Shipping Kendo Equipment from Overseas

by Rinaldo

I'm currently living in Japan and practicing kendo in a smaller city.

I will be moving back to the US next month, but want to keep up my kendo studies, so I plan on sending my armor and equipment back. Since it is a smaller city, nobody in my dojo has gone overseas for kendo.

Do you have any information or advice on how to best ship equipment overseas? I think I'll avoid sea shipment since that takes 2-3 months, but I want to make sure to pack my Men, Do, Kote, Shinai, and Bokuto in a way that they'll avoid damage.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry about my late response. Not sure if you have already done this or you might not be able to because of the current situation. But I am going to answer this as best as I can.

First off, I always carry my bōgu with me when I travel. I don’t want anything to happen to my bogu. We can pack a set of bōgu very nicely in a suitcase.

I would rather ship other stuff to the US. If you are living in Japan, I understand you have some stuff you want to take back home with you. Choose the stuff that are not going to break easily (e.g. clothes). If you have books with you, I would mail them too since they will make your suitcase way too heavy. But if you don’t have many books, you might want to take them with you.

I would wrap bokutō with a bubble wrap, but I am not so concerned with shinai. We can buy a bokutō and shinai in the US so unless you really have good ones, you can leave them in Japan. I would probably want to keep the Japanese bokutō, if I were you because we cannot get an even standard bokutō (akagashi) with Japanese quality.

I hope you are safe and healthy. Not sure if you are still in Japan or back in the US. Either case, stay well.

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