What is the difference between a synthetic Do base as Yamato and a bamboo Do base? Last Updated: 2012-08-21
The Do base is the solid part of the Do, designed to protect the body from the Shinai strikes.
The synthetic Do base is stronger and lighter than its bamboo counterpart; however, it is generally not hand-lacquered, meaning that it tends to scuff easily and it does not carry the same gloss that you would see on a hand-lacquered bamboo Do.
The tradtional way to make the Do base is from several thin pieces of bamboo, which are glued and bound together. Then a piece of cloth is stretched and glued to the bamboo and then covered with soaked hide. Once the hide dries, it contracts and pulls the whole construction together, giving it rigidity. Finally, in most cases, the Do base is hand-lacquered several times, with genuine Urushi, to leave an imaculate sheen.