is possible.
    However, given that our packages have a lead time of 3 to 7 days for delivery and that packages are subject to temperature, pressure and hygrometry variations during transportation (especially in cargo) surface transmission in these conditions is considered extremely unlikely.

    The number of cases in the general population (outside of the confined boat case) stays very low in Japan. Our team is proceeding very carefully and the vast majority of our staff don't have to travel on crowded trains often.
    Two members of our staff are trained medical professionals and worked in medical environment in the past. If any doubt was raised about potential infection in the team, all necessary measures (including full disinfection of our facilities) would be immediately taken.

    Despite the very reduced risk of contamination when ordering from Seido, we have already seen an important decrease in orders in the past 2 weeks. As an economically strong company is a company with cash reserves, rest assured that Seido will be able to hold this situation for quite a while. However, this will be at the cost of our side projects, our Youtube channel free educational videos, new product development, and even worse, our charity programs, so please understand that for everything that does not directly concern Budo equipment, things may change in the near future.

    Thank you very much for your understanding.

  • 20% OFF ALL Handmade Hakama - In support to our century-old Hakama workshop

    (until April 8th, 11 am JPT)

    20% OFF ALL Handmade Hakama - In support to our century old Hakama workshop

    Our Hakama workshop, based in Ueno is undoubtedly, the oldest workshop in Japan for hand-sewn Hakama, with a century-old history. Suppliers for many famous brands, it produces Kendo, Iaido, Kyudo, Sado, and Aikido Hakama. As far as we know, it is the last workshop manufacturing hand-sewn Aikido Hakama. Due to the cost of the production process and the high level of skill required, it is very unlikely that any other workshop could duplicate their Hakama. This is also the workshop that set the standards for the first Aikido Hakama in the 60's.

    Many dojos have been closed for more a month now in Japan, and for the past 2 weeks most of the Western world has been put in lockdown, resulting in a drastic decrease in orders. In this difficult times, small workshops and artisans are the most vulnerable, and we are following up with all our partners on a regular basis to ensure they will survive this crisis. Our Hakama workshop is the first that requested assistance from us, and we did answer the call by temporarily increasing our stocks. But it is not enough.

    As you know, Seido offers high quality products and takes pride in running this business with a Budo ethic. We think it wouldn't be honest to display higher prices and advertise nonsense discounts, which means that it wouldn't be sustainable for us to offer more than 10% on a regular basis.

    But special times call for special measures, and this is why we are offering 20% discount over all our handmade Hakama. A level of discount we never offered before that applies to Aikido Hakama (all but the two 2 Keiko models), Kendo/Iaido Hakama and Nobakama.
    This level of discount leaves us with a very tiny margin and isn't sustainable in the long run, so we will only be running this campaign for one week, until April 8th, with the hope that it will fill up the workshop's order book.

    If you were considering the acquisition of a new Hakama, and if you are in a position to purchase one, please consider this opportunity!
    Also feel free to add comments for the craftsmen to your order (there's a comment box at the cart step). We'll translate all comments and pass them to the workshop.

    Covid-19 Situation Update

    We are currently taking all appropriate measures, working hard with all carriers to ensure the as few delivery disruption as possible and working on how we can support the community during this very difficult time. 
    Saying that we are doing great at Seido would be a lie, we are suffering a huge decrease in orders, but Seido is, by design, more stable than most of its partners, so for now, we're doing all we can to stabilize the situation. Our next newsletter will come in about a week, with more detailed information. 

    In the meantime, please note that Seido is currently NOT impacted by the situation and accepts orders as usual. Shipping to China Hubei and Wuhan regions, Mongolia and Iran is completely suspended. Some areas in France, Spain, Austria, India, Peru, Philippines and Sri Lanka are in temporary lockdown but carriers are organizing their network so they can resume deliveries as soon as possible. Slight delivery delays to other European and Asian countries are to be expected (1 to 3 days). No delays for America, Africa and Oceania at this time. Also note that given the lead time to deliver our packages outside Japan there is no specific sanitary risks for packages shipped from Japan.

  • Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special - 3rd Edition

    Free Tenugui, Seido Original Towel & Seido Original Goodies for ALL orders (until March 31st, 10 am JPT)

    The Corona virus outbreak in Japan is a source of fear for many, and the Japanese government has issued a temporary closing order for all schools in Japan.

    However, the situation seems relatively well kept under control and the spread of the virus is limited. The closing order for schools and the fact that most public events are being canceled will certainly help maintaining the situation under control.
    If there is no fear and unconsidered anxiety here at the moment, we are a little worried about our logistic as the schools closing implies to figure out solutions to provide care for their kids. Seido is a very proactive company, and we are already considering solutions that would be partially or entirely handled by the company with the main goal to reduce the potential impact on our logistic. Of course, you would be informed of any potential delay on your orders, so no concern for you at this point.

    Not that we feel happy to celebrate, but we still have a 10th anniversary in our hand, so let's move on to the 3rd part of this event!

    Until March 31st, we offer presents with all orders as follows:

    - All orders: a Seido Tenugui (traditional dye made in Japan).
    - Orders over 10,000 YEN: Tenugui + a Seido special 10th anniversary towel. The towel is a long scarf shaped towel, made in Japan as well.
    - Orders over 25,000 YEN: Tenugui + Towel + Surprise goodies. Those goodies can be key holders, Lucky Charms, patches, and more... depending on the order contents.

    As you already know, our Seido Tenugui is entirely made in Japan and features the following motto: "Seishin Itto Nanigoto Ka Narazaran" or "Where there is a will, there is a way" in English.
    Our Original Seido Towel has been produced specifically for this event and is also entirely made in Japan. Although it is getting increasingly harder to find made in Japan towels these days, it was of the utmost important for us that our 10-year anniversary present is made in Japan!

    February Report:

    - The situation regarding delayed production time and stock shortages for wooden weapons has not improved. With the beginning of the school year in March/April, we are expecting the workshops to struggle for at least 2 more months. Fortunately, the beginning of the school year isn't aligned on the international calendar (most countries start in September), so Seido shouldn't add any burden on their shoulder during this time. We are keeping the production time displayed on our website updated on a regular basis, and we will keep you informed on the situation in our newsletter as soon as the situation evolves.

    - On the Youtube side, we worked on a side project in February and published the "This is Japanese martial arts" video. We hope you'll like it! We are considering producing a "Women in Martial Arts" video. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the comment section!

    - On February 23rd, we conducted an interview with French Aikido master Andre Cognard, 8th Dan, disciple of master Kobayashi Hirokazu, founder of the Kobayashi Ryu Aikido group and also writer and great adept of humanities. We are quite behind schedule on video publication, but it will come on Youtube later this year.

    - Our first video on the Fukushima Budo Tour event was approved by the Fukushima Prefecture and it will be published very, very soon! Other videos from this series are almost finished and will be released very soon as well.

    - And we finally published 3 new blog articles, "Martial arts equipment: Is Japanese craftsmanship in danger?" that was published in 2015 (5 years later, we are unfortunately proved right), "Meiji Shrine Kobudo Embu Taikai" and "Meiji Shrine Yabusame Demonstration" which are two articles on the events organized yearly at the Meiji Shrine to celebrate Emperor Meiji's birthday.

    That's all for this month. Enjoy our discounts and contents, and see you soon on SeidoShop.com!

  • Coronavirus - Impact on international Shipping

    Delivery to China Hubei is suspended. Significantly delayed for the rest of China. Very slight delays to Europe and other Asian countries. No delays for America, Africa and Oceania. No sanitary risk for packages shipped from Japan. Read more details on our news feed!

