Maruyama Kendo Supply:
Recommended Kendo Equipment Shop

Maruyama Kendo Supply is a kendo equipment shop I am dealing with since January 2009. Since they have been treating me nicely as a customer and their products are very nice, I would like to introduce the shop and give you some review on the shop and heir products.

I tried all the products introduced here, by the way. I do not want to recommend/not recommend anything I have not tried. That is the policy of Kendo-Guide.Com.

Overall Rating

I am very satisfied with Maruyama Kendo Supply. I will recommend the shop to anyone. I believe that kendo is about people and so is business. If I cannot have a good relationship with a kendo supplier, I do not want to do business with them.

I also want to provide my students good kendo equipment for reasonable price. Their products are very atisfactory and I will get my students their products introduced here unless I find better products somewhere else.


Since the beginning, I have been dealing with Mr. Jeff Chen. I did not tell him who I was. I did not tell about Kendo-Guide.Com. I did not want any special treatment because of my grade (5th dan, instructing at two dojo) or this website. I wanted to see how they would treat a customer.

Mr. Chen treated me very nicely as a customer. I had good feelings with him and I liked his attitudes towards kendo, I decided to try his products.

He also mentions that he does not want to grow quickly because he does not want to decrease his service quality. I like the fact he treat his customers well and before his own profit.


Usually Maruyama Kendo Supply ship right after you place an order. I received my orders relatively fast.

For example, I placed an order on Monday and the products came on Thursday. By the way, the products were shipped from California to Indiana.

If you are familiar with the US mailing system, you can figure out if it is fast or not. I will leave the decision to you.

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Quality of the Products

My biggest concern was the quality of their products as well as their service. Especially I had a problem with my students' bokuto/bokken. So I needed to get the bokuto that would satisfy me.

Mr. Chen was kind enough to send samples to me before I bought them. The below is the review of their bokuto.

Red Oak Bokuto

Bokuto comes with tsuba (hand guard) and tsuba dome (hand guard stopper).

The shape of their bokuto is the same as Japanese one. I am happy about the size of the grip (tsuka). It is the right size for kendoists.

Compared to Japanese bokuto, their bokuto is a lot more reddish and more shining. I thought their bokuto was varnished.


Apparently Maruyama Kendo Supply put lacquer on their bokuto. My suggestion to them was to lessen the amount of lacquer because it gets slippery when we get sweaty.

Mr. Chen took the suggestion and told me that he was going to take the idea for the next order (year 2010). He really takes my reviews really seriously. Again he did not know about this website then.

When they have bokuto with less lacquer, their red oak bokuto will be perfect.

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Bamboo Bokuto

Bokuto comes with tsuba (hand guard) and tsuba dome (hand guard stopper).

I like these bokuto. The bokuto is made by some pieces of bamboo compressed together. They are very light and looks beautiful. My concern was the strength.

Since the bokuto is compressed bamboo, I was not sure if it could take the impact of hitting other bokuto (Uchiotoshi in Bokuto Kihon-ho for example). I have not yet seen any damages on the bokuto. If you have extra spending money, I think you would enjoy this bokuto.

bamboo bokuto,bokuto kodachi,comparison,

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Shinai comes with tsuba (hand guard) and tsuba-dome (hand guard stopper). I checked the inside of a shinai. You have to check the inside of a shinai if you want to know if they are good or not.

shinai,different length,

The pieces of bamboo are nicely matched. You presume that they are already matched but even in Japan they can be real bad sometimes.

You want to check if you can see any signs of bugs. If you see small holes inside the shinai, there is a strong possibility that the shinai has bugs.

I did not find any bug holes. Bamboo pieces were clean and nicely put together.

shinai, thickness,check

Maruyama Kendo Supply use fancy tsuka (leather grip) for even kids' shinai. In my area in Japan, we call this type of tsuka "hachimaki". That was a nice surprise for me because usually they do not use fancy stuff for normal shinai. I think they want to make their products look nice.


You can also ask for dobari shinai. I got one and it was a very nice dobari.

I asked for a shinai that is light-weighted at the kensaki. That means the weight of the shinai is close to the tsuka. It is a dobari so it usually has its weight closer to tsuka but I just wanted to make sure I get the right one for me.

Apparently the shop has various kinds of shinai so my plan is to try all the different shinai types they have. I will report on them too.

Koban Shinai

koban dobari shinai
Koban Tsuka Gashira Normal Shinai Tsuka gashira
Koban Tsuka-gashira Normal Tsuka-Gashira

The koban shinai Maruyama sells have a really fat tsuka. What I mean by a fat tsuka is that the grip is really thick so if you have big hands, you probably like it.

What I like most is the balance. Since it is also a dobari, the weight of shinai is close to its tsuka so it feels lighter at the kensaki. It is the balance I like but some people may not like that balance.

Three students of mine likde the koban shinai I had and they ordered some shinai for themselves too.

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Keikogi and Hakama

I ordered a single layered (single weight) keikogi for myself for summer (this product is coming this summer (2009)).

No complaints about it. It is, of course, light because it is for summer so it is a bit thinner than even normal single layered keikogi.

Single Layer keikogi,single weight keikogi,

The front one is Maruyama's single layer keikogi for summer.

single layer,single weight,keikogi,

The left one is Maruyama's single layer keikogi for summer.

single layer,single weight,keikogi,thickness comparison,

Comparing thickness. The top one is Maruyama's single layer keikogi for summer.

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I have not tried their hakama (#8000 or above) and their normal single layered keikogi yet.

Keikogi and hakama set for beginners

I have ordered two sets of keikogi and hakama for my students (adultand child). They are well-made keikogi and hakama, and are definitely for kendo. Some keikogi and hakama sold online just do not look like they are for kendo. I will order these for my beginners.

I will report on the keikogi and hakama that my students got from the shop in the near future.

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Shinai Bag

I ordered a shinai bag for my student. I quite like the design. In old days, shinai bags used leather belts to lock the top (see the picture). But the leather belts are worn out after a few years.

shinai bag,worn out,

The shinai bag of Maruyama Kendo Supply uses plastic locks (see the picture). It is a bit more expensive than those with the leather belts that are sold in other kendo shops. Unless the plastic lock is broken, the bag last a lot longer than the ones with the leather belts.

shinai bag,plastic lock,
shinai bag,tsuba keeper,

This is the part where you keep your tsuba and tsuba-dome.

shinai bag,plastic lock,

Nice plastic lock.

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I have tried their 2-bu (ni-bu) bogu set. Please go to "Maruyama 2-bu Bogu Set Review"

Bogu Bag

I have not tried a bogu bag yet.

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Check out Maruyama website and ask them questions about their products using the form, so Maruyama Kendo Supply will know that you contact them through


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