Hajime Karate is an official distributor of the Japanese brand Shureido, so we are very fast in sending your orders, as we are constantly receiving material directly from the factory. Many of the Shureido karateguis, belts and protections are in stock. If we receive an order on our website and the size is available, it arrives at its destination in two, three or four days, depending on the day of the week and/or the country in which the order is placed.
Other Shureido products are made to order, either because of the special characteristics of the product, because it is an order that needs to be personalised or because we do not have stock of the selected size at the time the order is placed. To date, we have been delivering this type of on-demand orders within two to three months. This is our commitment that we try to fulfil despite the global difficulties the transport sector is facing.
However, the current economic situation is delaying such orders a little more. Shureido has just informed us that we will have to add another month to this waiting time for various reasons:
1.- Increase of Covid cases in Okinawa
Shureido manufactures all its products on the island of Okinawa, Japan, the birthplace of karate. And it does so entirely by hand, so that its production relies mainly on manual labour and expert seamstresses. We send all orders for the month to Japan and they usually take about a month to make them. With shipping and customs it can take up to a month longer. However, the increase in Covid cases on the island of Okinawa is further delaying production as Japan continues to isolate Covid patients and their close contacts. Because production is so artisanal and labour-dependent, the pace of production is being slowed down and orders are taking longer to complete.
2.- Increase in global and local demand.
To this production situation we have to add, on the one hand,(i) an increase in demand on a global scale. After the worst of the pandemic, the return to competitions and the opening of clubs and dojos has increased demand, which dropped sharply in 2020 and 2021. But in addition, (ii) we are in a few months in which there is a large increase in local demand. In Japan, the peak Karate season is between April and August. For them it is the most important market and it is the first market they have to cover as a Japanese company.
Therefore, as we said at the beginning, we kindly ask you to be a little more patient with your Shureido special orders, as they may take about a month longer than we normally commit to deliver. This means a waiting time of 3 to 4 months. But remember that this is because you are buying a super exclusive product, in many cases made especially for you by master craftsmen from the Japanese island of Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
Thank you for your patience and your trust.