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lightest possible but with good quality bogu i can choose

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  • lightest possible but with good quality bogu i can choose

    I've been looking for answers and I've got bad results. I'm about to start saving for a bogu set. So, I've been reading this thread and I've found very good tips, but actually I have some question for you: What's the importance on 2mm, 3mm, 4mm? it's a matter of weight? decoration?

    Also, I am not a stronger guy, who loves to wear a 5 kilos do, so i would like to see if there's good do i can choose that could be: durable, good looking (not so important) and also really light weight as possible, any good advice on this?

    Also, Men set it's important, lightweight men made with good materials should be the most important.

    This question comes to me, after hearing many starters kendokas at my dojo, they told that it feels weird to wear the bogu set, they feel more weighty and everything become more hard now wearing the do and the men, they're weighty.

    So i cared about this, since using the shinai, so i choosed weighty shinais to do suburis and starting practice, then lightweight shinai for later excersices so i want to choose a good bogu set (made part by part if necesary) that could be lightest possible but with good quality...

    Any good advice on this would be helpful.

    Thanks all.

  • #2
    you don't feel the weigth of the bogu when you wear it except maybe for the first few times...
    2mm 3mm..etc..its' the spacing between the stiches, the closer theya re, the better it will protect you and the less it will "hurt". But for a beginner bogu, just get a 4mm or 5mm machine stiched, you don;t need more and they are the cheapest

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    • #3
      There was an article in the April edition of `Kendo Nihon` that attempted to address some of the misunderstandings regarding what makes good bogu. For a start, these days it`s not necessarily the case that hand-stitched is better, as machine-stitching technology has come on a great deal. The main reason to buy hand stitched is because a) it looks good, and b) it`s something that has a lot of the craftsman`s time invested in it.
      For both machine and hand stitched bogu, closer stitched items (ie 2, 3mm or 1, 1.5bu) are generally popular because most people tend to think that they look better, and because the close stitching means that the cotton retains the shape that you force it into better than wide-stitched bogu, meaning that it`s easier to make a shape that you like. Recent innovations such as diagonal stitching on the men-dare (shoulder flaps) came about with this in mind. However, close stitching, if anything, provides less protection than wider stitching because it makes the cotton very stiff, and impedes the `shock-absorber` function of the stuffing within to some extent.
      A guy featured in the same issue who used to be in Kanagawa prefectural police and is a bit of a bogu freak used hand stitched with a spacing of somewhere between 2 and 3 bu (don`t remember exactly, and each piece of equipment was different). So you can see that the experts agree that close stitching is not necessarily the best. Although this guy made the shop alter the lengh of his men-dare by 5mm, so maybe he`s taking it a bit far...
      If you really want a light men, but don`t want to sacrifice protective value like so many lightweight men do, then I advise the Kanagawa Hakkodo A-1 Men. Extremely popular among all levels, and used by almost all of the Kanagawa police and may others besides, it uses a different padding inside the cotton to most other men, meaning that it is lighter without losing protection. Many other men also have the following feature, but by heavily padding the top of your head and making the men-dare thinner, the load is lightened further. Also, it fits to your head in 1 or 2 practices, and is easy to make into a cool shape so that you can be a rich boy show-off! I don`t know if you can even buy from hakkodo overseas, but I hear that Eiko budo are making what is basically an exact copy for about 10000yen less, and they do overseas trading (I think, I`ve never bought from them). Actually, now that I think about it, I`m not sure whether it`s Eiko or Koei (they both exist)... sorry! (Now that I read that over, seems like a bit of an add. But I didn`t intend it as such, and anyway, as I said, it`s not easy to get hakkodo stuff from overseas, so if I`d meant it as such then I`d be wasting my breath a little...

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      • #4
        A1 Men

        Kingofmyrrh, where i can see Kanagawa Hakkodo A-1 Men for buying or reviewing it?

        Comment


        • #5
          their website is www.kanagawahakkodo.co.jp
          ... but it`s in japanese. However, a little trial and error should see you through.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kingofmyrrh
            There was an article in the April edition of `Kendo Nihon` that attempted to address some of the misunderstandings regarding what makes good bogu.

