What is the protocol about what can go in a zekken?

by Tony

I go to two dojos to practice, one in the mornings that has a formal sensei and is very technical, and one in the evenings that is more of a sports club with several senpai but no central authority.

I intend to make myself a zekken with this symbol :
http://i.imgur.com/mY8IurQ.png with my name under it.

Is this acceptable? Can I go into a tournament with this?
What if I arrive in another dojo as guest?


Answer: Thank you for your question. Traditionally and what I know is you have your dojo name on top of the zekken and your name in the middle.

Some zekken has a dojo name on top, a dojo logo in the middle and at the bottom you have your name.

I do not think you should have a bear on your zekken. It is my personal opinion.

You should have a zekken of your instructor's dojo.

Hope this helps.

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Zekken layout and types

by Olga

Various Tare Formats

Various Tare Formats

It is very often mentioned that zekken should contain this and should not contain that and the layout of details can vary (name, surname, club or country or logo etc.)

Can you please explain according to AJKF what should be a proper zekken parts and how they should be located (i.e. layout)?

I mean if there should be a surname in the bottom and a club on top, or country on top, or should/can there be a club/dojo name in the middle, what about logo instead of the club name and so on.

Another question is about types of zekkens. Are there different types? Like for international championships we should use one type with certain layout and for seminars another.

Thank you!

Answer: Thank you for your question! And glad to hear from you!

Please take a look at the picture. It is from p.24 of “The Regulations of Kendo Shiai and Shinpan, The Subsidiary Rules of Kendo Shiai and Shinpan”, revised December 7, 2006 issued by International Kendo Federation

Through my experience, there is no “rigid” format. But depending on the nature of the tournament you participate, it must be determined.

The main thing we should remember is that zekken is to identify the person. So it should be recognized by everyone at the tournament that you are participating.

Team Name: This must be a group name that you are representing. If you are representing your regional federation in the national tournament, then the team name should be your regional federation. In my case, ESUCKF (East Central US Kendo Federation).

As you can see, the regulation book doesn’t say anything about putting a logo. But people do. And it is because it makes sense.

For example, take a look at the photo album of the international kendo tournament at FIK Flickr. You see a variety of zekken.

The most popular design is the national flag in the middle with the country name at the top and the name (last name) at the bottom in alphabet. This is very easy to understand.

Team Japan is a bit different. The flag at the top and the last name in kanji in the middle and the last name with an initial of the first name at the bottom.

I think as long as people understand who you are and what team you are representing, it should be OK.

Hope this helps.

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