In World Kendo Championship 2018, Dutch National team members wore special team Bogu. It was sponsored by Chinese Bogu-shop owner, Xiaoxu Yang. Why he sponsored bogu?
Born in October 1981 in Beijing, China (37 years old)
Studied Bachelor in International Business and Management Studies in Eindhoven, and Master of Science (MSc) in International Business in Tilburg.
Started to practice Kendo in Eindhoven in late 2009 and started Iaido in late 2010. Currently holding 3-Dan in Kendo and 2-Dan in Iaido.
Why did you study in the Netherlands?
At the beginning, I know that the tuition fee and living costs in the Netherlands was not that expensive, compared with UK and US. The location of the Netherlands is also easy to reach of major cities such as Paris, Munich, Brussel, Milan, or Prague. Besides, the Netherlands is a very international country and most people speaks English and I will also have the opportunity to learn Dutch.
After studying in the Netherlands for some years, I can say I made the right choice. The Netherlands has an international and multicultural environment not only in business but also daily life. People here are very open and welcoming everyone to share different opinions and tolerant to different culture backgrounds. I enjoy my time in the Netherlands.
Why did you start bogu-shop?
Starting Kendogu shop is just like starting any other business: we help our clients to solve their problems: by KEIKODO, you can just save your time from selecting over other different shops on Kendogu, so that you can simply focus on your Kendo practice.
I remember the first time I’ve been selecting a Kendo Bogu set for myself over different online shops from US, Europe, and China, and eventually I chose a 2mm machine-stitched Deerskin Bogu set. That took me about a month or so to investigate what are the differences and what are the availability in the market. I thought I chose the-best-in-the-market machine-stitched Bogu, not until the Japanese Sensei (Mr. Nabayama Sensei, his first time to The Netherlands for Summer Seminar in Amsterdam) showed us a Kote from Japan. Then, you know what you are having now is a waste of money and time.
As a customer, we want to spend our money wisely and we want to save your time on more important things. It’s just like an investment, you have to make the decision so that at least in future you won’t regret.
Then, I asked myself, what can I do for my clients. If people trust in me, I can’t let them be regret. Buying a Bogu with only good material is already not enough, the fit and comfortableness of the Bogu is even more important. Besides, Bogu also has to be more practical than just luxury. Same applies to Kendogi and Hakama. We’ve seen so many ‘indigo dyed’ fabrics from online shops, but they might not be the traditional dying technique that is so-called ‘Bushu Aoizome’ (武州正藍染).
I think it’s our (the retailers) responsibility to support the traditional Japanese making techniques in this Kendogu industry, by offering our clients the best products they could get in the market.
Besides, if different brands operating under one shop, there will be less competitings and more effective on promoting.
Please explain Bogu for Dutch National Team
This Bogu is exclusively designed for the Dutch National Team to participating the 17th World Kendo Championship in Seoul. The team could use it for future tournaments as well. The weight of this Bogu set is light and the design is stylish. The idea behind is that they can use this Bogu for team practice and take this Bogu easily to traveling around for tournaments around Europe.
The MEN has a 6mm machine-stitched FUTON with 3mm diagonal stitching (NANAMEZASHI) on MENDARE. Featuring IBB-Dura Mengane for a great balance, while the reinforcement area we use Orizashi fabric to minimize the weight and practical. The length of the MENDARE were made in short-style by request. We particularly design the edge leather in deerskin, which makes the Bogu even better looking and more durability for long term.
The KOTE is made with 6mm machine-stitched FUTON, with a white deerskin KOTE palm. The white deerskin is soft and comfortable, so when the Team members using this KOTE at the first time, it’s easy to get used to the KOTE.
TARE is made based on each person’s height. We do care that some of our clients are females but still wearing the TARE that is designed to be used by male. We adjust the TARE a little bit and we hope the ladies will noticed the small difference. We also made the Tare in special-cut of the edge, to make the overall appearance looks nicer.
We put most of our efforts on the DO. We tested different styles and materials of the MUNE and we eventually end up with Kurozan leather with NKR logo stitching in dark navy color. We make the NKR logo even on the DODAI. Thanks to our Korean supplier with such technique so that the logo will stay on the DODAI as forever. The DO is very classical and represents the Team the best.
Why did you sponsor Dutch National Team?
Sponsoring the Dutch National Team is not about business, it’s just simply my gratitude to the NKR. I started my Kendo and Iaido in the Netherlands, passing my IKYU, SHODAN, NIDAN and SANDAN by Dutch Kendo Federation (Nederlandse Kendo Renmei, NKR), and I am proud to be a member of NKR. Besides, the Dutch Kendo Federation is very kind to me and supporting my business, by allowing me to sell products during tournaments and even the seminars. Now I moved to China, but I still care about NKR activities.