            A guy featured in the same issue who used to be in Kanagawa prefectural police and is a bit of a bogu freak used hand stitched with a spacing of somewhere between 2 and 3 bu (don`t remember exactly, and each piece of equipment was different). So you can see that the experts agree that close stitching is not necessarily the best. Although this guy made the shop alter the lengh of his men-dare by 5mm, so maybe he`s taking it a bit far...
            ...
            If I remember correctly, that would be Arima sensei.

            He was referring to how he wanted the men futon to be EXACTLY 19cm wide and 109 cm long. He wouldn't accept variance of more than 5mm on those dimensions.

            His bogu was 3bu (9mm).

            He was actually taking out the filling of his kote because he thought it was too full, making the craftsman complain in the process.

            Very funny article.

            Makes me wonder about bogu stitch width.

            Is there anyone who can give a comparision between the Kanagawa Hakkodo A-1 Tokuren Men and the new Mitsuboshi Mine Men?

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              That`s the guy! It was a pretty amusing read...
              About 5 or 6 people that I know use the A-1, and none of them have anything but good things to say about it. It`s startling light, but everyone I`ve asked says that it doesn`t hurt at all. I don`t know so much about the Mitsuboshi pitch men, but I think it`s pretty similar, except for maybe the tiniest bit heavy. However, it definitely doesn`t look quite as nice as the A-1, mainly because the stitching is wider. I hear that it`s harder to get different options with the mitsuboshi men as well.
              Anyway, as you can see I don`t know all that much, but if I tell you that my new A-1 men should be ready to pick up in less than a month, then you can guess which I prefer...
              If you look at the forums at ichinikai then they`ll almost certainly have some opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by utsutsu
                ...This question comes to me, after hearing many starters kendokas at my dojo, they told that it feels weird to wear the bogu set, they feel more weighty and everything become more hard now wearing the do and the men, they're weighty...
                Any bogu will feel heavy during practice in comparison to not wearing bogu. For example, if you jogged 5 kilometers. It doesn't matter if you are wearing a 4 kg backpack or 3.5 kg backpack, jogging the 5 km will feel more difficult with either backpack compared to not wearing a backpack.
                In kendo, if you have a 5 kg bogu or 4.5 kg bogu, either are going to feel heavy during practice compared to wearing no bogu. The kendoka in your dojo experience the same thing everybody else does.
                I suggest a flashy bogu regardless of weight.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Flashy is the key.. I've often thought of painting a Sponge Bob, Scooby Doo, or an artistic version of the Spice Girls on my do. HAHAHAHA!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grasshopper_r2
                    Flashy is the key.. I've often thought of painting a Sponge Bob, Scooby Doo, or an artistic version of the Spice Girls on my do. HAHAHAHA!
                    You could use a custom made spice girls hakama.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      for the price i went with yamato do, however, i also understand yamato do is lighter than bamboo do and gives a good protection.

                      for the men, i went with IBB titanium men gane. titanium is stronger than aluminium (i always thought titanium was lighter and stronger). IBB (Ideal Better Balance) makes it feel much lighter from what the other members were saying.

                      for kote, i went with one of the top machine made one after reading i can't go wrong with this one.

                      today was my first day in bogu, i didn't think it was all that heavy at all. and this bogu was one of those old beginner bogu that one of my senior dojo mate has for sometime.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've seen a couple of nice bogus at our dojo-light weight and durable-lately. Chiba bogu's Mine 6mm machine stitched bogu and Moribudo-gu's M-4 4.5mm hand stitched bogu. As Kingofmyrrh mentioned about Hakokodo A-1, both Chiba bogu's mine and Moribudo-gu's M-4 has nice and thick padding where you need protction but thinner padding on other parts so it improves mobility and makes the bogu light weight without loosing the most important purpose of bogu-protection. Compare to other bogu's I've seen including my own bogu, those two bogus have very important point, the protection is put where you need it.
                        Their kote also have plenty of padding on wrist area but still flexible where it need.
                        Although M-4 is hand stitched whereas Mine is 6mm machine stitched, their price are almost the same. But still, I wouldn't underestimate the look of 6mm Mine only because it is machine stitched bogu. It looks totally different....much better than normal machine stitched bogu. Good luck with your bogu shopping!!
                        Last edited by Taek; 4th October 2004, 09:40 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I received this interesting document from Michael Komoto San from Chiba bogu when I made inquiry about Mine bogu. I haven't got his permission but I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing with others. I had to delete customizing part as it was to long to submit here.
                          Sorry for the long post.

