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  • Mold Factory

    Hi. Here in Iwate, Japan it's been raining like hell and the humidity now is nearly at unbearable levels! This time of year I find that my men does not dry fast enough by the next practice even though I switch between three. I now have mold growing inside my men! I wipe it down, but nearly 24 hours later it's back! Of all my years being here this is the first time I've experienced this. Any suggestions on killing the mold and can the mold cause allergic reations? Since yesterday's practice I've started to sneeze a lot!

  • #2
    O-ame! Natsukashii! (I can say that because where I am at the moment its the depths of winter!)

    Sorry that's absolutely no help at all.

    b

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    • #3
      Hi there

      Down here it's very humid too but bogu only gets mold if left on the bag for a while.

      Anyway, if the mold is forming on the chin area, have you thought about a sweat-absorbing pad? These are very common, and cheap so you can have many and thrown them away once they get dumped. I'm sure Kyoto's Tozando has these in stock.

      otherwise Fabreeze and Kenro Spray may do the job.

      Cheers

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      • #4
        Yeah, definitely get a chin 'thing' like alex says. Or make your own. I just use a clean, folded handkerchief - no use giving Tozando money for that! A clean one every time should help a great deal. There are also washable inserts that you can get that go all around the face, not just the chin.

        moribudo.co.jp use "anti-microbial" fabric on some of their men and kote. Probably the most expensive option...

        b

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        • #5
          thanks for the advice. I use those chin-pads all the time. What I've tried is rubbing the inside down with alchohol. It seems to have worked. A day and a practice has passed since using that men so, will check now!

          Also I'm a pretty hard sweater! My wife actually complained about it this moring after coming back from morning practice. After a few uses I find the sweat coming through the surface. This time of year it even gets the black covering at the top of the mengane soft and wet. The mold gets on the surface as well.

          Has anyone had any experience with that part rotting and coming off? I had a hard practice once in the States after raining for a couple of days. It got soft and ripped apart!

          After coming back to Japan it was an expensive fix and I've gone through two repairs already. 50,000 yen and 20,000 yen!

          My wife (godan), is getting pretty pist off about it ! Since I bought a new men to alleviate the problem and switch between three! She's threatening one hour kakarigeiko when we do keiko together! Next practice is tonight!!! uh-oh!!!

          Ben, by the way I wish I was in Australia right now!! I was just in Sydney last month. What kick'n weather you guys have down there! All I thought about was doing kendo down there and escaping the heat from here! Unfortunately I had to come back!!

          Jonathan

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          • #6
            Yeah its generally pretty dry down here. The trade-off is that shinais last half as long as in Japan.

            Re your problem, it does seem that some people sweat a lot more than others (viz- Pat Rafter in the Aus Open tennis a couple of years back - sweated so much he got severe cramps and had to withdraw). People who sweat a lot seem to go through bogu quicker than those who don't. Ain't nothing you can do once the leather starts to rot other than patch-up jobs. Seriously I think you should look into one of those all-around face inserts, maybe minimise the amount of sweat that gets into your men.

            Go-dan wife? Kowai! 1 hour kakrigeiko is prob gonna finish off one of your men for good!



            b

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            • #7
              Right on the dry weather. I hear in the US people have the same problem as well. That's when a carbon would come in handy. Still not the same as bamboo though.

              Yup my problem is that I sweat so easily. Right now I'm sitting in my office and the temperature inside is reading 33 degrees! Not a fan in sight either and no place to cool down before I go practice in two hours!!

              Since I sweat so much and don't work in a dry environment I've gotta tank up on water always. I've experienced what Pat Rafter has gone through. It wasn't through kendo however. Once was enough! I learned my lesson!

              I agree with you. People who sweat more go through bogu more quickly. I certainly would testify to that! My wife hardly drops a sweat even in this hot summer weather. She's got a bogu that's quite old now and it still looks good!

              Yeah she's godan but I get more practice in than her! She's got her zenkoku kateifujin taikai coming up and I'm the one pushing her!!! I think she's the one who needs a good deal of kakarigeiko and on top of that uchikomi!!

              Jonathan

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              • #8
                To answer the other part of your question, mold definitely causes allergic reactions. You also need to watch out for fungi growth - think athlete's foot on the chin or forehead - yuch. I'd be sure to clean it well with whatever anti-bacterial and anti-fungial cleaners you've got. You might want to consider preemptive treatment with a common athlete's foot powder just to be safe.

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                • #9
                  Hey fellas:

                  Those of you in Japan frustrated with dirty men: if you look around real good, there are several places in Japan that specialize in DRY CLEANING MEN. Yes, bogu dry cleaning services. When I say "several places" I mean probably less than 10 in the entire country...

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                  • #10
                    OK to fix my moldy men problem I tried some rubbing alcohol and it seemed to have worked. Nothing came back the next day. Yesterday's practice ended with no consistent sneezing as well! The strange thing though which I did not mention is that it's a new men which I bought last month. I was surprised that the mold came so soon.

                    Olaf,
                    Thanks for the suggestion and with sudden coincidence we've got a place about 50 k from where I live. It's a dry cleaning service like you said and just opened. Hope to check it out soon. For starters I'll try cleaning my oldest one that I got. It's nasty! Let you know how it goes!

                    Jonathan

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