    Coronavirus COVID-19 - Impact on international Shipping

    Update: February 25, 2020


    Shipping delays to specific destinations

    Most of the packages going to Europe and Asia travel through a hub in China. Given that the vast majority of flights have been canceled, all carriers are taking appropriate measures to redirect all flights to different hubs. The situation is as follows:
    - Delivery to China Hubei province is entirely suspended.
    - Delivery to other areas in China is significantly delayed.
    - Delivery to Hong Kong and Macao will suffer slight delays.
    - Delivery to Europe may suffer slight delays in some cases (unlikely for the vast majority of our shipments)
    - No impact for deliveries to North America, South America, Africa and Oceania.


    Sanitary risks of products originating from Japan

    The coronavirus is transmitted by one person to another in respiratory droplets. That means the virus can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and releases these droplets into the air, where they are either inhaled by others, or can land on other people’s mouths or noses if they’re near enough—generally at a distance of about six feet (1.8 meters).

    At the time, it is considered that touching infected surfaces isn’t a major source of transmission, but transmission is possible.
    However, given that our packages have a lead time of 3 to 7 days for delivery and that packages are subject to temperature, pressure and hygrometry variations during transportation (especially in cargo) surface transmission in these conditions is considered extremely unlikely.

    The number of cases in the general population (outside of the confined boat case) stays very low in Japan. Our team is proceeding very carefully and the vast majority of our staff don't have to travel on crowded trains often.
    Two members of our staff are trained medical professionals and worked in medical environment in the past. If any doubt was raised about potential infection in the team, all necessary measures (including full disinfection of our facilities) would be immediately taken.

    Thank you very much for your understanding.

  • Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special - 2nd Edition

    Second Part: All Embroidery (integrated embroidery excepted), Engraving & Alteration Services FREE! (until February 28th, 4pm JPT)

    Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special - 2nd Edition

    Joining the Celebrations of the Chinese New Year, we continue to celebrate the 10 Years of Seido! For the first edition of this special anniversary, we offered you a 10% discount on the whole website. The discount was a great success and for the second part, All Embroidery (except belt integrated embroidery), Engraving & Alteration Services will be FREE. Whether you want to adjust the sleeves of your Dogi, engrave your weapon, or embroider your name on your hakama, this is the perfect occasion to personalize your equipment and tailor it to your desires.

    This offer will end on February 28th at 4 pm, Japan time.

    Last month was busy as usual. As you already know, in September 2019, the Horinouchi workshop who held about 40% of the production of all made in Japan wooden weapons closed its doors forever. We recently published an article about the Future of the Wooden Weapon Industry and the consequences of that closure that led to a price increase in 2020.

    Regarding our #BudoStudies program, we recently went to a trip near Fukushima with Alexander Bennett (check out his interview on Youtube) who invited us to join a Kendo-oriented Tour organized by the Fukushima prefecture and ANA (the largest airline in Japan). We visited many important cultural locations such as the Nisshinkan Samurai School where Alex gave a captivating lecture and where demonstrations of sword polishing and saya making were held. We have also assisted to a modern Sword Dance Performance and went to Iimoriyama to pay respect and clean the Byakkotai graves (a group of teenage samurai of the Aizu Domain, who fought in the Boshin War). 
    We filmed most of the activities in order to promote the ancient culture of the Fukushima region, so stay tuned, it's coming soon on Youtube!

    The publication of all the Kobudo demonstrations from the last Meiji Jingu Kobudo Taikai 2019 is almost finished.
    Like every year, we will attend the 43rd All Japan Kobudo Demonstration, exceptionally held at the Tokyo Budokan, as the Nippon Budokan is closed for renovation in anticipation of the 2020 Olympic Games. As usual, we will film all demonstrations and publish them on our Youtube Channel.

    Enjoy the discounts, and see you soon on SeidoShop.com!

  • Closing for Seido's annual inventory

    There will be no shipping on January 31st as we will be closed for our annual inventory.

    End of January 2020 Special Calendar for our Annual Inventory

    - January 30th: closed from 1pm. Orders should be processed as usual.
    - January 31st: closed all day.
    - February 3rd (Mon): back to normal for all activities.

    Thank you very much for your understanding.

