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Kendo equipment consists of the armour, uniform, and sword.

Kendo armour is called BOGU and consists of the MEN, KOTE, DO, and TARE.

The men (head protector/helmet) is constructed of the mengane (the protective grill made of either duraluminum alloy or titanium), the men-futon (the long pieces left and right of the mengane), and the tsuki (the protective throat flap). The men is designed to protect the head with minimal feeling of impact during a strike. However, the men must be fitted properly to function correctly, which includes learning how to wear the men.

The do (chest protector/breast plate) is constructed of either a lightweight fibre or bamboo and a leather mune (upper part of do). Technically, the do itself is only the hard lower part of the construction which is finished with leather trim and is designed to protect the stomach area; the mune is designed to protect the chest. Like the men, the do is worn my tying himo (strings/rope) to secure it on the wearer.

The kote (gauntlet) is made using either fabric, cow leather, or the more flexible deer leather outter shell. The palm of the kote can be made of either synthetic leather (more durable), cow leather, or deer leather. The kote must be made to order to ensure proper fit. Wearers are reminded to never pull the kote on or off from the fist (kashiri), but rather from the forearm portion (kote-bu/hiji) to ensure that the stiching connecting both pieces is not torn off. The kote himo can be tightened or loosened for better fit.


The tare or waist/abdomen protector consists of the wakihimo (belt), haraobi (waist protector), and the oodare/kodare (large and small flaps protecting the groin area. In addition, a kendoka wears his/her name on the center oodare. The name tag is called the nafuda or name sack (this is not to be used as a pocket). The nafuda will show the club/country name (country name for international tournaments) and the name of the kendoka in either English, Japanese, or Chinese characters. Other items that may be on the nafuda is the club crest or country flag.

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