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equipment history sword

Katana

Last year my high school kendo club celebrated it’s 60th anniversary. 60 sounds a lot, but the school itself was actually founded in Meiji 19 (1886), over 130 years ago, when the girls department of the Osaka-fu Shihan Gakko (“Osaka Normal High School”), separated itself into a different institution.  Of course, long term kenshi 24/7 […]

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equipment kendo

Kote review (KendoStar)

So, a few months ago someone posted a comment on the kenshi 24/7 Facebook page saying that I have a kote fetish… they were right! Kote, along with men and of course shinai, are one of the most important equipment needed by any serious kenshi and are worth, I believe, investing time and money in.

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equipment kendo

Zansho (残暑)

A few years ago, I am not sure how many exactly, but it wasn’t soooo long ago, a slow change in the garments people were wearing for keiko began. Thicker, heavier dogi were giving way to super light and sporty “jersey” types, especially keikogi. These super-light keikogi looked (and still look mostly) absolutely awful… at […]

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equipment kendo

Kote review (Bushizo)

Updated: to read my opinion about how the kote performed six months after writing this article please see the updated comments after the gallery below. A couple of months ago, completely out of the blue, I was contacted by a representative of Bushizo, a relatively new online kendo equipment reseller based in Tokyo, and asked […]

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equipment kendo

Bokuto mania

I love bokuto and own more than a few… maybe about 20 in total nowadays. For the first few years of my kendo career I had a single kendo odachi and kodachi pair, but over time, as I got more into classical swordsmanship and the history of kendo, I started to collect bokuto from different […]

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equipment kendo

Rule revisions for safety and fairness

A few days ago (on the 19th of March to be exact) the ZNKR released a memo regarding changes in stipulations regarding kendo equipment. As it was only written in Japanese, today I’ve decided to briefly translate it so you can know what’s going on. Although the proposed changes are only concerned with Japan, it […]

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equipment kendo

Mokumoku shugyo

I picked up my first nama-kiji dou in 2015, as a sort of present to myself. Up until that time – unbelievably – I’d never had a bamboo dou. There were a couple of reasons why I didn’t get one: the main one being economic, and the second that I thought that (somehow) a bamboo […]

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equipment kendo

Old style #2 (KendoStar)

So, even relatively new kenshi 24/7 readers probably realise that I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to kendo/budo things, perhaps you could even call me a bit of an antiquarian (though kendo stuff isn’t really that ancient!). My passion for old kendo things falls mainly in four areas: books, equipment, dojo, and people. A […]

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equipment kendo

Leather Tsuba (review #2)

In December 2013 I wrote a review piece about a small one-craftsman-operated company that hand makes beautiful leather tsuba (for both bokuto and shinai). In the three plus years since then many people have stopped me and commented on the tsuba as they are so unique and well-crafted that they catch the eye immediately. Recently, […]

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equipment history kendo

Shinai placement

The following is a slightly revised and renewed essay from kenshi 24/7’s now unavailable mini-publication “Kenkyu and Kufu” originally published in 2014. Current publications can be viewed at kendo-book.com. If you watched the final of the All Japan Kendo Championships last November (2013) you might have watched the two finalists put on their bogu and […]