Our adventure of setting up dogi fully in line with the budo spirit of purity and harmony has lead us to making plenty of exciting discoveries on issues as diverse as O-Sensei’s spiritual teachings and the yet widely infamous world of textiles. Discover the milestones of MISOGI DOGI’s fantastic adventure so far:
Wanted – a pure dogi for aikido pilgrimage
Summer 2013 – It all started when Lucile had an opportunity to visit Japan again. During high school she had spent an exchange year in the land of the rising sun, and it became her adoptive home country. By chance, the exchange organisation had sent her to Tanabe, the aikido founder’s hometown. This is how she discovered and fell in love with aikido. 15 years later, she decided to make an aikido pilgrimage through Japan: to train in various dojos in Kyoto, Tokyo and Tanabe, to visit the aiki shrine in Iwama, O-Sensei’s grave in Tanabe and the Kumano shrines.
VISITING A PIONEER OF ORGANIC T-SHIRTS IN TOKYO
NO PLAY AT OPENING OF IMPACT HUB KYOTO (SOCIAL BUSINESS HUB)
AIKI JINJA IN IWAMA
OSENSEI'S DOJO IN IWAMA
KUMANO KODO PILGRIMAGE
NACHI FALLS AND TEMPLE
OLD MONKS' TOMBS NEXT TO OSENSEI'S GRAVE
TEMPLE OF FUSHIMI INARI, PATRON OF MERCHANTS AND MANUFACTURERS
FUSHIMI INARI TORI GATES
Shortly before starting her journey, she looked for a new dogi. As an environmentalist, she wanted one made of organic cotton and produced under fair conditions. However, no aikido uniform on the market was explicitly meeting her expectations. Her 2013 agenda book cover quoted Lily Tomlin:
I said: ‘Somebody should do shomething about that.’ Then I realized I am somebody.
Lucile decided to follow in Tomlin’s footsteps: not to wait for the conventional industry to make it happen, but ‘simply’ to give it a try herself and take care of this market gap.
In Kyoto and Tokyo, she met Japanese sustainability and entrepreneurship experts and visited the headquarters of a Japanese aikidogi brand. The director was very friendly and supportive and gave her precious insights into the supply chain of aikidogis. His advice however: rather develop a supply chain directly in Europe than in Japan.
September 2013 | communication – The name MISOGI DOGI came up after a series of intense brainstorming and research days. Lucile was quite enthousiastic: it has a well-fitting Japanese meaning an experienced aikidoka would immediately understand. Containing a core principle of aikido, it expresses the philosophy of the project in two simple words. And last but not least, the brand can be easily pronounced in any language and sounds good. Yay!!
(further milestones coming soon…)