THE MAKING OF A ZZUMA x SCHERMA GLOVE
It always starts with an inspiration from one of our elite heroes of fencing. In part 2 of "The Journey of a Master's Glove", founder T.K. Wong recounts the process of how a ZZUMA x SCHERMA glove is made. This is the story behind TOKYO ZSPEED, a glove inspired by Olympic and national fencing hero of Japan – Yuki Ota.
I recall the first time I saw Yuki in action. It was some 13 years ago, when he was only 17 years old. I was mesmerized by his lightning quick moves - all executed with precision and control. It was like watching perfection in motion. Indeed, he defined the very way of Japanese fencing - precision and speed - a beautiful sight to behold. I have been a fan ever since.
As I got to know Yuki more over the years, I learned that he loved cars and had a taste for speed. This served as our first inspiration.
The Japan fencing team, like many other top sports teams, would go to the TOGO Shrine, next to popular fashion district Harajuku, to pray for good luck and victory in their tournaments. Admiral Togo, in real life, was a successful war hero who defeated the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tsushima on May 27, 1905 – one of the most important naval battles of history. During the war, he flew the nautical Z Flag as an indication to all troops to fight until the very end and to do their utmost best.
The Japanese Fencing Team seen here holding up the Z Flag at Togo shrine before the 2012 London Olympics. The team won a Silver medal – the first ever Japanese Fencing Team Medal (Yuki created history by winning the individual silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics).
This Z Flag became the national icon in Japanese mythology, and in popular culture, as a symbol of putting in one's all during a momentous battle – whether in life, business or a sporting event. After the war, Admiral Togo was enshrined and this flag is now flying at TOGO Shrine. Every year, hundreds of people visit the shrine and its flag to pray for assured victory in their quest.
"The fate of the Empire rests on the outcome of this battle.
Let each man do his utmost".
- Hoisting the Z Flag by Admiral Togo on Battleship Mikasa