How to Design a Custom Kendo Bogu

How to Design a Custom Kendo Bogu

Bogu set is a necessary equipment for kendo.
Amongst all kendoka, there are some people wearing a bogu set with a unique design, different do, etc.

We recommend you to get a bogu that suits your needs, size, and design.
We would like to explain the method to order a custom design bogu, and the popular designs in modern days. 

In the past blogs, we’ve been talking about how the function changes depending on the stitching and material. 
Click here to check out the past blogs.

The Method to Order a Custom Bogu Set
Designs for a bogu set is unlimited with all sorts of combinations with parts, kazari (decorations), stitching, colour, etc.
Now, what kind of options are actually available to choose?

 ーKazari Thread (Decoration Thread)ー 
This is the decoration thread that all bogu parts have.
Firstly, it is better to decide the colour of this kazari thread.
The black kazari thread is common for the default bogu set.
Budogu Zen's 'off the shelf' bogu uses the traditional colour called 'Konpi' (dark indigo colour) for kazari thread.
There are various selections like brown, white, light navy, etc.
The available colour variations vary depending on the bogu store.

 ーTsuki Guard & Do Muneー 
Once the colour of kazari thread is decided, next is the design of a tsuki guard and do mune (chest guard).
The kazari thread will be part of the design as well.
Tsuki guard usually have 4 or 5 lines of kazari thread, and will add a design to any remaining open space; or it is common to add a 'X' design.
'X' design tends to blend in well with any bogu so it works well if you are mixing bogu parts.
Each bogu store carries various design patterns.
For example, Budogu Zen's "Hon-gumo Kazari" with the traditional, luxurious look and "Kanto-matsuri Kazari" are popular.
Some customers intentionally choose a simple design as well.
Shokko Design
Do Mune Design
Lastly, the do-dai, where it receives strikes.
Do-dai's design can vary depending on the material of the do-dai.

Take-Do (Bamboo Do):
This do-dai is made out of bamboo pieces combined together as a base, and hand painted urushi (lacquar) to finish up the do.
In order to make this do beautiful, a craftsman repeatedly paint, sand the surface, and paint again to add so many layers to have a deep, mirror-like shining do.

Resin Do:
This do is made out of resin and the design is spray painted.
It is affordable compared to take-do.
This do has various design pattern similar to the cars body painting.

Fiber Do:
This do is made out of a stack of compressed papers, and a craftsman either hand paint or spray paint the design.
The base weight is so much lighter and very comfortable to use.
Do-dai Design
You can make your own custom bogu set by combining all the designs.
If you are investing more money to get a bogu, I think it's a nice additional touch to purchase a bogu that's only meant for you.

Please feel free to contact us if you do not know what kind of designs you like.
We are more than happy to help you out, and make an original design for free!
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