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  • What do you have on your zekken?

    Japanese zekken are remarkably homogenous. You've all seen them: all have two, three or more small kanji across the top for the club name or city, and surname in kanji going down vertically. No exceptions (OK, other than visiting ZNKR snsei who sometimes have romaji along the bottom).

    Foreigners' zekken are much more varied. Badges, logos, names in roman type, kana, even transliterations of kanji.

    What do you have on yours? Is there a standard format in your club/region/country? Do you have more than one, perhaps for special occasions, or souvenirs from travel?

    b

    PS - this is my 100th post. Woohoo! Dr A, do I get a prize?

  • #2
    There are rules on what can be on a zekken.

    Usually it would look as such:
    ________
    |.......A......| A = Organization/Dojo name, horizontal
    |...............| B = Family name, in Kanji or Katakana, vertical
    |.......B......| C = First name, if someone in the Dojo has the
    |...............| same family name, vertical
    |.C............| D = Name in Romaji, horizontal
    |.......D......|
    --------------

    C and D are optional do not need to be on the zekken.

    For international matches, the country flag is placed between the
    Organization name and Family name

    Comment


    • #3
      my zekken has the logo of the University then my name at the bottom.

      Nothing too fancy, it looks quite nice.

      For some reasons I don't want to have my name written in katakana on my zekken. Not many people can read them here and japanese language has the tendancy to completly change your name to something quite special.

      I have seen some people with zekken in katakana and their name were making funnny words in japanese. anyway.

      But if I train in japan (which i really really want to do) I guess I have no choise and to put my name in katakana on my zekken

      Comment


      • #4
        My surname is done in kanji(saying oka )
        and dojo name in katakana
        Nothing special just a plane boring zekken

        Any bodyfs name translate in to any thing funny?

        Comment


        • #5
          Dojo name in kanji in the upper portion (Nan bu Kan)
          Katakana surname vertically (with some adaptation - Pori instead of Polli )
          And surname in Romanji at the botton. I wear no patches whatsoever, be them in the nafuda/zekken or the gi or do etc.

          I notice though that many people do wear badges around the arm on the keikogi.

          Comment


          • #6
            I usually find that having the name of the Dojo is extremely uninformative. Who can read it ?Japanese people, and it is highly unlikelly that they'll know where this particular dojo is. Whom are you trying to singnal to, with the name of the dojo ? to other practitionners you'll meet at a local/national competition, or during seminars, or when you visit thier dojo. The people at theae circumstances will be left none the wisest for seeing a couple of meaningless (to tem, of course) characters at the top of the zekken. Of course, it looks cooler :-) but is it the point of a zeken. I had this problem during a recent competition I went to: I could not identify the people, since I could not read the name of their dojo...
            A.

            Comment


            • #7
              One of the things I've always wondered about is why the kendo/kumdo community is so conservative and resistant to change.

              For example: Why are uniforms always blue or white? Why not red? Why not yellow? Would having a different color uniform *really* damage the game so much? Why not decorate our dos/hurries with images? Why must it always be black or gentle images of translucent maple leaves?

              One of the things I like about my dojang is the myong-pan (zekken). For ranks below 3-khup (kyu), the myong-pan is White with the dojang symbol in the center (it's actually quite beautiful, the Korean symbol of the rising sun, a mythical, 3-legged plumed crow). For 3-khup-1-khup, the myong-pan is bright red. For 1-dan and up, it's indigo, with gold decoration.

              I like the flare and color, and what's more, I like the fact that we stretch the convention a bit and help push the envelope. It's also helpful, because it gives a basic indicator of your opponent's rank at a glance.

              Comment


              • #8
                Long names and Kanji

                I use katakana of my first name and roman for my last. When I had to chose way back when, I only knew a few katakana and I did not want kanji (meaningless I'm not Japanese). So I chose Do-Re-Ru (easy to remember) latter when I moved back to the states I kept the do-re-ru and added Rittenberg in roman letters. Funny I still get emails and cards to Mr. Durrell which is kind of cute.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE]Originally posted by Achilles
                  [B]One of the things I've always wondered about is why the kendo/kumdo community is so conservative and resistant to change.

                  For example: Why are uniforms always blue or white? Why not red? Why not yellow? Would having a different color uniform *really* damage the game so much? Why not decorate our dos/hurries with images? Why must it always be black or gentle images of translucent maple leaves?

                  I've seen similar comments in other places and times about this saem question.

                  Some might say that the sober look is drawn from the zen influence of the art, which would be true even if it's not so zen anymore to a lot of people.

                  And some might say that it's because of tradition itself, which is also a nice argument.

                  I myself would say that indigo and white are nice enough, so why change? Dodai and Domune come in various fashions and colors, especially korean ones, and that's fine if you want to add fashion to your practice. However, I believe it's a futile kind of thought, because what really matters in the end is kendo in itself, not how fancy you look.

