Shop Interview〜 Tsuyoshi Ito〜（2）
This is the continuation of the previous part of the interview.
Previous post PART I “Legendary Craftsman”
PART II “Necessity of Branding”
Tsuyoshi Ito from Yamato Budogu Tokyo
(From here on KENDO PARK = KP Tsuyoshi Ito = ITO)
What are your current worries and the bottleneck that you face?
The firm establishment of “Yamato Budogu Brand”.
I want to craft armours where my clients will feel pride and joy when they wear a Yamato Budougu armour.
There are a lot of aspects of the method to implement it which are unknown to me and I wish to collaborate with people of different expertise to make it happen.
Do tell me about the trend and problems the martial art equipment industry is facing.
ITOU: The trend of shorter, lighter and softer equipment is becoming the majority popular trend nowadays among kendoka. If we look at it from perspective of safety, it is rather unfavourable. It is understandable to pursue a light weight yet pain free armour, however proper knowledge and informations should be conveyed to the customers. Safety, to me is my top priority in crafting kendo bogu
What is the workshop’s strong point and what is your most recommended product?
Our kendo bogu has an outstanding level of durability and safety. We have yet to hear any of our customer say that they felt pain when being hit while wearing our bogu. We are confident that the bogu will last for a long time as long as it is not utilised outside of its intended purpose.
If I am able to convey my sincerity as a craftsman through each of my work to the user, I would be overjoyed.
What do you want to do in the future?
I have been making kendo equipment for many decades, but I still aim to craft better equipment every single day. With that being said, it can only be done within the limits of my capability and borrow from the wisdom of others.
The final question may be heavy, what is your opinion on the issue of skill inheritance?
To be honest, it is hard to pass on the skills and techniques at this point in time due to time needed and to sustain oneself. I used to have a few apprentice learning from me, it would be ideal if I let them inherit my legacy. Even if this is not possible, at the very least, if the ability to identify good and product has been passed on, it is more than enough.
A lot of people has come to me to become apprentices in recent years, but I have turned them away as it is impossible for them to sustain themselves during the apprenticeship.
With that in mind, I have concluded that we must craft things that are no doubt more superior than the ones manufactured oversea, this is why establishing the Yamato Workshop brand is necessary.
Bearing in mind the safety issue being overlooked as time goes by, it has become a topic to ponder upon how to convey these perspective to the customers.
KEDNO PARK is glad to be a platform to help in perpetuating this information.
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.