Tenugui Towel for Kendo – KAMAWANU - Japanese Tenugui Towel


Tenugui Towel for Kendo


Kendo is one of the most prestigious of the Japanese martial arts and is a traditional sport that emphasizes physical and mental training.Tenugui towel is an indispensable tool for kendo.In this column, we would like to introduce the role and design of tenugui towels in Kendo.

Tenugui towels play an important role in kendo.
First, the functional aspect. Tenugui towels used in kendo are called "men-tenugui" or "men-shita," and have two main functions.


1. Sweat-absorbent
As you know, once you wear a kendo mask, you cannot wipe it off even if sweat drips from your forehead during a match. Therefore, wearing a tenugui towel prevents sweat from getting into your eyes or on your forehead. This allows the athlete to concentrate more on the game. It is also said that tenugui towels dyed by "Chusen" are suitable for mask tenugui. This is because it absorbs water better than pigment-printed tenugui towels and becomes softer as it is used. 

2. Effect of fitting the kendo mask
Wearing a tenugui towel reduces the risk of the protective gear slipping and supports stable movement. It also reduces the direct impact on the head when a technique is executed.Wearing a tenugui towel reduces the risk of the protective gear slipping and supports stable movement. It also reduces the direct impact on the head when a technique is executed.

3. Reducing deterioration of armor
What do you think will happen if you wear protective gear directly without a kendo mask? It may cause deterioration of your valuable protective gear. By wearing a tenugui towel to prevent sweat from coming into direct contact with the protective gear, you can extend the life of your precious protective gear.

In addition to its functional aspect, tenugui towels also play an important role for players. It is to boost the morale of the players. The design of tenugui towels has a meaning. Here we will introduce some commonly used tenugui towel designs.



Yagasuri is based on arrow feathers and is favored among warriors to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. 


Hemp leaves are a good omen for growth because they grow fast and have a strong life force.


This pattern has been handed down in Japan since ancient times as a pattern to ward off bad luck. The scaly pattern is based on a triangular shape and is named after the scales of a snake or dragon.


Eggplant is pronounced "Nasu" in Japanese and is combined with the word "Nasu" (Achieve), which has the same pronunciation, to express the wish that things will go well and be successful.


Dragonflies have long been favored by warriors as a "match-winning insect" and as a pattern to bring luck, because of their behavior of moving forward while holding on to their prey and never backing away.


Bamboo has been popular as a pattern that represents unyielding perseverance and vitality because it grows straight with strong roots and its leaves are lush and green even in winter.

Thus, the design of tenugui towels in kendo is not merely an aesthetic element, but also plays an important role in expressing the philosophy and spirit of budo.

If you are a Kendo player, you should definitely get this tenugui towel! This tenugui towel will be your strong ally.