                          About the Mine Bougu
                          The Mine bougu was jointly designed by key persons in the Japanese bougu manufacturing community, in particular a few of the last remaining all hand-made bougu craftsmen, and Mitsuboshi, including its employees who are active kendo practitioners.
                          The intention was to develop an affordable bougu that possessed the good qualities that are prized in high-level tezashi, or hand-stitch cushion bougu.* This would necessarily be done by devising a cushion manufacturing method that employed machine-stitching, to keep costs down, while still allowing pillow-ey but nice-shape-keeping properties of a tezashi cushion.
                          From the onset, it was understood that the same high-quality components employed in expensive hand-made bogu must be used.* This includes real Japanese indigo dyed fabric and leather, leather trim, and the unseen padding on the inside of the cushions, a combination of selected materials to provide for good protective properties, shape-keeping, sweat resistance, and durability.
                          In a real high quality hand stitched men-futon, the cushion portion, may have 10,000 to 20,000 stitches, after which the stitches are individually re-tensioned for the right combination of tautness and flexibility.* Such a men-futon takes one skilled craftsperson up to one month to produce on their own.* This is for the raw futon, not including trim and decorative treatments that are applied later, again by skilled craftspersons.* This is the reason why machine stitching would be absolutely necessary to keep costs down.
                          Of course, hand-stitched cushions are also produced without this high degree of care, but the product while less expensive, do not possess the delicate balance of good protection, pliable comfort, or good shape-keeping properties.* Other cost saving approaches to keep cost down in less expensive tezashi sets are to replace leather trim with cloth trim; to use manmade dyes, and in the most drastic of cost cutting steps to use only a few or a single type of padding materials that is not necessarily suitable for bougu.* Even so, these bougu still command a high price.
                          What is different about the Mine machine bougu and why is it superior to other machine- or hand-made bougu?* First it is useful to know the development of machine made bogu:* With the reintroduction of kendo*occurring at the same time*labor cost*were rising*in Japan, children's bogu was the first place machine made futon came into use.* The implementation of kendo as a regular curriculum item in the Japanese education scheme created an overnight requirement of huge amounts of bougu, with the expectation of a regular turn-over each year.**The development of the mass-production approach*was natural, as children do not require such expensive items, and would only use the equipment for a short term.* Therefore the machine-made industry developed and became a firm part of the bougu-making landscape.* Labor and material costs continued to rise along side Japan's rise to affluence.* Naturally, machine made bougu extended into the realm of common-use adult bougu.
                          Due to manufacturing and cost factors, machine stitched bogu developed along a separate line from its hand-made parent:* Synthetic materials which were not so sophisticated, that had been employed in the children's bougu, naturally found their way into the adult bougu.* Man-made dyes and materials have also been employed.* Certain materials and padding that facilitated sewing by machine were selected over other traditional materials, with less regard for properties or suitability.
                          Also, a different line of conceptual approach developed:* stiffer and harder eventually have become the 'good' and more expensive aspects of machine bogu, with a "more is better" approach, early machine made bougu of 5 and 6 mm pitch (thread line distance apart) were eventually narrowed to 3 to 4 mm, and in recent times to 1.5*to 2mm for "real expensive"*machine made bougu.* The thinking had change diametrically from the pliable and cushion-ey nature of hand-made bogu to a bullet-proof-mentality for machine-made armor.
                          With the near disappearance of completely Japanese hand-made bougu, and consideration of the last generation of pre-war and immediate post war hand-made bougu craftsmen who are now going into retirement, a lot of thought as to the future of the Japanese bougu industry was made.* Along with the few handful of experts, Mitsuboshi textiles, with a staff of people who both practice kendo themselves and know the manufacturing side of things, machine-made bougu has been re-thought, in one way, reverse-engineering hand-made bougu in the aspects of comfort, protection, and use of high-quality materials. By re-examining the technique of sewing the futon, taking advantage in more*sophisticated machines and operator technique, the pitch, and most importantly the tension of the stitch were examined.* Instead of following the more-is-better approach, experiments and tests versions were made to find the good combination of stitch, thickness, pliability versus protection, on par with that of a high-quality tezashi bougu.
                          The result is the 6 mm pitch Mine bougu.* 6 mm pitch thread width is the near equivalent of 2-bu tezashi.* In olden days, tezashi futon were of over 3-bu, 2.75 bu, 2.5 bu, and 2-bu with 1.5 being the supreme small stitch which was of greatest expense.* The emergence of 1.2 and 1.0 tezashi has been in the recent modern age, and probably as a result of the influence of the Japanese affluence, and conspicuous consumerism that arose during the so-called "bubble" economy, and perhaps a similar trend that occurred along side the parallel machine-made induced tighter stitch is better mentality.
                          While they were at it, the developers of the Mine bougu took their fresh and practical approach, and treated the various parts of bougu differently, based on function. For example, the men futon is thicker on the crown than the men-tare, the flaps.* The men-tare has a different ratio of padding and a tighter stitch to keep it stiff for protection while maintaining good shape keeping properties.* In the ten-chi, the chin and forehead pads, where sweat transfers to the critical areas of construction of the men, causing those parts fail prematurely, moisture barriers have been added, to reduce or altogether stop the propagation of sweat to these areas.
                          Also, the men futon is sewn in "fukuro-zashi," or sewn like a bag, that is, the men-tare is, from the beginning, cut to the exact finished length desired in the custom order, and the ends sewed closed like sealing the opening of a bag.* It is much more exacting and labor intensive compared to making a stock length, chopping the ends off, and covering the cut edge with a bead of trim; however, this feature found only on high-end tezashi men is much more refined.

