Shinai World

Shaping your Kendo Men 面

After doing some research on washing and dying the Men (post on dying soon) I also noticed the many different shapes that kenshi keep their Men on.

I think many people struggle with getting the right shape, or just knowing that the Men (面) has to shaped.

First I looked around to find what shaped  I liked for my Men and then I could start researching how to get it.

So I decided to go for this one:


Kendo Men

Keio Kenshi

(The picture was taken from Keio University’s Website.)


So through some research and asking friends around, I learned a way to tie my Men when I am done with kendo practice to make it look more like the picture.

Here is a short video doing a demonstration on How I tie the Men after kendo practice.

( I apologize in advance for the color contrast, I will reshoot the video but in the meantime I will write a step by step bellow).

  •  First I cleared the Men Himo forward as if I was going to put it on.
  • Then I tightened the Men Himo just Like I do when I’m putting my Men on, this will close the open gap and keep the shape.
  • Then I tied a knot at the crossing of the himo to keep them in place and keep the tension.
  • After tying I used my fingers to shape the top of the Men and give it a square like shape bringing the top down.
  • After shaping the top of the Men I flipped it and place both the edges closer to the face of the Men-dare in between the Tsuki-dare  and Yoojin-dare (between the  pad that receives tsuki and the pad that is behind it).
  • After placing both Men-dare I tied a bow in front of the Tsuki-dare to keep them in place using the left over himo.
  • Lastly I give my Men a bit of a pull right bellow the knot that was made at the crossing of the himo to make that outward shape.

I tried this process so far with two of my Men and from the previous shape not only it looks better to me, but also gives me more freedom on my shoulder area during kendo practice.

There are many ways to shape your Men and I think I will shoot a couple more that I found interesting with my other Men, so I hope you find this useful but also please let me know if you have a different way of shaping your Men, you can write me at

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Sizes based on US standards