Kendo Clothing and Bogu
Kendo clothing and bogu (equipment) consists of the following:
  1. shinai
  2. keikogi
  3. hakama
  4. men, kote, do, tare, tenugui (see equipment manual)

At Norwalk Dojo, beginners use shinai (bamboo swords) from the first day of practice. After that there is a set of guidelines for when beginners are allowed to begin wearing different items of clothing and bogu.

The basic parts of the shinai are labeled below:

The monouchi is the optimal point on the shinai for executing an effective cut. It is similar in concept to the "sweet spot" in other sports implements.

The image below illustrates how to tie the nakayui:

The image below illustrates tying various parts of the shinai (click on it for an enlargement):

The table below (from summarizes shinai sizes:




Jr. High School

High School

University Adult


Size 37

Size 38

Size 39
(Women:38 or 39)


Male& Female

less than 114

less than 117

less than 120



more than 440

more than 480

more than 510


more than 400

more than 420

more than 440



more than 25

more than 26

more than 26


more than 24

more than 25

more than 25


Ages Size
4-6 years old Size 32
7-9 years old Size 34
10-12 years old Size 36
13-15 years old Size 37

The image below illustrates folding the keikogi (click on it for an enlargement):

The image below illustrates folding the hakama (click on it for an enlargement):

(see also this more complete description)

The following equipment manual sections (pdf) were downloaded from the Fukuda Budogu site. See each section for details on construction, usage, and how to care for your bogu.
  • 1 intro; shinai
  • 2 keikogi and hakama
  • 3 tare and do
  • 4 men and tenugui
  • 5 maintenance; conclusion

©2006-2017. Norwalk Kendo Dojo. Everything within these pages are property of Norwalk Kendo Dojo and may not be used without written permission.