View Full Version : hakama embroidery

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03-19-2003, 03:12 PM
I'm just full of questions today.

Ok, so my club bought a nice hakama for our sensei, and we want to get it embroidered. I just today realized that I don't really know what to embroider on it.

I figured his name and maybe :ai: :ki: :do:

What is the convention for this, or is there one at all? And is there a symbolic difference between colors of thread used? I see gold quite often, but occasionally white or silver and both of those look pretty sharp, too. (it's a black hakama, if that makes a difference).

We're lucky enough to have a couple Japanese students, Rie and Taku, and Taku swears up and down that Rie is very skilled at calligraphy, so I'm taking his word for it. So whatever we decide on should be easily trasferred to kanji.

03-19-2003, 03:40 PM
Those of us who get ours embroidered usually just go with our first name in kanji. I went with my first name in english.

I usually see the gold thread used but my iaido instructor (who also owns the company that does the embroidery) has his in white/silver thread and I think it looks really nice. He used a relatively small font. It's very understated and classy looking.


03-19-2003, 04:17 PM
hmmm, she says to herself....better get that embroidery page up on your site....

when i was dating a karate instructor i embroidered the dojo logo on his gi and the kanji for"budo" and "mushin" on his belt.

you do want to consider pricing- machine embroidery will cost much less than hand work but if the whole dojo is chipping in a hand-embroidered garment is much more meaningful...

now how do i get my hands on my sensei's hakama to embellish....

and ps i love your hair & i'm old enough to be your mom...

kung fu hamster
03-19-2003, 04:40 PM
Is this supposed to be a surprise? Because if he reads this thread you might as well just ask him if he knows what his name is in Japanese...


03-19-2003, 05:24 PM
Sensei has often shared with me his pride in not knowing how to turn a computer on. I suspect the surprise is safe.

03-19-2003, 09:09 PM
Most hakama-wearing members in our dojo have their first name in Japanese on it; colors differ - blue or black hakama, white or orange ("gold"?) embroidery. Sensei orders them for us in Japan; all the customizing is taken care of by the supplier (and usually done at the factory, if I remember correctly).
now how do i get my hands on my sensei's hakama to embellish....
Aye, there's the rub :)

(edit -- note to self: surfing the web at 4AM makes for lousy grammar)

03-20-2003, 03:18 AM
www.tozando.com offers personalized embroidery on hakama, gi, pants or belts. Probably a bit expensive to send the hakama to Japan for that.

There is a danish website where you can get your name translated into japanese - mind you that it's not entirely correct and that it might have a bit of problem with regards to english names.

Chekc it out at: http://users.cybercity.dk/~ccc5820/japnavn.htm

(just enter a name in the box and push the button....)

In our dojo I believe that the custom is to have their first name embrodied on the hakama. Perhaps their last name as well.

Kelly Allen
03-20-2003, 04:37 AM
There are two other types of Japanese caligraphy aside from kanji. this sight that ypu put the link to is one of the other types of caligraphy. I wish I could remember what they were called. Found it! It's either Hiragana or Katakana.

03-20-2003, 06:29 AM
Hi Kelly!

The thing is: Hiragana and Katakana are 'sound' alphabets - a little bit like our roman letters, except there are about 46 (basic) signs in each of the two sets of signs. Each sign has a sound like 'Ka', 'Ku', 'Te', 'No' etc. Kanji on the other side are an ideogramic alphabet, comprised of a large - no HUGE! - amount of signs each with a variety of pronounciations and meanings. Therefore a western name is not easily transformed into a Kanji, which is why one of the two alphabets (Katakana) is used for foreing words of wester origin, and for western names as well. Hiragana is used for expressing words and concepts not expressable by Kanji.

Thus endif the lesson (and my knowledge on the subject :D). You could ask Jun or some other japanese-speaking (and -writing) person on the forum if you need further explanation.