    Photo: Samantha Hurley, Burst

  • Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special

    First Part: 10% OFF EVERYTHING! (until January 30th, 10am JPT)

    Seido's 10 Years Anniversary Special

    We made it! Seido is now 10 years old. A full decade of dedication to the Budo community and Budo equipment craftsmanship. To celebrate this huge milestone, we've decided to offer 10% on everything until the end of the month, but that's only the first part. Stay tuned, we'll have other surprises for you in the following weeks and month. 2020 is going to be a year of celebrations!

    Thank you all for this unexpected success story 

    I remember when I first arrived in Japan in 2005, knowing pretty much nothing about Japan and the Japanese language, alone in Shinjuku station, the biggest station in the world, lost, disoriented, but impatient to be training on the mats at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. It took me 5 years to get comfortable enough to imagine that I could run a company in Japan. Years of Aikido training at the Hombu Dojo and all over Japan, years at the university to learn the Japanese language, culture and manners, years of very diverse working experiences that prepared me, at the end of 2009, to this decision to create Seido (called BudoExport at the time).

    No one believed it would be a success. Absolutely no one. I started with a few thousands dollars, almost no support, alone behind my computer most of the time, with all the stocks and ordered pilled up in a 30m² appartment that I was sharing with my girlfriend Eriko (who happened to have a real job!). Seido opened at a time the Japanese YEN was relatively weak, which made our products cheap to Americans and Europeans. The world seemed to be recovering after the subprime crisis, but a few months after Seido's opening, summer 2010, the exchange rates fall and in just a few weeks, all our prices rose by 20 to 30%. It felt like the end, but the support from the community was there and I decided to continue. Despite the terrible economical conditions, we grew, slowly but sturdily. And in 2012 the second great fall, the YEN rose to its most expensive level in decades, and another price raise of 20 more percent was imposed to our products. We did our best to lower our prices to the maximum viable, reducing our income to the very minimum, and hoped for a prompt resolution.

    Which happened! 2013 was the year of hope, and with an exchange rate back to what it was before 2008's crisis. We were finally able to drop the prices by more than a third, and get reasonable income. Orders started to pile up and we had to hire. It was the beginning of our success story. Seeing how hard and determinated we were, many people started to really believe in us, including someone who made a huge difference for us, Christian Tissier Shihan.

    Between 2014 and 2019, Seido became the number one in France, and number two worldwide for made in Japan Aikido and Kobudo equipment, to the point Seido Co., Ltd. is now one of the major player in the industry in Japan, with an influence that has nothing to envy to the other actors. But we didn't build our reputation and influence with money and profit, we built it with an ethic and moral that was entirely constructed around the Budo philosophy, from a practitioners point of view.
    Indeed, Seido was the first Japanese Budo Equipment company founded by an actual Aikido practitioner with a strong Budo ethic, and it made a huge difference with the craftsmen.

    Seido is also the only company of the industry that is run by a non Japanese. Of course, those who know how it works within the Budo community in Japan will understand why no one believed in this project at the beginning. A foreigner in such a traditional and conservative industry was destined to fail.
    Some people say that it isn't possible to run a business, especially under harsh conditions, and stay perfectly honest with everyone, including with customers (which means refusing to manipulate them with sales techniques). We are here to prove otherwise. It is possible to run a business based on honesty and equality, without exploiting anyone, from craftsmen to customer, including the company workforce.
    And it is possible for one single reason: you. You decide from which company you want to buy. You decide what's important, and you proved us that you have chosen integrity, honesty and Budo values over anything else. By making this choice, you are not only the source of our business's success, but also the source of the great confidence we have in this community.

    Thank you very much to you all. To all our customers, to all our partner craftsmen, to all our past and present partners, to the hundreds of high profile teachers who trust and support us, and of course, to all former Seido employees and interns who helped build Seido as it is today.

  • 2019~2020 New Year's Holidays

    Seido will be closed from January 1st and will resume operations on January 6th. There will be no order processing during this time but we'll keep answering your emails from home!

    Time to get some rest!

