一番Ichi Ban Means Number 1. Fast, accurate, & authentic embroidery
Meijin Premium Uniform Embroidery
Meijin Karate Embroidery – Art Embraces Technology
Japanese Karate Embroidery - The Historical Background
The karate uniform (keikogi) was modeled on the working clothes of the common man of the Edo Period, (1603 – 1868). Practical and robust it offered comfort and unimpeded movement during physical activity. When karate became popular in Japanese universities in the mid-1920s, dozens of identical keikogi would be hung out to dry after training. and the need for identification became immediately apparent, and name embroidery therefore became popular.
Embroidery was permanent and, when artistically designed and created, very attractive. It avoided confusion, made the uniform look better, and soon became the standard amongst serious Japanese karate-ka.
when you buy a new Mejin Uniform
Our calligraphy designs are produced by hand which retains their elegance and beauty.
The correct combination of design, placement and color produces a stunning effect.
Your Meijin uniform is unique, a genuine custom made item, one-of-a-kind. Be proud of it!
Our embroidery machines create high quality designs that, stitch by stitch, equal the quality produced by the most experienced Japanese artisans. They are beautiful, repeatable, and if ordered at the time you buy a new Meijin uniform, completely FREE.
Karate enjoyed a revival in post-war Japan, and training started again in university dojos in the Tokyo area around 1950. Uniforms were embroidered with the owner’s name, and belts with their affiliation or style (see photo left of Gichin Funakoshi Sensei teaching students at Tokyo University). Embroidery was performed with ”swing-needle” machines where the operator created the characters free-hand, controlling the zig-zag “swing” of the needle with the right knee to determine the width of the Japanese characters, time-consuming and expensive work. They could only sew thin material, and so the cover was embroidered before the belt was assembled, leaving stitches defacing the embroidered design on completion. Modern Japanese embroidery machines are expensive, computer-managed and sew the thickest belts with ease & accuracy. We use only the best machines from Tajima Industries in Japan, inventors of the first multi-needle embroidery machine in 1964.
An embroidered design, no matter how beautiful, could be an embarrassment if it is incorrectly translated. Japanese is a very complicated language with many thousands of characters, so please lean upon us for expert help with your custom designs.
The Deciding Factor
The Personalized service we offer
When you order!
You will deal directly with the person who designs and sews your uniform or belt from start to finish. They are responsible for your order, and so it’s very important that you communicate to them exactly what you want as far as design, size, color and style are concerned.
Our staff are very experienced, they have at least 20 years working with Tajima industrial embroidery systems, and they produce excellent work. They will also advise you if your embroidery design is correct as far as the Japanese is concerned, and correct it if necessary, normally at no cost to you.
When you call please have all your information ready, and if possible, send us an image of what you want us to embroider. This is because many “Kangi” characters have identical sounds but very different meanings!
A Customized Service Without Equal!
We will fix Everything before we sew it
Why do we go to so much trouble
How do I order?
With our help it's really easy!
The concept behind our custom embroidery service is simple. From start to finish you will deal only with the artist who creates and sews your design. This eliminates misunderstandings, saves a lot of time, and judging from our thousands upon thousands of happy customers, is the only way to create custom Japanese embroidery designs!
Well, we were asked by Japan Transocean Airways, a subsidiary of five star Japan Airlines the Japanese National Airline, if they could have our permission to use the cover logo design from our latest book, on the fuselage of a new Boeing 737 they had just purchased. Of course we agreed, and the “christening” ceremony can be seen above!
Embroidery Step by Step
The design original is generated in our own studio by hand, scanned, or taken from the customer’s artwork. It is then manually digitized using proprietary software, and the code produced, loaded into a Tajima Industries (Japan) multi-needle industrial embroidery machine. In the case of uniforms, the designs are under-sewn through a special backing material to enhance the appearance, stability and endurance of the design. In the final stage the embroiderer will “clean” the embroidery by hand to remove any loose threads, and make a final inspection to ensure it meets our high standards
Custom Japanese Embroidery Q&As
A: Designed by our staff and manufactured exclusively for our company, these belts feature 10 lines of precise stitching, over a laminated cotton/felt core, covered with the highest quality 100% cotton or satin cover. They are designed for professional use and, in our hands, they embroider beautifully.
A: Mejin custom embroidery is created and sewn “in house” using the highest quality Japanese industrial embroidery machines and proprietary software. We only embroider karate uniforms and belts, and have spent many years perfecting the process.
A: Other suppliers charge as much as $30 to embroider your name on the lower lapel of the jacket, and $50 for your style on the chest, adding $80 to the cost of your new uniform. When you order a new Meijin uniform, we will embroider the first line of embroidery FREE, and the second for an average of $15, SAVING YOU as much as $65 PER UNIFORM!
