Have you ever wondered, where your Hakama, Dogi, Bokken, Jo, Tanto and other Aikido equipment come from and how they are manufactured? All our products are made in Japan, we know the tailors and craftsmen and it is our aim, to keep working in close partnership with all of them. Impressed by their extraordinary skills and detail oriented manufacture, we want to introduce them and put them at least for once where they belong: in the spotlight.

Bokken and Other Wooden Weapons Maintenance

Bokken and Other Wooden Weapons Maintenance

Varnishing, oil polishing, storage, repair and quality standards


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.


Polishing wooden weapons before shipment, at Seido

Polishing wooden weapons before shipment, at Seido

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Aizome – Japanese Indigo – From the leaf to the Hakama

Aizome – Japanese Indigo on Martial Arts Equipment

Visit to the Nogawa workshop – From the leaf to the Hakama


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.


Indigo Fabric Manufacture for Kendogi at the Nogawa workshop

Indigo Fabric Manufacture for Kendogi at the Nogawa workshop

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Embroideries on Martial Arts Equipment

Embroideries on Martial Arts Equipment

Embroidery Workshop & Translation Practices at Seido


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.


Aikido equipment Embroidery

Embroidery on martial arts equipment

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The Questionable Origin of the Majority of Martial Arts Clothing

The Questionable Origin of the Majority of Martial Arts Clothing

Moral Arrangements We All Make When Facing this Sad Truth


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.

Travail enfant bangladesh

Child labor in a textile factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Source : Zoriah.net

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Iaito – Origin & Manufacture of the Japanese Sword Replica

The origin and manufacture of the Iaito, replica of the Japanese sword, the Katana

Visits to the workshops Minosaka and Jisei


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.


Iaito Minosaka

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Rahel Bünzli December 17, 2015 2 comments Craftsmanship Tags: , , , ,

Handmade Bokken, Jo & Tanto – At the Aramaki Workshop


Handmade Bokken, Jo, Tanto, …

At the workshop Aramaki Bokuto Mokojo


Enjoying the quiet summer months, we travelled across Japan to visit the officially recognized workshops manufacturing wooden weapons in Japan: “Aramaki Budogu Mokojo”, “Nidome Bokuto Seisakujo“, “Horinouchi Noboru Seisakujo” and “Matsuzashi Bokuto Seisakujo”. These last four companies fabricating wooden weapons are all located in “Miyakonojo”, a small town on the peninsula of Kyushu (southern Japan), enclosed by two mountain ranges. In this article we will show all the steps of the making of a Bokken, guided through by an artisan of the workshop Aramaki Bokuto Mojojo, led by master Aramaki Kazuhiro, the 3rd.



Workshop Aramaki, manufacture of Bokken Jo Tanto

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Jordy Delage June 26, 2015 Post Comment Craftsmanship, Equipment Tags: ,

History of Japanese Bokken & interview with master Nidome Yoshiaki


History of the Japanese Bokken & interview with master Nidome Yoshiaki

An encounter in the mountains of Kyushu: Between the art and its craftsman


The Bokken, wooden imitation of the famous Katana, is almost as old as the latter. Its poor quality in the beginning made it a “consumable item” which could easily be replaced if broken. The Bokken’s quality improved gradually over time but it was not until the early 20th century, with the birth of the workshop in Miyakonojo (Kyushu) that the Bokken, the wooden sword, became a piece of art. At this workshop the ancient art of woodworking met the traditional martial arts, both of them sharing common values.


Master Nidome Yoshiaki - Tanto : Fabrication of the Kissaki

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Bokken – Different Types and Shapes of Japanese Wooden Swords

The different types of Bokken

A 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.


Horinouchi's Workshop

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