Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Bogu Stand

It"s been over a year since I got my bogu for kendo. Rather that having the hot sweaty armor sit in a dark back in the corner of my office after each practice I decided that I would like to air it out so that it doesn't get that used bogu smell that the sport is so famous for. After hours of use and profuse sweating the armor ends up smelling like sweaty gym socks. Keeping anything that is drenched in sweat in a warm dark place can't be good. So, wanting to avoid this, I decided to make a stand for for the bogu. I saw several different versions of stands that people have made over the years posted on various forums on the Internet. So with no official plans to work off of I decided to wing it. I laid out the armor and measured it carefully and began to sketch and think of all options that I would need for the design. It took me a long time to build it but I adjusted my plans several times as well and made slight adjustments to accommodate accessories that I did not think of.

Far from perfect the stand came out nicely with only a table saw, and a cordless drill as the only two tools that were used. For my Birthday, Jill ordered and framed some Japanese calligraphy for me. Hanging above the armor the Shodo reads "Ken-ko" or "The glint of a sword."

Today at practice during keiko, one of the black belts said to me, "You are now a real Kendoist, your armor smells like it." Not sure that If that was an insult or a complement meaning that I practice quite a bit or that I just smell bad. But my initial purpose of the stand has obviously not been effective.

I'll spend sometime this weekend cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide. If that doesn't work I'll order some spray-on bogu cleaner, a sort of Japanese Fabreeze that is designed to deodorize the equipment. But for now, in between practice sessions the armor sits and waits.

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