A: We translate non-Japanese names into Japanese using the most common pronunciation, and the Japanese katakana phonetic alphabet. If in doubt, please call us so we can hear the correct pronunciation over the phone and translate it precisely.Translation is FREE for customers ordering Meijin uniforms. The Japanese perceive English a little differently from native speakers so the name Smith, for example, is correctly rendered in Japanese as Sumisu (スミス). Different translators may use different combinations of katakana characters to produce the same sound, and both can be correct. However, to accurately translate a name into Japanese, the translator needs to be fluent in both languages, and ours are.
We need to see any kangi characters before we can start work. For example KO (古) means ancient, whereas KO (故) means past. The meanings are similar, they sound exactly the same when spoken, but they are different! If you e-mail your characters to us, we will make sure they are embroidered correctly for your order.
We guarantee all translations; we promise we will not embarrass you with a poor translation!
We developed a method of digitizing Japanese characters, stroke by stroke, just as they are written by Oriental calligraphers, and used it to produce “Gyosho,” and “Kaisho” fonts. Digitized by hand, generated by proprietary software, and sewn with digital accuracy, these fonts retain the beauty and elegance of the hand-written originals.
It’s easy, just use our shopping cart in the normal way to let us know what you need. Attach your design, if you have one, or just order your name and/or standard embroidery design and tell us where on your uniform to sew it, and in what color. Please make absolutely sure that you include your telephone number and e-mail address.
We will e-mail you an invoice/specification of exactly how we plan to fulfill your order so that you can make sure we have everything right. After you have checked it very carefully, e-mail it back if everything is correct and tell us to go ahead.
Call us immediately so that we can fix it. Speak to one of our embroiderers directly to avoid misunderstandings. When we are all agreed on what you need, we will send a new specification for you to sign off on before work starts.
The simple answer is it looks much better, and it makes the belt stronger. In the “old days” custom embroidery was done with a Singer “swing-needle” sewing machine. The operator sewed the design freehand, varying the width of the stitch by adjusting the “swing” of the needle. This was achieved by a knee control as he needed both hands to guide the cloth through the sewing machine to form the characters. The results were often less than satisfactory as the base colour was often visible through then loose stitches, and the characters varied in size. The embroidered piece of cloth was then sewn into a belt with the lines of stitches sewn directly over the embroidered design, defacing it.
We start by sewing a base before the main (top) design to stabilize the belt and prevent the colour showing through the stitching. The design looks clean as it does not have lines of stitching sewn over it, and the belts actually become more robust. Modern, multi-needle, computer-controlled Japanese industrial embroidery machines cost as much as a family sedan and easily sew through a finished belt with complete and consistent accuracy.
A: Strangely enough we are still asked this question, and the answer is obviously, NO! This is why we will work with you to get everything right the first time as it is highly unlikely that we can find a person with the same name and the same size as you who needs a custom uniform and/or belt.
Most certainly. We have found that our embroidery lasts as long as, or longer than, the uniform it is sewn on to. We use German Madera brand thread and Gutenburg needles which not only last a long time, but in combination, create the cleanest looking and most detailed designs with the most attractive colors. To guarantee that your embroidery lasts a long time, when you iron your uniform, place a cloth between the soleplate of the iron and the design.
We are sorry but we do not embroider other company’s products because past experience has shown us that many are not tough enough to withstand the professional embroidery process.
A:The vast majority of custom embroidery orders are shipped within 72 hours of receipt
A: This is a good question as sizes vary tremendously from manufacturer to manufacturer. While we make every effort to standardize belt lengths, as they are hand made they can vary slightly. If you need a belt of a precise length, ask us when you order and we will do our best to meet your requirements, This is especially true with satin “silk” belts.
The standard way of embroidering a belt is to put your name on one side and your style or dojo name on the other We usually embroider the shorter embroidery design on the (manufacturer’s) label side, and the longer design on the other so that look balanced when the belt is being worn. Some customers like us to remove the manufacturer’s label ($2 charge) if they have two lines of embroidery they wish to balance exactly. In this case we need to know how much space to leave between the ends of the belt and the bottom (lower extent) of the embroidery designs.
If you have any concerns whatsoever, please call us. You will speak to the person who will actually embroider your belt, and they will answer all your questions. We are open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Mon – Sat PST.
Meijin Belt Length in Inches (approx.)
If you are not sure how to order and have questions, please do call us and ask to speak to one of our embroidery specialists. This is also a good way to place your order as in the case of custom orders they will need special information from you as well. We are open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Pacific Time Monday – Saturday. You can also e-mail directly to email@example.com
Japanese custom embroidery is a very specialized field in which we have a great deal of experience. Please have all your questions ready and we will speed you through the process and make it as easy and stress free as possible!