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Originally released in 1996, the Mine was a revolutionary bogu in the history of kendo equipment. Mitsuboshi pioneered the pitch-stitch method of bogu construction that has uniformly become the industry standard. The Mine is still widely acclaimed as being one of the best machines made bogu sets available, both in Japan and internationally. Fully manufactured in Mitsuboshi's workshop in Kuji, Iwate Prefecture - the design has only received minor updates and changes over the decades. When it was first introduced, no distinction was made between keiko and shiai versions; it was simply designed to perform in any situation. Thanks to Mitsuboshi's ingenious design and pitch-stitch method, the more you use a Mine the better it becomes, which is why it retains a dedicated core of fans.
The main characteristics of the Mine are its pitch-stitching which Mitsuboshi first developed in 1996, this method allowed machine made bogu to rival the suppleness and fit of tezashi bogu, making it easier to wear and use than before. This style of stitching has been honed by Mitsuboshi's craftsmen over the decades into an art form, whilst the method is imitated across the industry, no other workshop can yet match the quality of Mitsuboshi's stitching. It is this enduring quality that has enabled the Mine to stand the test of time.
The Mine's design puts protection and comfort first and foremost, it was not influenced by trends, cost concerns or the desire to make it lighter. Mitsuboshi's philosophy is that if you can achieve the perfect fit and provide good protection then the armour will feel like an extension of you rather than heavy clothing weighing you down. This is why generous amounts of core-padding are used and no corners have been cut in the production process. The Mine's futon is thick and extremely protective, but thanks to the perfect order-made fit it still feels light and easy to move in.
Over two decades on and the Mine is still being loved and used by successive generations of kendoka. We believe it is the most durable and reliable bogu on the market, an investment in your kendo that will be with you through every keiko, shiai and shinsa.
The Mine is available in two variations - the Tenho is the Orizashi Cotton version, perfect for kendoka who train regularly or in hotter countries, it dries quickly and is very breathable and a bit lighter than its konkawa cousin - the Kyokuho is the original version of the Mine, fully reinforced in konkawa indigo deerskin, perfect for kendoka looking for the most protection and elegant appearance. Both versions are edged in genuine deerskin leather and come complete with himo, chichikawa and a tenugui. The Mine is made to order at our workshop in Northern Japan, so please feel free to consult with us if you have any special requirements.