8 Simple Steps for a Tidy Tenugui

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We had a request yesterday for a guide to wearing the tenugui, which was a great idea! Here today to help us demonstrate is none other than KendoGirl.com CEO and President, Lot. She is excited to take us through the steps in her pink leggings … claiming she didn’t want to have to re-fold her hakama, insert eye roll.

1 . Take a look at your tenugui

While sitting in seiza, look at the tenugui, holding it by the top corners. For two sided tenugui, make sure any calligraphy or design is facing you. For one sided tenugui, make sure the pattern or words are facing away from you. Or in Lot’s case, since her tenugui is two sided and has no calligraphy, either side facing you will work just fine.

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2. Pull it over the top of your head

Pull the tenugui over your head so the edge is against your hair line / nape of your neck and then pull the corners forward.

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Here is a view from the back …


3. Pull first corner across your forehead

Starting with either corner, pull the tenugui across your forehead, right above the eyebrows. It is helpful to keep your elbows up to give yourself enough room to maneuver.

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 4. Do the thumb tuck (optional, it’s a “Lot” thing)

Before you bring the other corner around the forehead, Lot suggests holding the first corner against your head with your thumb. When you bring the second corner around, slowly wiggle your thumb/hand out, and the other side of the tenugui will now be holding the first corner in place.


5. Pull second corner across your forehead

The second corner will wrap around the forehead the same way as the first. Try to keep the fabric tight enough to stay secure, but not too tight as to cause discomfort.

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6. Pull the tenugui upwards so you can see!

Now you can pull the corner by your chin upwards and toward the back of your head carefully, which will tuck the second corner into place.

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7. Tidy up a little

Do a little straightening if need be, along the sides or back. Sometimes you need to fold the little flap on top under itself, so there is no “chicken tail” flapping out the back of your men. Also make sure the tenugui is not riding too close to your eyebrows, so that when wearing men, you cannot see the tenugui through the mengane.


8. If need be, try again!

If it feels weird or you make a mistake, just try again! You will find that pretty soon, you will be able to put it on with no problem at all, similar to this goofball.


Thank you to Lot for being an excellent instructor for the low, low cost of a $5 bribe. If you are interested in the tenugui in this demonstration, you can find it by clicking here.

Until next time, happy keiko!



Kendo Girl Shinai Safety Guide: Intro!

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Basic Shinai Safety – Keep All Kenshi Safe!

Tis the season for making sure your shinai is in tip top condition and safe for practicing all year round! It is important for all kenshi to take a look at their shinai carefully before and during each kendo practice or event. Especially in climates where the humidity in the air fluctuates (I am looking at you fellow Midwestern-ers), caring for your shinai is a serious responsibility. By caring for your shinai, you can help avoid injuries to yourself and your kendo friends.

Be on the lookout for …

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  • Splinters or cracks, especially on the monouchi (valid striking area of the shinai)
  • Any wear or tears in the sakigawa (leather tip at the top of the shinai)
  • Loose or frayed tsuru (strings)
  • Untied or loose nakayui (strip of leather holding the tsuru in place on the top of the shinai)
  • Torn or broken tsuka (leather handle at the bottom of the shinai)
  • Anything that could result in the shinai coming apart during use!

With frequent quick checks, you can avoid injuries and keep kendo 100% fun and safe!

Stay tuned for the do’s and don’ts of shinai repair, coming soon!
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