    This year, Seido is closed from January 1st to January 5th and will resume operations on January 6th. During that time, orders won't be processed and shipped. However, our team is taking work home and will continue to answer emails as soon as possible.

    Please note that all our manufacturing workshops will be closed from December 30th to January 5th. Therefore, all orders containing a product (made to order, out of stock product etc.) for which the production time includes this holiday period will be delayed for approximately 10 days. (All is taken into account on the estimated shipping date provided automatically at checkout.)

    The whole Seido Team wishes you a very merry Christmas and a joyful time with friends and family. And Chag Sameach! to our Jewish friends.

    We also want to grab this very last opportunity in 2019 to say thank you for your amazing support, orders, product reviews and also the presents you sometimes send us.

    We are looking forward to serving you again in 2020 !

    Photo: Takeshi Kuboki

  • Xmas & New Year Special Offer

    10% Off on 2019's Bestsellers! (until January 7th, 10 AM JPT)

    10% OFF on 2019's Best Sellers!

    2019 has been a busy but very fulfilling year, and it's now time to get back on what was accomplished and set new goals for 2020!

    First of all, we would like to thank you all for your continuous support. Despite the heavy troubles that followed the Horinouchi workshop closing, you haven't let us down. Quite the opposite actually, we received countless messages encouraging us for our work and contribution to the support of Japanese craftsmanship, messages that greatly contributed to motivating us for the future. Thank you very much.

    As usual, our team will take a few days off, from January 1st to January 5th. During this period, there won't be any shipment, but our website stays fully operational and our team is taking work home and will continue answering your emails (at a slower pace).

    To celebrate the end of the year, we are now offering a 10% discount on 2019's Best Sellers. Those are not exactly the most sold products as we wanted to pick some products also for less represented arts (such as Iaido and Kendo), but it's a fairly accurate representation of what you most ordered on SeidoShop in 2019.

    So, what did we do in 2019 precisely?

    Strengthened in our ethic by the success of 2018's Black Friday charity program, we put in place a monthly charity program that led to a total amount of 10,000 USD donated throughout the year to charities. Of course, this program will be maintained in 2020. For comparison, this is about 1/3 of Seido's annual net profits (but as you know, we're not a profit-oriented company).

    • In January, we started the year with the videos of the Nippon Budokan's Kagamibiraki/Budo Hajime, then the publication of our interview with Guillaume Erard, and finally, our discussion with Baptiste Tavernier and Alexander Bennett on Ueshiba's weapons.
      Discussion on Morihei Ueshiba's Weapons

      Discussion on Morihei Ueshiba's Weapons

    • In February, we shot and published the 42nd All Japan Kobudo Demonstration, and that's it, as our office went under heavy renovation (we added a whole floor!).
    • In March, we covered the symposium on the Life and Legacy of Donn F. Draeger as well as some additional interviews that were shot at the time of the event.
      Donn Draeger Symposium

      Symposium about Donn Draeger

    • In April, the busiest month of the year, we published our video interview with Yamamoto Takahiro of the Hyoho Taisha Ryu Kenjutsu school. Later, we covered the Asakusa Kobudo Taikai, then the Aikijinja Taisai in Iwama. We also offered our support to a Kobudo promotional event in Italy.
      Yamamoto Takahiro, Hyoho Taisha Ryu Kenjutsu

      Yamamoto Takahiro, Hyoho Taisha Ryu Kenjutsu

    • In May, we "suffered" 10 days forced holidays because of the abdication of the emperor which slowed down our progress a little bit but was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime event for all of us. Despite the preparation and the coverage of all the Japan Aikido Demonstration at the end of the month (during which we also hold a booth), we still managed to publish the last video of the Symposium on Donn Draeger "Background behind and highlights of the Donn F. Draeger Forum".
    • June was focused on the editing and publication of the All Japan Aikido videos and the remaining videos of the Asakusa Kobudo Taikai. We also published a Quiz in collaboration with Aikido Journal that had for the main goal to gather data on how accurately Aikidoists know Aikido's history. The results were very interesting and will have an impact on both Aikido Journal's work and our work for months to come.
      57th All Japan Aikido