                  But no, I don't think it would damage 'the game' so much.


                  PS. In the braz. championship and shinsa people seemed to hunt people with fancy equipment
                  which were all westerner beginners, mind you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I personally think that the resistance to change was one of the best things about kendo. Kendo is the oldest of all the modern budo, but among the best preserved considering that it is practiced by many kendoka around the world. Most of the changes in Kendo are usually done out of safety.
                    If you look at Karate for example outside of Japan: in some places they use v-necked pullovers rather than uwagi, and have very strange belting systems.
                    Personally, I don't like visual indications of rank. You can usually can tell how skilled an oppent is just by their appearance, bearing, and seme.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No Kanji!!!

                      To all Western Kendoka:

                      Please, by all means, avoid using Kanji on your zekken!!
                      The name of your dojo in Kanji is fine, because it's (usually) suppose to mean something in Kanji. But your name... a direct pronounciation translation in Katagana is enough. It's kinda cool because using Katagana on your zekken would have indicated that you're a Westerner. But if you start using Kanji... You would have proved your misunderstanding of the Japanese/Chinese language.

                      By that I mean, on a Zekken, it should be your name and NOT some WWF players' title. I've seen people named themselves.... "Thunder Combat", "Male Deer", "Massive Rock"..... Which just make me laughed so much (from behind)

                      BTW, I think you can customize your zekken through Tozando.... Because the distinctive Gold thread on the Nenriki zekken is from Tozando. (Yes, the Dojo Mon/Logo, Name of Dojo and my Full Name in English are all Gold!!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: No Kanji!!!

                        Originally posted by mingshi
                        ...But if you start using Kanji... You would have proved your misunderstanding of the Japanese/Chinese language....

                        By that I mean, on a Zekken, it should be your name and NOT some WWF players' title.

                        (Yes, the Dojo Mon/Logo, Name of Dojo and my Full Name in English are all Gold!!)
                        - I have seen some pretty good translations of western surnames into kanji characters (well, what my modest Chinese profiiciency deems "good"). For instance, a certain Mr. Wilkin got his name translated into 3 kanji that meant (at least in Chinese) "proud and free flowing"...which I thought was pretty neat. (hmm...I guess translating it back to English loses some of the literary appeal) So I would say that if you can get someone who really knows what they're doing (Chinese or Japanese academic types, I would suppose) to do the translation for you, maybe it won't turn out as offensive as the ones Mingshi here has witnessed...

                        - Don't they call it WWE these days? Americans - please correct me if I'm wrong...

                        - Whoa...gold colored patterns/text on a zekken? Now, isn't that just as flamboyant as a bad kanji translation? What will they think of next, mini- neon lights and glow-in-the-dark zekken? I think Tozando has this zekken "customization" option featuring all the fancy colors just to cater to the gaijin (or "gwai-lo", if you prefer) crowd... smart business move.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Personally, I do not like the use of Kanji for people not belonging to east asia. Most Japanese names are very simple and relate to nature or a location, such as "Among Bamboo" (Takenaka), "Black River" (Kurokawa), "Three Fields" (Mitsuda). Seeing names such as "Flying Fierce Dragon" or "Victorious Military Man" somehow seems unnatural.
                          I believe it is WWE... I haven't been in the States for a while.
                          I have to argee with you Olaf about the "Multicolor Zekken". Zekken should only be blue with white lettering.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Your patronizing tones are collectively amusing. Let me just remind you that there are THOUSANDS of Koreans out there using multicolored Myong-pan as a matter of course. It isn't whimsy, it isn't showing off, and it isn't some "gaijin" license as you so dismissively put it. It's simply a DIFFERENT system that has evolved on its own for a very good reason.

                            Let me remind all of you that kendo is no longer just a Japanese sport. It belongs to the world, and the world is beginning to make its mark on it.

                            I certainly would hope that if I found myself across the court from one of you that my bright red zekken would receive the same courtesy and respect as I give your blue one. Lord knows that I treat EVERYONE with respect, regardless of the color of anything.

                            In my opinion, it's the KUMDO that matters, not the color of your stupid zekken.

                            Sheesh.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              relax guys!
                              it's only a zekken. I don't mind anyone wearing anything other than blue or whatever, but for some reaons i find it ugly when there is too many colors involve.

                              However, I saw some kendo tapes from korea where the players have big number on their back..hmmm it looked so wrong!! Anyway.....
                              I didn't reply to the post where you guys talked about the korea team uniform....but i have to say I find it very stlylish and still looks quite formal enough.

                              I normaly don't care about looks....hm but hey what do you think about short hakama for girls ?? would be sexy

                              hmm I don't make much sense right now...

                              good nite

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