Queen Mary Kendo Club


shinai – 竹刀 – bamboo sword

shinaiImage from All Japan Kendo Federation Kendo Dictionary

Components of the shinai:
– kensen – tip
– sakigawa – leather covering the tip
– sakigomu – rubber piece inside the tip to keep bamboo slats in position
– take – bamboo
– monouchi – best cutting region, which is the top quarter of the entire shinai
(also see datotsu-bu)
– nakayui – leather strap tied around the shinai to identify the datotsu-bu
– jinbu – “blade” or cutting side
– tsuru – string to signify the side opposite the “blade”
– tsuba – guard
– tsubadome – stopper to hold the guard in place
– tsukagawa – leather covering the hilt
– tsukagashira – bottom of the hilt
– chigiri – square metal piece inside the hilt

Note: See http://www.shinai.org/housemef/shinaimaint/shinaimaint.html for a detailed guide to shinai maintenance.


bokuto – 木刀 – wooden sword, used in kata; also referred to as bokken (below right)

kodachi – 小太刀 – short wooden sword, used in kata (below left)

bokuto+kodachiImage from Kendo Sport


chakuso – 着装 – the way in which the hakama, keikogi and bogu are worn; Geoff Salmon covers this in more detail in his blog post

bougu – 防具 – armour

men – 面 – helmet

bogu-menImage modified from Baltimore-Annapolis Kendo

kote – 小手 – gloves

bogu-koteImage modified from Baltimore-Annapolis Kendo

do – 胴 – breastplate

bogu-doImage modified from Baltimore-Annapolis Kendo

tare – 垂 – thick fabric to protect hips and groin; the name plate (zekken) is worn on the middle flap of the tare

bogu-tareImage modified from Baltimore-Annapolis Kendo


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