How to order a Zekken - 2021

If you haven't ordered your own club zekken yet, you should do so as soon as possible. Zekken are the special bag-shaped garment? device? tag? that goes over the centre flap on your tare. It's a one-time cost because you can remove them easily and swap them to different bogu as necessary.

Above is a screen-shot of the new ordering page which Zen-Sankei has made easier for us at my request. Previously you could only order one zekken at a time and only using the account holder's name. But when I pointed out to them that we have families training with us, they made the change. Thanks Zen-Sankei! 

The main part of the zekken -- the Nanseikan name at the top and the logo in the middle -- are set up at the factory in Japan already. All you need to do is:

  1. Choose your size - choose large if you are using an adult sized bogu. All our new members (apart from Amelia) are wearing adult bogu.
  2. Choose type - all three types are fine, it's totally your preference depending on your budget. Machine print is the cheapest and quickest to produce.
  3. Input your name - where it says 'Name (bottom)' enter the person's first name in title case and then family name all in upper case, as per the example in the picture "Ben SHEPPARD".
  4. Approve the design - after your order has been received, Zen-Sankei will email you a picture of the proposed layout so you can double check that they have got the spelling of your name correct. You must approve it before they will go ahead and make the zekken, so keep your eye on your email inbox, and particularly your spam, junk mail or promotions boxes in case their email has been diverted by your email's filters.

Zekken that are properly manufactured are compulsory if you wish to take part in competition. The format shown here complies with Australian Kendo Renmei regulations. 

They are a product of the Japanese martial tradition where samurai announced their name and lineage before a duel. This was a sign of trust: sharing your identity makes you accountable and so you will behave in a fair and upright manner ("seisei-dodo"  正々堂々) .

But even if you're not entering comps yet, zekken make you feel part of the club and also the wider kendo community. When we are able to train again at other dojos in Melbourne or around Australia, your zekken will make you recognisable to other kenshi. After almost 20 years our name is quite well-known.


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