      57th All Japan Aikido

    • In July, we took some time off, so our projects were frozen for a few weeks, but we did conduct an interview with a Bogu craftsman that, to this day, is not yet published. The reason for this delay comes below.
    • In August, we heard the worst news for the Budo equipment industry in decades: the closing of the Horinouchi wooden weapons workshop, a workshop that handled about 40% of the whole made in Japan production.
      All this happens in a sudden, and within a few weeks, the workshop was gone, taking with it the dozens of weapons that only them know how to manufacture. Seido being the top expert of wooden weapons, we started a gigantic program for the preservation of traditional wooden weapons. We cataloged dozens of weapons and sent samples to the others workshops (from which we then bought copies).
      Unfortunately, some models do not fit into the others workshops production line and given that they had to drastically increase their production, there is no time for fully handmade production.
      Recovering from this very difficult situation might take years, and we intend to accompany the craftsmen in this very difficult time. We are also consulting with them on how to change the market so they don't end up in the same situation Horinouchi was, and we are proud to say that we are the only ones that support a wide increase in prices in the next few years.
      This took us an incredible amount of time, and it still does, as dealing with this situation, seeing our stock decreasing, leads to longer production time, and stock shortage, and of course, much more time spent on support and explaining our customer the reality of the situation. This also had a cost for Seido, as of today, we estimate the cost around 20 to 30,000 USD, but we also consider that our BudoStudies program covers the cataloging and preservation part of the project.
      A craftsman at Horinouchi's workshop

      A craftsman at Horinouchi's workshop

    • September and October have been entirely focused on this weapon issue.
    • Then came the Meiji Jingu Kobudo Taikai in November (videos are still being published).
    • In December, we finally published the "How to wrap your Fukuroshinai" video with master craftsman Aki Kenji.

    On the business end, we published many new products!

    We started the year with the publication of the whole Jisei Iaito line up and all corresponding accessories. Hundreds of Iaito, Tsuba, Fuchi/Kashira, Menuki, and accessories. We continued with the update of all Minosaka Iaito (new order forms and many new options). We've added Koryu weapons, the Minosaka wakizashi lineup, two Aikido Hakama (Keiko Cashmere and Striped Tetron), and a few blog articles.

    And of course, the biggest project of the year, SeidoShop.fr, a complete French translation of SeidoShop.com. This was accompanied by a major update of all Seido's websites.
    Technically speaking:
    - We significantly improved our fraud prevention processes with a new (and heavy) process of customer ID verification. Those are heavy processes that are only implemented by major eCommerce actors, and we are quite confident in the fact Seido is the only company in our industry with such a level of security. Since the new process has been put in place, our fraud rate dropped from an already very low 0.2% to 0.
    - We improved our order tracking and customer information, with a logistic that has - to our knowledge - no equivalent, for what concerns after shipping support.
    - We moved our blog to SeidoShop in order to improve accessibility and design.
    - We published a major update for our Iaito product pages, allowing a much better user interface despite huge customization possibilities, and also minor improvements to various parts of the website.

    And in 2020?

    2020 will, again, be a year of challenges both for Seido and for Japan as well with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!
    Seido is little concerned by Olympic games, and heavy broadcast rights restrictions make Olympics (Judo, Karatedo...) related video projects complicated, but we'll try to get around that to offer some content to the community!

    Solving the wooden weapon industry problems with the craftsmen might also take a lot of energy, but we have also interview projects we'd like to move on with. Because of the Tokyo Olympics, many annual events will be canceled, rescheduled or moved to other locations and notably the cancellation of the Nippon Budokan Kagamibiraki and the All Japan Aikido that will take place in Takasaki, 100 km north of Tokyo. Finally, at the end of the year, the 13th International Aikido Congress will take place in Tokyo, and we are already looking forward to it (and we do hope we'll have the opportunity to meet with some of you)!

    Again, thank you very much for your incredible support all these years.
    All our best wishes for the holiday season.

    See you in 2020!

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