Club News: last update April 26, 2010
There are a number of people looking into buying bogu right now. We recommend using either e-bogu (www.e-bogu.com), AOI (www.budo-aoi.com) or Miyako (www.kendo-bogu.com). Please note that if you use e-bogu, you should order through me as I can get you a discounted price.
Recommended e-bogu sets:
Top Quality 4/2 mm - $US462 (regular 515)
Top quality 2 mm - $US818 (regular 890)
Note: the only cheaper set I can recommend is high performance 5/2.5 mm but the savings aren't worth it due to extra shipping costs.
Recommended AOI sets:
FD-5 - $US479
MS-4 - $US519
FD-4 - $US619
FD-2 - $US849
Recommended Miyako sets:
Yoshioka - 52,500 yen (about $US570)
Munisai - 80,000 yen (about $US870)
All three companies offer free shipping but e-bogu is only for orders over $500. Adding a bag will take the order over the required limit.
AOI sets cost a little more money but as AOI ships within Canada you will not have to pay brokerage/duty, which will make up most of the difference. I feel the AOI sets are a little better and use nicer materials at each rough pricepoint.
Miyako sets are the most expensive but they include a bag and tenugui.
I recommend the MS-4, 4/2 mm or Yoshioka sets as the best bang-for-your-buck, with slight preference to AOI. Miyako is a new supplier and we have not seen their product yet, however they represent Tozando, a well-known and respected company so we don't expect any problems.
Note, only order from AOI if they have your size in stock. Custom orders cost more and take much longer.
Finally, if you have the budget and want something nicer that will wear longer, look at AOI FD-4 or Miyako Munisai. I have included the 2 mm sets from E-Bogu and AOI but I don't have a strong recommendation for them - many people find them too stiff although some of our club members have bought and liked the 2 mm sets.
Current exchange is about even, but you will lose a percent or two in bank charges. Don't forget to budget for a bag. Budget another $60 or so for brokerage/duty if you go with e-bogu.
If you are confused, ask to have a look at various member's sets. We have examples of AOI and e-bogu sets in the club.