Thanksgiving Seminar

J Toguri Mercantile Co

Regular classes have been canceled for the holiday weekend. If you are looking for the best possible Aikido training this holiday Chicago Aikikai is hosting Shihan Mitsugi Saotome Nov 23rd-25th. Click here for more information and to register.

For those of you shopping this weekend you may want to stop by J Toguri Mercantile Co 851 West Belmont Ave. Founded shortly after World War II Toguri’s was the go to location for Japanese imports from fine silks to ikebana supplies. Toguri was Chicago’s first source for martial arts supplies. Iaito for Sakemoto Sensei’s Iaido classes were procured there after convincing Mr. Toguri you were indeed a student of the art. This involved a prolonged Q&A session to prove your worth, or he could have been just riding this gaijin. Chicago is loosing one more of it’s gems. Please stop by if you can have a look and make a purchase if something catches your eye.

Feel free to share you experiences at Toguri in the comments section.


About ChicagoAikidoClub

Chicago Aikido Club is non-profit organization dedicated to the free and creative exploration of Aikido in all its aspects – martial, physical and spiritual.
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2 Responses to Thanksgiving Seminar

  1. Really too bad to see Toguri’s go. When I was a little kid, driving up to Clark Street on the north side from the West suburbs was the only way to get anything Japanese. We’d eat at Happi Sushi or Matsuya, art supplies could be bought at Aiko’s and groceries were available at Star Market. Then of course there was Toguri’s, which for me was a constant source for Japanese rice candy, manga, odd little toys and martial arts books. I realize things have changed, and with Mitsuwa in the West ‘burbs and online buying, the sort of wares they keep on hand are not as hard to procure as before. Really means an end of an era – the post-WWII settling of former West Coast Japanese-Americans in Chicago on the north side. None of the other businesses I mentioned above are around anymore either.

  2. John Zurisk says:

    Sad day. As a young boy, some 30+ years ago, this was my first experience with Japanese culture and having a source for martial arts and Japanese items. My Sensei was a student of Mr. Sugiyama “upstairs” and it was only proper to visit the dojo and then proceed “downstairs” to Toguri’s. I managed to stop by on Saturday (2/2/2013) to buy a few things and thank the owner, plus comment how sad it was to see this wonderful store disappear (as well as the dojo). Best wishes to them in life’s journey…and again “Domo Arigato”.

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