View Full Version : Any info appreciated

5th June 2006, 11:58
Hello to all you readers out there,

My old iaito is getting a little worn these days and i'm looking for a change. I've seen lots of threads and discussions but to be fair I'm a bit out of the loop!!!

I found this place gichudo (http://www.gichudo.com/) and would like to ask peoples opinions. I know it's not great as I'm in the UK but nearlly everywhere I find (except for nine circles!) in outside of my general area!!

Additionally, rather than lots of new threads: what about here?, and here?, or here?
Could people please suggest places that they use for their dojo or a shop that you have used and were particularly happy with :D

With great thanks in advance,


5th June 2006, 12:55
One of the major factors I forgot to mention... Partial of my own making... I don't have vast sums of money to throw around so I'm am also after value for money... when money is sparse!!! ;)

5th June 2006, 13:14

Its best to at first turn to your sensei for their recommendation. They will probably have the best idea of vendors that have items that will fit your needs, plus its just good manners. That being said, I had a friend that bought a wakizashi iaito from Gichudo and it was sadly lacking in all respects but the blade itself. Loose and poorly formed tsukaito, rougher, less refined fittings, etc. It may have been an anomoly for that line, but it left me very unimpressed.

Just about every member of my dojo uses http://www.swordstore.com/ for their iaito. I've bought 2 from there and have been extremely happy with the fit and finish, durability, and customer service. They are perhaps a tad more expensive than some companies lower end offerings, but I think mainly for the fact they have so many customizable options in some of their lines. There are some deals to be had if your needs coincide with any of their "in-stock" pieces which are usually available at a discount.

While you really don't have to spend a bunch of money to get a good training tool, you really shouldn't skimp either. Even if it takes a little bit longer to save up for a better quality piece right now, you will be far better served in the long run. Best of luck with your search.

Kind Regards,


5th June 2006, 13:31
John I thank you for your exellent response monsieur.

The reason I have not spoken to my Sensei is due to the fact that I have been out of practice due to injury for a while and I am planning on changing dojo's on my return to the Iaido world. I have spoken to friends and collegues, but it never hurts to get a wider range of opinion, one person may be ultimately overjoyed with their purchase :D and another desimated with disapointment :(

I agree totally with your statment that
While you really don't have to spend a bunch of money to get a good training tool, you really shouldn't skimp either.. I will not really be scrimping and saving but I can't really go into silly money (also my idea of silly money and yours may differ ;)). I am after somewhere that although it is well priced for the Iaito will not kill me on shipping and handling costs to the UK.

Your comments have been greatfully received and I will have a look at the link you posted.

All the best,


5th June 2006, 14:07

You're quite welcome for any help. If you are going to a new dojo, have already determined which one? I'd suggest talking to that sensei for the same reasons. As you probably know, different styles may have different ideas on what size blade is "correct" for you. It can vary, sometimes by quite a bit.

I'm not familiar with how shipping and customs (VAT?) works. Seems to be another consideration though. I had a look at the ninecircles website for iaito. They seem to be offering many of the same fittings/options that Swordstore and Tozando http://www.tozando.com/ have available. I'm assuming the quality might be on par (UK/European practitioners might be able to speak to that) and save you on the customs/shipping/tax issues. However, they're likely produced in Japan and imported, which might be back where you started...

Kind Regards,


8th June 2006, 14:13
Samu, go to Eurobogu.net - good prices and free shipping from Koei, their co. in Japan.

Got my whites from there.

Alternatively, go to the BKA site and look up Keith Rose - he makes nice handmade iaigi at a not-handmade price.

19th June 2006, 10:43
If you are going to a new dojo, have already determined which one? I'd suggest talking to that sensei for the same reasons. As you probably know, different styles may have different ideas on what size blade is "correct" for you. It can vary, sometimes by quite a bit.
Thank you again, I am going from a seitei/MJER dojo to a seitei/MJER dojo.

I have spoken with my new Sensei and got some advice from him also... My current iaito is perfectly adequate for training, I'm really just looking to spoil myself a bit :D

19th June 2006, 10:49
Spoil? You're already past your sell-by-date...

btw seen the thread in the Sword Arts section? :D

19th June 2006, 11:12
I have indeed, got the E-mails too... Excellent :D big chuffed ruff n grin on this face :) :D :) :D :cool:

Karasu Maru
19th June 2006, 13:32
One choices are that you repair the blade by yourself.
If you are good at Japanese, you can find some sites for DIY.

If your saya is not special, only the blade can be bought in some shops.
4,500-6,000 yen is a standard price.
Because this dotanuki is long and fat, the price is a little high.

If your saya is a special thing and custom-made, the blade should also do custom-made.

19th June 2006, 14:19
Thanks Karasu Maru, unfortunately my japanese is schoolboy conversational only... I have a few tricks up my sleeve but reading is not one of them (outside of katakana and hirugana i'm lost :( )

I like the idea though...

really I'm looking to change my ito, sageo and fittings aswell...

I just feel like a change :D

Karasu Maru
25th June 2006, 13:20
First of all, I do not accurately understand the state of your iaito.
And, I do not understand how you want to change it.

>really I'm looking to change my ito, sageo and fittings aswell...

Does “ito” mean “tsukamaki”?
If yes and your tsukamaki is normal, you can purchase tsuka-ito and wrap tsuka by yourself. It is not easy, but not difficult to master.
I have five iaito. 3 tsuka are normal, and 2 tsuka are special.
I re-wrap 3 tsuka by myself on 1st January every year.
2 tsuka are made in Edo period, so I ask Tsukamaki-shi (professional Tsukamaki specialist), Nakamura Ryuji sensei to re-warp them.
Nakamura Ryuji sensei;
If it is impossible for you to re-wrap tsuka by yourself, you should look for Tsukamaki-shi and send him only Tsuka.
You don’t need to send the blade and saya.

As for sageo, various kinds are sold with Budo shop.
However, sageo is merely “kumihimo”(braided rope).
You can find several thousands kind of kumihimo in a kumihimo shop and you can purchase about 2 meters of kumihimo.
Moreover, there is a lot of kumihimo in all over the world.
Maybe UK has kumihimo as a traditional craft.
Off course, it is available if it is thinner than kurikata hole.
This month I visited London and Cardiff for bussiness, but I don't have any information.
Sageo is not expensive even if you ask for the custom-made-manufacturing.
She is Hanayagi Yaemari sensei that produced my sageos.
Hanayagi Yaemari sensei;

It is necessary for iaido learner to learn handling the sword itself.
The person who practices iai should have the knowledge of simply adjustment and the repair of the sword.

26th June 2006, 07:57
Hello again Karasu Maru

Firstly you are correct to say that ito is another name for the tsukamaki.

I have, over the years, changed my Tsuba and seppa; replaced my meguki; re-fitted and repaired the koiguchi of my saya to take out the slack from the habaki and various other jobs in and around the tsuka. But re-wrapping the tsukamaki... I'm not ready to mess up my one and only iaito just yet ;) as I progress and get multiple implements of beauty and death I will one day think long and hard and decide.. yes.. today is the day I try...

I have had my iaito now for a number of years, the blade and saya have taken a lot the punishment from my bad nukitsuke draws when I first started training with an iaito ;) I plan to continue training with my old iaito for as long as necessary, there is nothing wrong with it other than I feel like a change. I have maintaind and looked after it... it's my baby, my first iaito, we've been through a lot together :D :(

I have seen a few that I like and I am possibly hours away from making my decision... although the custom ones look nice ;)

Thank you for all of your help, I will endevour to use the information that you posted in the future :)