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Origin of Zekken

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  • Origin of Zekken

    When were zekken introduced into kendo?

    Same time as bogu? or were they made when formalised shiai started to be arranged? or did the red/white flags serve as adequate identifiers?

    ...when was the first "formal" shiai? Was it an "all japan" affair?

    Are family names written on zekken because of the way Japanese address each other or was it brought in from other sports?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    Good question!
    Another question I have had is, where does the word Zekken come from?
    I would have thought name plate would be "Nafuda?"

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    • #3
      Doesn't it come from the German word "decken"?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by enkorat View Post
        Doesn't it come from the German word "decken"?
        The origin is uncertain, but that's the interpretation I think is most likely. They mean more or less the same thing, but zekken can also refer to a number on a player/runner whereas nafuda definitely implies a name. The nametags that hang in a dojo are also called nafuda.

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        • #5
          This is what I have heard: as well as the above I was told is also an evolution of nobori as a modern application of that principle.




          btw, before the "erudite" nazis start calling bullshit, is just something I heard and I am not certain about, so please don't bother.
          Last edited by JCM; 11th August 2007, 01:12 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by enkorat View Post
            Doesn't it come from the German word "decken"?
            What is "decken" supposed to mean?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lucy View Post
              What is "decken" supposed to mean?
              It's the the cloth that racehorses wear, printed with their number.

              N.B. I don't speak German. I just looked it up.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Oroshi View Post
                It's the the cloth that racehorses wear, printed with their number.

                N.B. I don't speak German. I just looked it up.
                Alright, that would be "Decke" (singular, Decken is Plural), but it doesn't necessarily mean that it has a number or anything on it, Decke means blanket or ceiling...

                Just my view, German is my first language, but I don't know anything about the origin of Japanese words.

                Oh, and the cloth that any horse wears under the saddle is "die Satteldecke".

                edit: interesting thread: http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10220
                Last edited by lucy; 11th August 2007, 02:35 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lucy View Post
                  I don't know anything about the origin of Japanese words.
                  A brief history of most Japanese loan words, presented as an overheard cellphone conversation:

                  "What does it mean?"
                  "Oh really? It sounds cool!"
                  "We'll take it!"
                  "We can use the word for something else that is completely unrelated, because it sounds cool!"
                  "Two words are always better than one!"
                  "Its takes too long to say! Lets abbreviate it with another unrelated word!"
                  "How do you pronounce R again? Nevermind its too hard!"

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                  • #10
                    When were zekken introduced into kendo?
                    Same time as bogu? or were they made when formalised shiai started to be arranged? or did the red/white flags serve as adequate identifiers?
                    From February 2002.

                    As Lucy showed with the thread link, Zekken is definetly German in origin.

                    Nafuda is probably the correct Japanese, but kids here say "tare namu" (tare name).

                    ...when was the first "formal" shiai? Was it an "all japan" affair?
                    That would have to be in the Edo period..... im guessing.

                    Are family names written on zekken because of the way Japanese address each other or was it brought in from other sports?
                    Got to be to do with Japanese naming rules.

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                    • #11
                      origin of zekken/nafuda? ---- to hold all kinds of things.. money, official AUSKF ID card, and most importantly, a chopstick or piece of bamboo or something to scratch your face with once you have on the bogu..

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                      • #12
                        Hello!

                        Doesn't it come from the German word "decken"?
                        I have heard that many times before.

                        From my knowledge, the idea of using Zekken on Kendo Bogu isnt older than 50 years. When you see the picture in the kendo book from Junzo Sasamori and Gordon Warner you see 2 competitors in a Shiai without a Zekken but with a sheet of paper that has a number on it placed on their Do-Mune. It seems to be introduced in the 1960s or 1970s. I have Photos from the german nationalteam of arround the early 1960s allready wearing "Zekken". Those are totally different from those we have today with white leather made letters, they are a bit simple but similar.

                        Regards
                        Sirsmokesalot
                        Last edited by Sirsmokesalot; 14th August 2007, 03:58 AM.

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