Budo, Kobudo & Japanese Artisanry - The Seido Blog

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  • Choosing a Bokken - Size, thickness, weight, wood, etc.

    If choosing one’s Bokken is an easy task for a beginner, it is a much harder endeavor for veterans in need of a tool able to support the focus of their work. The weight, length, species of wood but also the curvature and thickness of the Bokken play a determining role in the weapon’s behavior during practice. Let’s review all those components.
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    Article tags: Aikido, Bokken, Craftsmanship, Guide, Katana, Wooden Weapons

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  • The different wood species used in Bokken manufacturing - Red / white oak, Isu no Ki, Sunuke, Camellia, Biwa, etc.

    If Japanese Bokken have become so appreciated over time, it is mainly thanks to the quality of the wood they are made of. Kirishima Sankei, a sylvan region situated on the island of Kyushu, produces exceptional wood and has thus attracted many generations of the most skilled cabinetmakers and wood workers of the country. Resistance, resilience, sturdiness, flexibility, weight, density, colour… Each wood species possesses unique characteristics, each carefully chosen for a specific purpose. This article will delve into the origin, the different qualities, and reasons behind the use of each species.
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    Article tags: Craftsmanship, Guide, Wooden Weapons

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  • Wooden Weapon Workshop Horinouchi Closing

    For a decade, Seido has been deeply involved in assisting/counseling its partner craftsmen to help them going through this difficult time. Today, it is with heavy sadness in our hearts that we have to publicly announce that we failed at providing enough support to the Horinouchi workshop, to the point that the workshop is closing mid-September 2019. Let's start with a quick translation of the letter we received from the workshop in early August 2019.

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    Article tags: BudoStudies, Business, Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

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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, Bokuto, Daito, Tachi? Explanation!

    In the West, the word “Bokken” is widely used to refer to a wooden sword. However, in Japan, the proper word is “Bokuto”. Although less precise, the Japanese also use other terms like "Bokken" “Kidachi”, “Daito” and “Tachi” etc. Let’s see what the differences are and where those words come from.

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    Article tags: BudoStudies, Craftsmanship, Wooden Weapons

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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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  • 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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