Budo, Kobudo & Japanese Artisanry - The Seido Blog

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  • A letter from Master Aramaki

    The past few months, we've spent a great deal of time publishing our interviews made at the last wooden workshops of Japan this summer. Aramaki and Matsuzaki's interviews are already live and Nidome's interview is almost ready too. Following our encounter, and consistently with the subject we've discussed in those interviews, Master Aramaki sent a letter to all his partners presenting the situation at his workshop. Here is a free translation of this letter.

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    Article tags: Business, Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

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  • Interview With Bokken Artisan, Matsuzaki Yoshiaki

    August 2017, enjoying the quiet summer months, we traveled across Japan to Miyakonojo and the Kirishima Sankei region to visit 3 of Japan's last Bokken workshops. We've conducted 3 interviews and here's the transcript of the second one with Master Matsuzaki Yoshiaki, including some additional comments and information.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Interview, Wooden Weapons, YouTube

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  • Bokken & Other Wooden Weapons Maintenance

    Proper maintenance and correct storage of wooden weapons is crucial for two reasons. The first and most important one: security. The second, no less important for the practitioner, is to prevent the weapon from deterioration and warping over time. It is also possible to "repair" a bent weapon to some extent. In this article, we will also talk about our quality standards and processes. You will find all the information you need in this article to take care of your Bokken, Jo, Tanto and other weapons.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, HowTo, Wooden Weapons

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  • Aizome - Japanese Indigo on Budo Equipment

    Aizome dyeing, indigo blue, also known as "Japanese blue", is a traditional dyeing since the dawn of time. It has long been used in many fields: for working clothes, decorative fabrics to samurai garments and armors. Nogawa Masatoshi, 3rd generation, welcomes us in his studio and introduces to us the traditional indigo as the Nogawa workshop has been making it since 1914.

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    Article tags: Aizome, Craftsmanship, Dogi, Hakama

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  • Embroideries on Martial Arts Equipment

    Having one's training's cloths embroidered is the most common thing in Japan. However, westerners often know just little about this topic and some struggle with making the right choice. That is why in this article we are going to talk about embroidery content, show some common mistakes and give advice on how to avoid them and last but not least, explain how we make them at Seido.

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    Article tags: BudoStudies, Craftsmanship, HowTo

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  • The Questionable Origin of Most of the Budo Equipment

    As Budoka, most of us feel having moral values superior to those only practicing “sports”, we like to believe that we are better. Are you—as Budoka—more concerned by human conditions and human rights? Are you concerned with the origin of the products you buy and wear? Take your Dogi, your belt and have a look at the label. Pakistan? Bangladesh? China? Japan? Let us examine under what conditions your equipment is manufactured.

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    Article tags: Business, Craftsmanship, Dogi

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  • The origin and manufacture of the Iaito

    The origin of the Iaito does not date back very far, to the 60s or so. The creation of this tool for practice was primarily driven by new laws and regulations, enacted after World War ll. Since then, with the experience of many trades in the manufacture of the Nihonto (Japanese sword), some Japanese craftsmen have developed an expertise, still unparalleled outside the archipelago.
    We went to the region called Gifu to visit the workshops Minosaka and Nihon Token (Jisei), two of the most famous in Japan. Familiar with this topic for some years, we had many questions to ask – which we are summarizing here.

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    Article tags: BudoStudies, Craftsmanship, Iaito, Katana, YouTube

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  • Different types of Bokken, visit at the Horinouchi workshop

    The Bokken is a tool. It can either faithfully represent a sword, be used for muscle training or, if it is very light, become an instrument in order to work on precision. Some schools even consider the Bokken as weapon itself and study it as such. In Aikido, Kendo or Iaido, relatively conventional Bokken are used, compared to some schools of Kenjutsu, Koryu and Kobudo, for which specific weapons are chosen, especially to support the physical development and the specific techniques of the school. Since 1923, the Horinouchi workshop takes pride in keeping a copy of every manufactured weapon. Even though the exact number of the available models is unclear, there are certainly over a hundred types displayed in the small private museum of the workshop.

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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

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  • Traditional manufacturing: The Sashiko fabric

    The Sashiko fabric, also called "rice grain" fabric in the west is the core of the Keikogi (Kimono) manufacturing and is worn in Aikido, Judo and also Kendo. Although there are many prestigious designers worldwide, there are only a few artisans who are capable of weaving a high quality Sashiko fabric. In this article we will open the doors to Seido's partner workshops, the only two workshops in the world to master the entire production line from weaving to sewing, to show you how your Keikogi is made.

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    Article tags: Aikido, Craftsmanship, Dogi

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