An old kendo friend, Tashiro sensei, is currently in the UK on a business visit. Tashiro sensei is one of the few non-professional kendoka to have passed 8th dan at the first attempt. He runs a bogu business in Saga-ken called Tenpudo and is in Europe to introduce a new range of bogu called Hotaru “Firefly”.
Similar to Chiba Bogu’s Mine range, Hotaru is machine made bogu that embodies the suppleness and absorbency of 2 bu hand stitched equipment. It is particularly light and easy to wear and incorpoarates various options, such as extra padding on the right kote and porous kote palms.
A lot of thought has gone into the design, and features such as shorter men flaps and diagonal stitching ensure that the bogu allows freedom of movement for the user. It comes in three different quality and price ranges with a choice of titanium or duralumin mengane. There are four standard sizes and a made to measure service.
Dou are not included in the Hotaru set, but Tenpudo can add these to the package. They feature some extremely good same dou lookalikes. Their web site is at http://ww4.et.tiki.ne.jp/~tenpudo7. The site is currently in Japanese, but an Enlish version will follow soon.