Sodeshō (arm badges)

All kenshi should have a sodeshō (sleeve badge) on their dōgi (training suit) which indicates the branch name (or country), organizational affiliation, and to some extent, degree. In Sweden we use branch name, which also is done in Japan and many other countries, however many countries have chosen to have country name on their badges.

The sodeshō shall be on left shoulder and the bottom edge of the badge should be in line with the seam on the left sleeve. Also make sure that the badge is centered on the sleeve, so that it isn’t too far the front or back. A general rule can be that the center of the sleeve badge should be where the sleeve folds when one fold the uwagi (suit jacket).

Besides branch name the sleeve badge also indicate position and to some degree rank. The purple line indicates that the branch belongs to WSKO, if there is a red line the branch is a dōin (only in Japan) and thus belongs to the Kongo Zen Sohonzan Shorinji, the Japanese Federation branches (shibu), have a blue line. There is also sodeshō with a green line, which indicate Zenrin Gakuen or Busen.

Here are the different levels of sodeshō we have:sodeshō

  • Black, regular kenshi.
  • Red, kenshi that are officers of the branch and have at least sandan (3 dan)*
  • Silver, shibu-chō with the degree seikenshi godan (5 dan) or lower.
  • Gold, shibu-chō, WSKO instructors & National Federation Officers with the rank of daikenshi godan or higher.

* It does not mean that if one have sandan that one automatically have the right to have a red sleeve badge. It is the shibu-chō that determines and designates if a member, who is sandan or above, may have a red sodeshō or not.

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