Introducing TSUYOSHI ITO (1)
Among the dwindling number of master craftsman, there is one who is relatively unknown
but his skill can be count among the finest, if not, the best. A master craftsman still dedicated in the art of the old,
yet unflinching in incorporating new material and new ideas.
He is Ito Tsuyoshi or as he is usually called by his friends, fan or customer affectionately
as Tsuyoshi-san, Ito-san or Ito-sensei. He started training as bogu craftsman since young together with his brother.
His father also ask him to do kendo when he was young so that he could have glimpse and eyes to see and know and understand the feeling of a kendo practitioner.
Time was spent on training, learning from their father or like the Japanese always say it "steal the technique from the father".
He officially starts working at the shop at the age of 18.
When ask when the first bogu set he made fully on his own, he replied shyly "at the age of 20,
but the first bogu I made wasn't really a good one, even when I looked back, I pray and hoped
that the bogu had served the master well".
If you are around Tokyo it is a wonderful experience to visit his shop.
As the shop itself is a small factory. He would ask customer to come up, sit down, and talk.
"Communication ", he said is the key to being a good master craftsman,
the ability to sit down and listen enriches a craftsman with positive and constructive criticism.
As bogu craftsman, bogu quality especially safety is something he does not compromise.
And those feeling and emotion he has can be see clearly in his bogu equipment,
not only it is beautiful aesthetically but when you hold it you know what it is your getting.
A funny guy, light hearted, a great listener and a wonderful friend.
When asked at his age and reason why is he making bogu, he answered " Back in my 20s,
I made bogu to eat and to feed my family, now where mass produce bogu is proliferating,
it is difficult to make a living, but it does provide enough to put food and have a stable life,
at this age, I make bogu for fun and to make the customer happy, it is seeing their happy faces
that makes me happy."
This is the face, backbone of Yamato-Budogu Tokyo.
Will continue in part II......
If you are interested with his story,
Born December 8th, 1987 in Tokyo
Graduated from Keio University's Faculty of Law.
Started Kendo at 5 years old at the Tokyo-budokan (located in Ota-ku, Tokyo), and continued kendo club activities throughout Keio junior high school and Keio high school, and during Keio University Athletic Association's Kendo association, as well as Nomura Securities' Kendo association.
Started KENDO PARK services in 2017.
Major kendo accomplishments include:
・Second place in Kanagawa prefecture's high school kendo tournament
・Best 8 in Kanto students' new player tournament
・Best 16 in All-Japan Business Organization Kendo Tournament, etc.