|Industry||Martial arts equipment|
Number of locations
|Several offices and sales outlets in Japan, one office in the USA (2010)|
|Taro Sugiura (President)|
|Products||Karate uniforms, belts, and related products|
|Website|| Tokaido Japan Direct International (in English)|
Tokaido Japan (in Japanese)
Tokaido (東海堂, Tōkaidō) [a] is a Japanese company that manufactures karate uniforms, belts, and related products. It is the world's oldest manufacturer of uniforms specifically for karate training, with a reputation for both high quality and high price. [b] Tokaido is based in Tokyo, Japan, and is owned and operated by the Sugiura family.
Tokaido's founder, Shizuo Sugiura, was a martial arts enthusiast who would watch demonstrations and competitions of many Japanese martial arts.With time, he became increasingly interested in the art of karate. At the time, karate practitioners would simply use judo uniforms or other clothing for training. Judo emphasizes grappling, so training in that art typically requires a strong, heavy uniform; karate emphasizes striking, so training in that art does not require so heavy a uniform. Sugiura was already working in the clothing industry, and decided to combine his work with his interest in karate by producing uniforms specifically for karate training.
In 1958, Sugiura established the Tokaido company.Its name means Eastern Sea Shop in Japanese, and comes from the name of Sugiura's home region on the east coast of Honshū island. Sugiura began supplying sample uniforms to instructors of the newly formed Japan Karate Association (JKA), and used their feedback to improve the designs and manufacturing. The JKA helped popularize the Tokaido brand amongst Shotokan karate practitioners; the karate masters who appear in Masatoshi Nakayama's series of Best Karate textbooks were wearing Tokaido uniforms.
Tokaido produces two main styles of karate uniform: a standard version used more for regular training and kata (patterns) competition, and a lighter version used more for kumite (sparring) competition.The uniforms and belts are cut and sewn by hand. Apart from uniforms and belts, the company provides embroidery of Japanese words (such as individual practitioners' or karate schools' names) and rank markings, and also produces badges and labels matching major karate organizations. Tokaido has also produced custom-made uniforms made by master tailors Genzo and Waisetsu. These items are available only to karate practitioners ranked 3rd dan or higher.
The company is owned and operated by the Sugiura brothers, sons of the founder.It has headquarters in Kōjimachi, a suburb of Tokyo, and a factory in Nagoya. Tokaido has an international office in the United States of America, and several offices and sales outlets in Japan.
a. ^ More completely, the company's name in Japanese is Kabushiki Kaisha Tokaido (株式 会社 東海堂, Kabushiki-gaisha Tōkaidō), which indicates that it is a specific type of company under Japanese corporate law.
b. ^ Others have attempted to profit from the company's reputation by producing fake Tokaido uniforms. At least one retailer has published a guide to distinguishing between real and fake Tokaido uniforms.
Karate (空手) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts under the influence of Kung Fu, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
Shotokan is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing "karate do" through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, and Hosei.
Keigo Abe was a prominent Japanese master of Shotokan karate who founded the Japan Shotokan Karate Association in 1999 and is its Chief Instructor. He holds the rank of 9th dan in karate, is a direct student of Masatoshi Nakayama (1913–1987), and was a senior instructor in the Japan Karate Association.
Karategi is the formal Japanese name for the traditional uniform used for Karate practice and competition.
Japan Karate Association is one of the most influential Shotokan karate organizations in the world. It is also one of the oldest karate organizations continuously in operation until the present.
Keikogi (稽古着), also known as dōgi (道着) or keikoi (稽古衣), is a uniform worn for training in Japanese martial arts and their derivatives. Emerging in the late 19th century, the keikogi was developed by judo founder Kanō Jigorō.
Masatoshi Nakayama was an internationally famous Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He helped establish the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1949, and wrote many textbooks on karate, which served to popularize his martial art. For almost 40 years, until his death in 1987, Nakayama worked to spread Shotokan karate around the world. He was the first master in Shotokan history to attain the rank of 9th dan while alive, and was posthumously awarded the rank of 10th dan.
