We had some questions from Kendo customers about the SSP and SG seals on Shinai and if the SSP seal will become a requirement for competing Kendoka from now on.
The short answer is NO!
The requirement of SSP seals on Shinai won’t affect Kendoka overseas at the moment. If you want to know more, keep reading.
So here are the facts.
As some of our customers might know SSP and SG seals on Shinai are a sign that the Shinai has passed certain criteria of quality and safety. the SG mark is issued by the Consumer Product Safety Association (一般財団法人安全製品協会), while the SSP seal is issued by the All Japan Budogu Cooperative (全日本武道具協同組合 http://zenbukyo.jp/), a cooperative that most Budogu makers, including Tozando, in Japan are members of.
Now, each mark is meant to regulate consumer products by checking their quality to prevent endangering the consumers. While the SG mark is widely used for many types of products, not only Shinai, but electronics, helmets, baby chairs and other daily use products, the SSP mark is used specifically for Shinai, that being said, you can’t really say that one seal is better than the other, as the end goal of both organizations is to ensure customer safety when using Shinai and practicing Kendo.
Some of our customers contacted us as they had heard that SSP marked Shinai will become a requirement starting the summer 2017. So we would like to make some clarifications about this for the benefit of everyone. The All Japan Kendo Dojo Federation (全日本剣道道場連盟), recently announced that they would make it a requirement to use SSP marked Shinai starting the next All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament (全国道場少年剣道大会) held in late July every year. The SSP marked Shinai requirement is for now only concerning participants of the All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament, and does not concern any other of the events held by the All Japan Kendo Dojo Federation.
As we are one of the major Budogu manufacturers in Japan, we are also generally very well informed as we also have many connections within the All Japan Kendo Federation (全日本剣道連盟), and in this moment of writing, there is no plans to make the SSP marked Shinai a requirement on a national level for now.
So you can keep using your SG or SSP marked Shinai with ease, even if you decide to come to Japan to do Keiko for now.
The only instance when it will become a problem is when you want to participate in All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament, which is for Elementary and Jr. High school students in Japan anyway, meaning that it has nothing to do with most Kendoka overseas and adult Kendoka in Japan at the moment.
The Shinai sold by Tozando always has either the SSP mark or the SG mark to ensure the quality and safety of using our Shinai. For those of you who can read Japanese, we have also attached the informational leaflets from the All Japan Budogu Cooperative about the SSP seal and the decision to make it a requirement for the All Japan Dojo Youth Kendo Tournament starting 2017.
Practice safe Kendo everyone!