800 years of katana craftsmanship on display

People visiting Japan are often attracted to the beautiful and unique traditional arts, especially samurai culture. The katana is one such item that represents the beauty of samurai culture. It is a highly functional weapon that symbolizes the formal attire and status of samurai. The katana has established its position as an artwork exuding class […]


According to the Western calendar, January 25 is the anniversary of the Battle of Mikatagahara, fought in 1573. (The actual date of the conflict was Genki 3/12/22, but I’ll explain the complexities and problems of dating in the life and career of Tokugawa Ieyasu in another post.) Today I therefore wanted to offer a brief […]

The first colour photographs of Japan: enter a fascinating world of geisha and samurai

  It’s exactly 150 years since Emperor Meiji opened Tokyo to trade for the first time, ending Japan’s long standing policy of isolationism. Among the first visitors to Japan in the years that followed was Felice Beato, the Italian–British photographer. His images, all taken between 1864 and 1867, reveal a fascinating world of samurai warriors and geisha, peasants and courtesans. […]

Sifu, Sensei, Sabom-Nim – What’s The One Thing That Unites Them?

From the very beginning of their existence, martial arts knowledge and techniques have been transmitted from  masters to pupils. In this way, masters were able to prevent martial arts knowledge and values from fading away with time. And thanks to them, nowadays we still have disciplines that have survived even for centuries. In every single country, Masters are known by […]

Tamahagane (玉鋼)- The high quality metal (steel) made in the Japanese tradition.

Tamahagane (玉鋼) is a high quality metal (steel) made in the Japanese tradition. The word tama means “round and precious”, like a gem. The word hagane means “steel”. Tamahagane is used to make Japanese swords, knives, and other kinds of tools. Good tamahagane contains around 1% of carbon and should not go over 1.5%. Tamahagane […]

24 Badass Samurai From 19th Century That Make You Want To Be Like Them

Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. These photos of cool Samurai from the 19th century that make you admire. Oda Nobuyoshi Sakuzaemon Yamanouchi Ōkuma Shigenobu Takasugi Shinsaku Matsudaira Yoshinaga Tadataka Mizuno Enomoto Takeaki Yamaoka Tesshū Ōkubo Toshimichi Fukuzawa Yukichi Chikaratsunemori Yokoyama Heikuro Shibusawa Hidetoshi Egawa Hijikata Toshizō Jojiro […]

黒澤浩樹 – Hiroki Kurosawa: A Samurai Has Left

Achievements 6th World Tournament 1995 (IKO-1) — 6th (Lost to Yamaki) 5th World Tournament 1991 — 3rd (Lost to Midori) 4th World Tournament 1987 — 6th (Lost to Thompson – inj.) 25th All Japan Tournament 1993 — 6th 17th All Japan Tournament 1985 — 2nd 16th All Japan Tournament 1984 — 1st 10th All Japan […]

The Sword and the Origins of Japan: the Symbol of the Imperial Right to Rule

The sword and the mythical origins of Japan are inextricably connected; one cannot tell the story of one without mentioning the other. To try to explain the importance of swords within Japanese culture one must inevitably start at the beginning.   Japan’s oldest extant myth-histories, Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters, 712), and Nihon Shoki (Chronicles […]


Ancient Japanese weaponry is famous worldwide for its effectiveness and still has relevance in modern times due to martial arts such as Iaido. The Japanese warriors, more commonly known as ‘Samurai’ became famous all over the world because of their loyalty, honor,  and fierce fighting strategies. However, very little is known about the armor they […]