Hirokazu Kanazawa was a Japanese teacher of Shotokan karate. He was the Chief instructor and President of the Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation, an organisation he founded after he left the Japan Karate Association (JKA). Kanazawa was ranked 10th dan in karate.
Tetsuhiko Asai was a prominent Japanese master of Shotokan karate of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), founder and Chief Instructor of the International Japan Martial Arts Karate Asai-ryu (IJKA), and founder of the Japan Karate Shoto Federation.
Dave Hazard is a British 7th Dan Karateka and instructor of Shotokan karate and was one of the few students present at the very beginning of British Karate. He is a former KUGB national champion and British team member. Like many of the early karateka he first trained in judo before starting karate in 1969 at the Blackfriers club in London, where he trained under Keinosuke Enoeda, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Kato and Takahashi.
Teruyuki Okazaki, was a tenth degree black belt in Shotokan Karate, as well as the founder and chief instructor of the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF). Along with Gichin Funakoshi and Masatoshi Nakayama, Okazaki helped found the Japan Karate Association's instructor training program.
Takayuki Mikami is a Japanese master of Shotokan karate based in the United States of America. He holds the rank of 9th dan black belt in the art, awarded under the Japan Karate Association. In 1958, Mikami tied for first place in the All Japan Karate Championships. The following year, he became the All Japan champion in kumite (sparring) as well as kata (patterns). In 1961, Mikami won first place in kata again. He was also the first person to graduate from the Japan Karate Association's (JKA) instructor training program instituted by Gichin Funakoshi and Masatoshi Nakayama.
Hidetaka Nishiyama was a prominent Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He was an internationally recognized instructor, author, and administrator, and helped to establish the Japan Karate Association. Nishiyama was one of the last surviving students of Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate. He was based in the United States of America from 1961 until his death in 2008, and was a pioneer of karate in that country. He had been posthumously awarded the rank of 10th dan in karate.
Andy Sherry is one of the most senior British practitioners of karate and the chief instructor of the KUGB.
Keinosuke Enoeda was a Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He was a former Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain. Enoeda was ranked 8th dan in Shotokan karate, and was widely renowned as a formidable karateka. Following his death, Enoeda was posthumously awarded the rank of 9th dan.
Taiji Kase was a Japanese master of Shotokan karate who was one of the earliest masters responsible for introducing this martial art into Europe. He taught his style of karate, Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha, in France from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. In his later years, he travelled across the world teaching karate, but Paris remained his home. Kase held the rank of 9th dan in karate.
Isao Obata was a pioneering Japanese master of Shotokan karate. He was a senior student of Gichin Funakoshi, who is widely recognized as the founder of modern karate, and was a key figure in the establishment of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) under Funakoshi in 1949. Obata also helped introduce karate to the United States of America through his demonstrations of the art to United States Air Force personnel, and through his students, most notably Tsutomu Ohshima.
Norman Robinson is a South African master of Shotokan karate. He and Stan Schmidt were the first practitioners of Shotokan karate in South Africa and they instigated the establishment of the South African branch of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1965 and popularized the art across the country. In 1970 he was one of the first westerners to be invited into the JKA's famous Instructor Class in the Tokyo Honbu dojo, the invitation having been offered by Masatoshi Nakayama himself. Latterly, he established Japan Karate Shotokai South Africa, having remained loyal to Tetsuhiko Asai after Asai established Japan Karate Shotokai. Norman Robinson is also a distinguished student of Judo, holding a 7th dan in that art, and is also known for his acting roles in several martial arts films.
Stan Schmidt was a South African master of Shotokan karate. Along with others, such as Norman Robinson, he was an early practitioner of Shotokan karate in South Africa and his establishment of the South African branch of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in 1965 after training in Japan, along with his subsequent promotion of the art in South Africa, earned him the appellation of 'The Father of South African Karate'. In 1963, he was one of the first westerners to be invited into the JKA's famous Instructor Class in the Tokyo Honbu dojo and he was later one of four non-Japanese karateka to sit on the JKA's international Shihankai. He was also the first non-Japanese karateka to attain 7th dan from the JKA and also the first to attain 8th dan. Today, he is the highest ranking non-Japanese karate master of that organization. He is also known for his acting roles in several martial arts films of the 1970s and 1980s.