Bogu is crucial to kendo practitioners as it provides protection to the vital parts of human body. Unfortunately as a female, I realised that the traditional kendo bogu did not address the difference between a male body and a female body.
Males normally tie their Tare just above their hipbones as that is the narrowest part of their body, whereas females tend to tie it higher around the belly button due to the hourglass body shape. If females put Tare where males do, it will be pushed up in action and get loose. It is commonly said that a Tare tied properly provides supports to the player’s lower back and furthermore, improves posture and helps to deliver better cuts. However, in case of females, the Tare is tied against their mid-abdominal area, pressing over stomach. This could result in compression on solar plexus and limiting player’s breathing. Another problem is that since females put on their Tare higher, they need to put Dou higher as well preventing the Zekken being partially covered by Dou. This creates a bigger cavity between the chest area and Dou Mune. As a result, when executing cuts, the Tsukidare on Men occasionally get stuck under the Dou Mune and limiting the player’s head movements.
Dou is another bogu part that needs attention. A traditional Dou design involves a straight Mune that is made of cowhide. Dou often pushes against female breasts in front however doesn’t provide any protection on the sides. Females are often seen having bruises on their breasts especially after practicing Dou-cuts with less experienced opponents.
This proposal consists a redesign for Tare and Dou. Tare has a taller Obi part, which goes to the front of the body, and wider Himo that goes across the back. This enables the pressure getting distributed evenly to a wider area, offering more stability and comfort. Tare Himo would become thinner towards the end so it’s easy to be tied even for female with less arm strength.
Two extra patches have been added to Dou on the sides, just under the arms. This area should be made of cowhide only with fewer layers to make it softer. It should be removable depends on player’s preference. The new design also includes a taller and curly Mune making sure that the Tsukidare always stays on top. The curve of Mune should fit female breasts, giving more comforts and security.
Thank you for your consideration.