Kendo armor have various specifications.
It reflects the commitment and ingenuity of the creator, but it’s also interesting to think about your favorite specifications of the kendo armor.
Please use this article as a reference when you purchase kendo armor.
- Basic specifications
- Men specifications
Men, Kote, and Tare of kendo armor are commonly made by combining cloth and leather “futon” and other parts.
The common specifications are explained below.
Kendo armor is often categorized according to whether the futon is sewn by hand or sewing machine.
〈手刺〉Tezashi (hand stitching)
The thick core material that cannot be sewn with a sewing machine is sewn together and tightened by hand, giving it excellent fitting in your body and shock absorption, and the dotted seams are beautiful to look at.
It’s recommended for anyone because it’s traditional and has excellent functionality, but the price is correspondingly high for the time and effort.
There are cheap Tezashi armor, but they often have a thin core material.
Armor made by simply sewing such a thin core material by hand, you can hardly feel the intrinsic goodness of Tezashi, and there is almost no difference from other than appearance.
Sewing futon with a sewing machine.
It’s cheaper than Tezashi, so it can be used for a wide range of budgets.
It means how finely the futon is sewn.
For Tezashi, a width of 1bu to 2bu5rin (2.5bu) is common, and for machine stitching, a width of 3 to 10mm is common.
The finer the stitching, the harder the futon will be, so as a result of considering the balance between performance and appearance, it seems that 2bu stitching for Tezashi and 6mm stitching for machine stitching are often selected.
※”bu” and “rin” are the old Japanese units of length.
Sewing interval of Tezashi (in Japanese)
Orizashi or Konkawa
It’s about the difference in lining for reinforcement and decoration of the armor surface.
Same material as Kendogi (kendo uniform).
Because it’s cloth, it’s light and sweat dries easily, so it’s relatively easy to handle.
It also looks rustic.
“Konkawa-shitate”, which is made of indigo-dyed deerskin, is common, and is characterized by high durability and a luxurious appearance.
There are other types of tailoring using cowhide and artificial leather, but most of them are used to keep prices down, and they are inferior to deerskin in terms of beauty and texture.
It’s also called tsume-zashi or sashiko.
Orizashi is made by machine, but this one is hand-sewn.
You can feel the overwhelming texture of hand stitching, but it’s a substitute for machine stitching, and it’s almost impossible to obtain because there are no craftsmen.
design of leather
There are various designs for the leather on the surface of kendo armor.
This design is often left to the craftsmen, and even if you can choose it, a simple one is good in the long run.
Mengane -Metal parts that protect your face-
Titanium, which is an alloy of iron, has both lightness and strength, and each metal piece can be made thin, so a wide field of view and a sharp appearance can be achieved.
The color also has a metallic astringent luster, giving Men a luxurious feel at once.
Duralumin, which is an aluminum alloy, is lighter than titanium, and is an essential specification if you want a light Men.
The color becomes a little whitish, and because it is soft, scratches and dents are easily noticeable, so it’s not often used for Tezashi armor or high-grade machine-stitched armor.
Mimigawa -Ear-shaped leather parts-
This part has the meaning of reinforcement and design of the bound part.
It gives a unified look to the Konkawa-shitate armor.
The black part of processed cowhide goes well with Orizashi armor.
Men-dare -shoulder part of Men- (1)sewing type
It’s a sewing type that sews the same width from end to end of the Men-futon.
This stitching method is often used for armor with fine stitching.
This is a method of sewing that is half the width of the Nobe-zashi.
The futon is thinner and harder, so even with a coarsely embroidered futon, it’s easy to create a beautiful Men-dare silhouette.
It’s a method of stitching diagonally so that the Men-dare can be easily bent along the shoulder, but it is not often used for Tezashi armor because there is a high possibility that it will hang loosely.
Men-dare (2)treatment of edges
It has a clean finish with no leather on the edges.
It takes time and effort, so it’s often used for high-end armor.
The edges are bound with leather and the corners are decorated with leather piece, giving it an elegant and calm impression.
It’s also called “Tsuki-dare”, and it’s a part that protects your throat from blows and greatly affects the impression of Men depending on the decoration called “Shokko”.
This decoration can often be chosen even for inexpensive armor, and recently, it seems that calm colors and designs are preferred over flashy ones.
Uchiwa/Ten/chi -ring-shaped part for the face-
It has a smooth texture and is good for quenching sweat.
It features a soft texture. I
t may be a little difficult to handle if you sweat easily.
The material pursues the texture and thirst of sweat, and it feels good to use.
However, there are many cases where the appearance is distinctive, so it is somewhat unsuitable when emphasizing the traditional atmosphere such as Tezashi.
It’s the leather piece that is stretched on the Uchi-dare and the back side of the ornamental thread.
Konkawa・・・It has a simple impression and is often used for high-class armor.
Chagawa・・・The brown color of the smoked deerskin contrasts with the navy blue fabric, creating an accent that experts like.
Midori-kozakura・・・Recommended for those who want to put together a classic impression with an old-fashioned design.
Inden・・・The deer leather with lacquer patterns gives it a luxurious feel.
In this article, we have looked at the basic specifications of the kendo armor as a whole and the detailed specifications of Men.
Some of you reading this may find it difficult to obtain kendo armor, so please use this as a reference when purchasing.
It’s a dream for all Kendo practitioners to be able to practice with their favorite armor.
Welcome to the profound world of kendo armor.
I hope you find this article helpful.