Frequently Asked Questions (English)

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about Tokaido

Uniform/Belt Questions

Ordering through Tokaido JKGl

General Questions about Tokaido

What does the name "Tokaido" mean?

The name "Tokaido" is composed of three kanji (Chinese characters) which mean "East", "Sea" and a suffix meaning "Shop". Together, the name means "Eastern Sea Shop". As the founder of Tokaido was originally from the area of Japan near what is called the "Eastern Sea," he named the shop Tokaido in honor of his homeland.

Where is Tokaido located?

The primary Tokaido sales shop is located in downtown Tokyo, not far from the new JKA Honbu (headquarters) Dojo. If you are planning a visit to Tokyo and would like the address to stop by, please let us know. There are other branch offices in other major cities in Japan.

Where is Tokaido/JKGI located?

Kabushiki Kaisha Tokaido, is located in Japan. The website JKGI is domiciled in the U.S.. Tokaido relations and shipping/handling are handled from Tokyo.

What makes ordering through Tokaido/JKGI different from ordering through someone else?

Tokaido /JKGI and Kabushiki KaishaTokaido are partners in this distributorship. No other Tokaido distributor has such a close relationship with Tokaido. Since Tokaido/JKGI works closely and have with the people at the shop in Tokyo means that we can better handle custom orders than those acting as importers from outside of Japan.

General Uniform/Belt Questions

What is the difference between a "gi" and a "do-gi" and a "karate-gi"?

"Gi" means "clothing." By using a term such as "Karate-", "Do-" or "Keiko-" (training) in combination with "gi," the type of clothing is described more completely. In Japan, the term "gi" is rarely used independently. "Do-gi" seems to be the most popular way in Japan to refer to the uniform used in Karate-Do, as well as to the uniforms used in other "-Do" arts, such as Ju-Do, Ken-Do and Aiki-Do.

What is the proper way to fold a do-gi?

Although there are traditional methods to folding the uniforms, this practice is not common in Japan. If the uniform is hung on a rack or hanger soon after training, there is little need for proper folding. If the uniform is to be in storage for a long time, however, careful folding is recommended. In this case, be sure to fold along the seams of the uniform as much as possible, in order to hide the creases.

What is the proper way to tie a belt?

There are two primary versions of the belt-tying process. One begins with the center of the belt in the front of the waist, wrapping both ends around the back, such that the belt crosses in the back. The other method involves circling the belt around the same direction two times, such that the belt does not cross in the back. Either method is acceptable. Once both ends are in the front, the end that is in front of the other is wrapped underneath both layers and brought over the other end in front. Bring that end over and up through the middle and pull on both ends side-to-side. Whether the lettering on the belt ends up facing in or out is not important.

How should I clean my uniform?

It is recommended that TOKAIDO uniforms be washed after every use in cold water with a standard laundry detergent. For the best results, add the detergent to the water and after the machine has just started its cycle, open the lid and place the uniform inside and let it presoak for 20 minutes. Then close the lid and let the machine complete the cleaning. After, immediately remove your uniform and hang it out to line dry. Machine drying should always be avoided. We do understand that a uniform can still become soiled and need whitening. In this instance, add a little bleach into the water at the appropriate time during the washing cycle and be careful not to pour bleach directly on the uniform. If you follow these steps your uniform will stay clean and last for many years.

Why is there a blue tint to my new white Tokaido uniform?

If your new white Tokaido uniform appears a little blue, you know it is a real Tokaido. This is one way you can tell an authentic, very high-quality, made-in-Japan Tokaido uniform from almost all the others. This is a mark of the high-quality cotton material. This blue tint should fade within the first several washings.

Why are there inconsistent color patterns on my black Tokaido uniform?

Our KONGO 金剛 (SAB) uniform is produced in the traditional way which will create some inconsistent color patterns over time. This is normal and expected and is very similar to the "fading" of our black belts. However, it is very important that you wash the uniform individually in cold water, and we suggest using mild liquid soap to minimize unwanted blotches.

I heard that one should never wash a belt. Is this true?

No. If your belt is dirty then you should put it into a "sweater bag" and wash it in cold water. As with the uniform, hang it out to line dry immediately after washing.

Ordering through Tokaido/JKGI

Are the sizes of Tokaido uniforms different than those of other manufacturers?

Often they are. Many uniform manufacturers based their uniform and belt sizing on Tokaido's. Please be careful of the sizes when ordering and check the size chart and feel free to ask for help via email if you have any doubts as to the best size for you.

For uniforms, if I think I am midway between two sizes, should I order a larger size or smaller size?

We recommend ordering the larger size for comfort and ease of movement.

How often do prices change?

Kabushiki Kaisha Tokaido is responsible for pricing of the website and will offer the lowest price possible.

Can I pay in a currency other than US dollars?

Transactions can be made on most non-US dollar-based credit cards and using PayPal with various currencies.

Can I pay by wire transfer?

Yes. But we prefer to limit transactions to just payment by credit card or by other forms of payment accepted by PayPal. Please see their website ( for more information. When paying by bank transfer we must wait until funds clear before we can enter your order into the work queue.

What credit cards are accepted?

You can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB, and American Express.

Are there any additional charges for the transaction?

Your credit card may charge you extra for the transaction. But we do not charge you anything in additional to what you are quoted by us. Please contact your credit card company if you would like more details on your specific situation.

Are any taxes charged for the transaction?

There are cases where an import tax is incurred once the merchandise arrives in your country. In most countries, for orders less than a value of about $500 (varies greatly depending on country), there is no import tax. Please check with your local customs office for more information. Internet-based sales are currently being reviewed by the relevant authorities as possibly requiring sales tax payments sometime in the future.

Why is shipping so expensive?

We offer the lowest possible shipping prices available.

Please note that you may incur additional costs locally to receive your order, including import tax, etc. We are not responsible for these additional costs. Please check with your local post office if you have any questions.

Can I have my name written in ABC's, instead of katakana?

Yes. Embroidery can be done in ABC's as well as katakana. The per-character charges are the same.

Can I have my name written in one color embroidery and my style name in another on the other end?

Yes. Embroidery can use different colors. But all characters on one end should be of the same color, not mixing different colors together on adjacent characters. Please note that multi-color embroidery orders often take extra time.

What colors of stitching are available for the belt embroidery?

We offer a variety of colors; almost any color imaginable. The most common are our standard Amber (some people say it looks like orange or yellow-gold), red, metallic gold and metallic silver. Other colors seen have been green, gray and purple, among others. We can even embroider in black.

Can I order stripes on my belt to indicate my rank?

Yes, you can. Just type the same number of the letter X corresponding to the number of stripes and then in the NOTES section at the bottom of the page write X is for Dan Stripes.

Are "pure silk" belts really 100% silk?

No. 100% silk would mean the belt would be more like a thick scarf. All our Tokaido belts use a 100% cotton base. The outside layer of fabric is cotton (BLC), satin (BLS) or silk (BLH). The BLH version uses a 100% silk material for covering. Japanese silk is recognized internationally as being of very high quality.

Do you offer a quantity discount?

Yes. Please see the website to discover all of our discounts.

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