Japanese Wooden Weapons Craftsmanship, the Beginning of the End | In addition to the structural crisis affecting the industry, in 2019, the closure of one of the largest Japanese workshops, Horinouchi, then, in 2020, the covid crisis have for consequences a drastic increase in prices and production times, and mid-term, a probable disappearance of the manufacture of wooden weapons in Japan. To learn more, you can read our article detailing the situation and the measures taken to help this industry.
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Seido Charity Programs
Regular Donations to Charities
The Japanese Budo Association defines the philosophy of Budo as follows:
Budō, the martial ways of Japan, have their origins in the traditions of bushidō– the way of the warrior. Practitioners study the skills while striving to unify mind, technique, and body; develop his or her character; enhance their sense of morality; and to cultivate a respectful and courteous demeanor. Practiced steadfastly, these admirable traits become intrinsic to the character of the practitioner. The Budō arts serve as a path to self-perfection. This elevation of the human spirit will contribute to social prosperity and harmony, and ultimately, benefit the people of the world.
This is with those values in mind that, we, members of Seido, developed over time a strong ethic that goes beyond self-development. Most of us are foreigners and residents in Japan, and as human beings, uprooted from our countries of origin, we have developed a sense of universality - considering ourselves citizens of the World.
Our personal stories and experiences, constructed through the practice of Budo, lead us to develop a very strong sense of respect for all human beings, regardless of origins, races, religions, political orientation or personal choices.
We also believe that our status as human beings and Budoka defines us far more profoundly than our work status. Being Budoka prevails on being businessmen, and Seido is the emanation of who we are. This is why, in 2018, we have decided to run charity events on a regular basis.
And this is why, later on, in 2020, we have decided to make all our weapons sales sustainable by working with a Japanese NPO, MoreTrees.
Wooden Weapons production & Sustainability
If you haven't read our dedicated blog article yet, please check it out here: "Japanese Wooden Weapons Craftsmanship, the Beginning of the End" You'll quickly understand that wood supply for wooden weapons is in a critical situation in Japan.
Because the covid crisis has favored weapons practice over Taijutsu, the demand for wooden weapons exploded (over 100% increase) in 2020, and it pushed us on the search for solutions, with the craftsmen, but also on our end, talking with other Budoka, passing the word through all our networks in both Budo and Kobudo.
When it was time to decide what to do at the end of 2020, and because it proved impossible to work directly on this with the craftsmen (Japan is quite later on this topic) we thought that trying to offset a little the increase in demand for wooden weapons was the best thing to do at this point.
We contacted a Japanese NPO called MoreTrees, a Japanese NGO focused on preserving forests, and, very impressed by their actions in Japan and abroad despite their relatively small size, we started a partnership with them.
All weapons with the Green Tree symbol displayed on the product page (almost all wooden weapons) will be handled as follow:
- Tanto, Shoto, Nunchaku, and Tonfa: 50 YEN will be donated.
- Bokken and Jo: 100 YEN will be donated.
- Bo, Naginata, Yari, and Suburito: 200 YEN will be donated.
Note that all our DHL shipments are already carbon compensated, since 2017.
How does our charity events work?
We do not want to force our views on our fellow practitioners (and customers), so our charity events will run for special occasions throughout the year, between two monthly discounts. If you do not wish to contribute, you can simply wait for the end of the charity event before placing your order.
Charity events conditions
- 10% of all sales are donated to selected charities (see next paragraph for the list).
- We do not offer any kind of discount during our charity events. This includes bulk order discounts.
- Orders that are canceled before shipping will be fully refunded and the charity donation will be canceled for this order.
- Donations are final. Donated amounts are non-refundable. Therefore, orders placed during the event that are only partially canceled or returned for exchange or refund will see the donated amount deducted from their refund.
- Donations are made to charities every 3 months, or once a total of 100,000 YEN has been reached. Donation receipts provided by charities are available on request from our customers.
Here are the charities we have selected so far. Should you have any other ideas, feel free to offer recommendations through our contact form. The only condition is an official registration as a charity in Japan. Charities are selected via a democratic vote among our staff.
Our support for Amnesty is motivated by two main reasons. Japan still has a fairly important margin of improvement when it comes to human rights, and Amnesty is a very small organization in Japan that we believe needs support.
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)
As you know, as MSF, part of our staff is French, so we have a good understanding of this organization. Seido's founder’s family also worked with MSF in the past, and our founder, Jordy, has a deep respect for Doctors who chose to risk their lives in high-risk zones in order to save lives.
Because children are the future of our world, and because not a single child in the world should suffer from the consequences of stupid adults' choices.
Because we believe in preserving our planet. This is a delicate topic, but long story short, our own industry is severely threatened by the lack of natural resources (wood for wooden weapons, high-quality cotton for textiles, etc.), as fervent supporters of traditional craftsmanship, this is a topic that strongly impacts our lives.
Of course, this is not because we have selected those organizations that we back 100%. We do not agree with everything, and within our staff, we all have our own opinions on what they do, opinions that may differ depending on the topic at hand. However, we all agree on the fact that all those organizations work to make the world a better place, and are therefore essential for the sake of the human race.