Custom Tenugui

So I came up with an idea to make my own tenugui.

Tenugui are the small hand towels used as head covering in kendo.

I had an unopened gocco printer lying around that I purchased in 2007 and decided it was high time to dust off the box and break open the packaging.

RISO Print Gocco, PG-11.

RISO Print Gocco’s are miniature printing presses first invented in 1977 by Noboru Hayama. It uses mini screen meshes coated with an impermeable material. When the screen is placed on a carbon ink containing original (like a photocopy) and exposed to use-once proprietary flash bulbs, this melts the impermeable material allowing ink to pass through the screen.

Unfortunately, RISO does not support this printer anymore and the supplies (flash bulbs and screens) can only be obtained third party. These supplies are in dwindling numbers.

The box at the top contains two flash bulbs that expose the screens when the metal contacts come in contact with the printer frame and the press is depressed.
Developed screen.

The screen doesn’t show a uniform background and appears weathered probably because the original copy was from an inkjet printer and not from a photocopier. I guess there is less carbon pigment in printer ink than in toner.
Ink is placed on the screen. In this case the ink is a water based fabric ink from RISO. It has the consistency of toothpaste. The ink is laid down on the screen and then smeared.

The screen has a protective film. The screen is attached to a handstamp (on the right).

Test print on a piece of paper.
Final print on tenugui fabric.

Overall the process took me several hours from cutting the original fabric down from a 10 meter bolt (about 394 inches) to about 39-40 inch lengths of cotton fabric. From there the towels were finished with a rotary cutter because my initial scissor cuttings were jagged.

The faito logo was printed from my original design. Placed in the printer. A screen was developed a total of three times. The first time I followed the directions and used the included blue filter which only served to burn the image into the filter rather than the screen. The process was repeated without the filter but this time because I didn’t trim the paper and instead folded it to fit the printer stage, the crease shadows from the folded paper showed up on the screen. Finally, a fresh image was made and cut to size and a second screen was flashed and developed.

The screen was inked, attached to the hand stamp and tested on a sheet of paper. Thankfully, I had a piece of cardboard underneath the paper as the ink leaked through the paper (and also leaked through the fabric). I had to use papers on the cardboard to block the previous ink that seeped through onto the cardboard as it could ruin the underside of the towels with errant ink marks. The screen was also re-inked due to too light prints.

After all the towels were stamped, they were dried over night. Then ironed to set the ink. And then placed in the washer on cold permanent press.

The towels were then removed. Ironed. Loose threads were removed from frayed ends by scissor. Then the towels were re-ironed and folded.

The prints have a weathered and distressed look and can be purchased on the etsy shop.

Bumper protector

So if you have a wheeled bag or carry a lot of stuff in the trunk of your car, it’s sometimes nice to protect the finish. Especially if the car is relatively new.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was using a towel, but I recently came across this bumper protector. It’s basically a soft neoprene mat that drapes over the back of your car. It attaches to carpet via Velcro.

It does the job pretty well. The Velcro, however, does pull on the fibers of the carpet especially if they are weak such as on the model three.

The mat is 29x12in and the perfect width to fit the trunk compartment cover on my model 3.

You can purchase it here >>>> https://www.amazon.com/Boot-Flap-Co-Bumper-Guard/dp/B075LW8WLD

Tsuki!

Park sensei executing tsuki

So the GoPro mount turned out to be a better success than I thought.

The problem was trying to convince people to do their regular kendo and not worry about damaging the camera. It’s a GoPro ppl!!!

Some understood and would have happily tsuki-ed me all night long until I had to motion to yamae (I’m talking about you, Simeon and Okura sensei) but others were very timid and ended up just tapping the camera with the tip of the shinai.

Journal

I’ve been wanted to get this journal from

Musha shugyo nikki 

bujindesign

However, I wanted to start journaling right away, so I found this leather journal cover on Amazon that comes with a 3.5×5.5in insert with dotted pages. Replacement notebooks are cheap (you can use field notes, field books or moleskine cahier).

Compared to the Musha shugyo nikki (means “warrior quest/pilgrimage journal”) it is only $14.95 whereas the one from Bujin design is $54 plus VAT and shipping.

It comes with an elastic strap. Somehow you can insert three notebooks but I have yet to figure that out.

Hopefully by journaling I’ll be able to further incorporate what I learned during first and second practice.

Maybe if I get access to a laser cutter I’ll engrave something on the cover.

New wheels

After ten years, I’ve decided to retire my gas guzzling 2008 Lexus 400H which has seen me to practice twice and sometimes three times a week and back and forth for the one hour total trip to and from home to dojo and back again (twenty minutes per leg) between adult and junior practices.

Having spent about $300 every two weeks to fill up the car five times (it’s a V6 and we live in an area with lots of hills) I decided to get an electric car- a Tesla model 3.

Lexus, top
Tesla, bottom

It’s not really $35K like teased, more like $52K for extended battery, color other than black and performance package plus tax and title fee for a total of about $56K. (Less the federal tax credit of $7500 that leaves $48500 or $46500 if you meet eligibility requirements for the state of California).

But is it a good kendo vehicle?

In the Lexus, I was able to get three regular sized e-bogu backpacks (21x20x11 in) and three shinai bags comfortably in cargo sideways with the rear seats in recline (not folded down or upright).

In the model 3, I probably could fill the trunk with four backpacks but the shinai bags would have to fill the front seat or lie on the rear floor.

I can fit a large roller bag (13.75×25.5×15.75in) and a regular size shinai bag diagonally but NOT a combination of backpack, roller bag AND shinai bag(s) (including fabric shinai bag with size 37 shinai).

Here is a table of dimensions:

From tesla.stractest.org

There is a “secret” compartment below the cargo space which can fit a small cooler. The rear seats can also fold flat for additional cargo space.

For additional cargo space info see below:

caranddriver

Update ———

It’s possible to fit the shinais in the trunk if you put them in sideways left side first.

It fits!