What is Kendo? How to buy Japanese Kendo equipment?

japanese kendo

Kendo, Japan kendō (“way of the sword”), is the traditional Japanese style of fencing with a two-handed sword made of wood, originated in the fighting methods of the ancient samurai (warrior class). In this article, we’ll dig deeper to learn about the brief history, the rules, and Japanese kendo equipment

1. What is Japanese Kendo?

Kendo is a Japanese martial art that is a wooden sword fighting technique. This sport originated from the Samurais fighting style. Since Japan achieved peace and unification in 1600, people no longer had the opportunity to actually fight swords.

However, people have developed this kind of Swordsmanship into an art form. Kendōka (or you can call it Kenshi) is a means for people to cultivate culture, practice discipline, and patience, as well as skills to protect themselves. The bōgu and shinai armor were used, a type of bamboo sword first appeared in the 18th century, allowing for practical fencing without the risk of injury.


What is Japanese Kendo?

These days, if you are a regular reader of Japanese culture, you will find many schools that teach kendo. The All-Japan Kendo Federation was established after the end of the occupation, which is in 1952 and the International Kendo Federation was established in 1970.

2. Kendo history

‘The Way of Sword’, embodies the quintessence of Japanese fighting art. Since the first Japanese samurai government, which is in the Kamakura period (1185-1233), fencing, along with horseback riding and archery, was the primary martial goal of the military clans. During this historic period, Kendo was increasingly developed under the powerful influence of Zen Buddhism. 

The samurai might equate the disregard for one’s own life in battle, which is considered necessary to victory in personal warfare, with the Buddhist conception of the illusory nature of life and death. 


Since that time, several warriors have been enlightened by practicing Kendo. Those swordsmen have established Kendo schools for centuries, and are the foundation of today’s Kendo.

3. The rules and operation of a Kendo match 

Each contestant (or people of say them Kenshi) is equipped with a traditional outfit and safety equipment when participating in the match. The accessories are culturally compatible. Some of the signature accessories include uwagi (jacket), men (mask), dō (chest protector), hakama (long slit skirt), kote (gloves), and tare (waist protector). 

The winner of the match is the one who gets 2 points first. The stage of the competition is about thirty to thirty-six square feet wide. Valid hits are on the right, left, or the top of the head; two sides of the trunk; left or right wrist; and create a thrust into the throat.


Also, the attackers have to attack with their blow. Shots are made of shinai, ranging in length from forty-three to forty-six inches, depending on player preference. Each shinai has two faces, the blow must be made with an angle considered sharp, although when held by two hands it will not be sharp.

4. Places to find Kendo equipment from Japan?

You can easily buy Kendo equipment in Japan, even if you are living abroad. Buying genuine Japanese products also makes you more assured of product quality. However, it will be a bit difficult if you don’t live in Japan. That’s where you need Janbox’s help, we connect you to Japanese sellers who supply all the accessories you need!

Janbox provides a proxy buying service in Japan. In other words, we will buy products from Japan on your behalf and have them delivered to your door. You can choose any shipping method, even if your store doesn’t support international delivery.

On Janbox, you can find and get Kendo equipment in three ways:

Method 1: Use the Janbox search bar. Go to Janbox website, simply enter the word Kendo (剣), select a Japanese kendo shop, and browse the products. Purchase from stores that specialize in kendo. Janbox highly recommends bokken and tozando shop.

Method 2: Buy directly on Japanese e-commerce websites using Janbox Extension. We have developed a quick-order tool that supports customers making a purchase on online domestic Japanese stores. Just install our tool and experience it now. For more details, you can read our guide here.

Method 3: If you cannot find products by yourself, our customer service center is available 24/7 to help you. Contact us via email support@janbox.com and send your questions or issues. We’ll try our best to deal with your problems. 

5. What accessories do I need to become a fully committed kendoka?

Japanese Kendo equipment roughly consists of three parts and is commonly referred to as Dogu.

The word “Dogu” means a device (gu) to use in a way (do). Kendo-gu is also an acceptable term – clothing, armor, and weapons. All are traditional forms. There are several modern materials available today, although natural products are often preferred.

The costume is based on traditional Japanese clothing, consisting of a kimono-style jacket (gi) and long pants (hakama).

Today’s kendo armor is the result of improvements in protection refined over two hundred years of development.

The weapons are basically unchanged, the bokuto is usually made of oak and the shinai is made of bamboo.


Japanese Kendo equipment

There’s a lot of gear you need to prepare to become a fully committed kendoka. We suggest you some necessary tools to practice Kendo. You can find all of these on Janbox:

  • Shinai: a bamboo sword to practice Kendo, people call it “the way of the sword”.
  • Kote: hand protection. Kotes have good resistance to and absorption of shocks.
  • Keiko-gi: A traditional cloth to support the intensive training you must undergo. It is a convenient garment that adapts perfectly to the kendo’s movements and provides a comfortable feeling.
  • Hakama denotes freedom of weightlessness and movement. It has many different patterns according to the material: polyester and cotton. It is comfortable and very durable.
  • Tenugui is a cotton cloth worn over the head when practicing Kendo.
  • Kendo mask protects your head during training and combat.
  • Back protector. Traditionally made of bamboo rods although often manufactured with composite materials, lacquered with cotton and embroidered on the top, and tied with strings.


From Europe to America, from Asia to Australia, Janbox can help you immerse yourself in the discipline teachings of Japan through Kendo. You know what Japanese kendo tools to prepare and which Japanese kendo store to buy.

Janbox hopes that you will find suitable items after reading our article. Now, good luck in your Kendo practice!