                          The kote have been designed for flexibility and cushion-ey quality.* This requires a balance of the type of padding and thickness, to provide for both comfort and protection.* An additional step, the right kote, where strikes are most commonly received, an extra layer of padding is included.* (This feature can be added to the left side kote for jodan and nito kenshi.)* The main point, the protection is put where you need it.
                          The tare, although being quite simple in appearance, is in my opinion, one of the nicest parts of the bougu.* The tare does not receive many, or heavy strikes for the most part.* In contrary, it wraps around the soft part of the body where a lot of movement takes place, and also compresses the part of the body where a significant portion of the breathing activity takes place.* The Mine tare, the flaps,*have been purposely been kept thinner and stiff, thinner as the strikes are not so heavy, and stiff enough to provide protection for those occasional low strikes that are encountered.* But most importantly, the tare, and in particularly the tare-mae-obi, the belt portion, is pliable.* This pliable obi allows for free movement and comfortable breathing.* For example, while doing za-rei, seated bowing from seiza, you may not feel like you are wearing a tare, at all.
                          Other general features:*The edges of the futon throughout the set are sewn with a tighter stitch than the main body of the futon.* This makes the edge stiffer, more durable, and better shape-holding.* These are features adopted directly from tezashi bougu design.
                          As you can see, many attributes such as high quality materials, manufacturing and design approaches have been employed to create the truly sophisticated and high-quality bougu. The selective use of materials depending on location and function, to provide for protection, comfort, and good shape-keeping qualities that we expect in a high-end tezashi bougu have been carefully thought-out.* All of this has been done while keeping the right balance of affordability in mind.
                          *This bougu has become a great success in Japan, with many policemen, career kendo teachers, and lifestyle kendo practitioners.* For many of us, it is considered the best bogu as far as comfort, bar none.

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