Kote is the mitten-style gauntlet worn during Kendo. The cylindrical portion, known as the kotebuton, covers the lower forearm and is the target for valid strikes in kendo and Naginata. The design of the kote protects the hand and wrist, facilitating correct hand position and range of motion for strikes with the shinai.
Kote for Naginata have a separated index finger in order to allow the user to maintain control of the weapon during shifts in hand positions.In Jukendo and Tankendo, only the kote in the forward hand is worn. When holding a mokuju a left kote is worn. This kote has an additional pad (urabuton) sewn into the wrist in order to prevent the wrist from receiving the full force from the point of the mokuju of an aite. In Tankendo, a right kote is worn, in order to allow grappling techniques with the left hand. In the past, kote were sometimes made with fully articulated fingers. This is rarely seen today as there can be a issue with snagged fingers. Additionally, performing repairs on such kote could be more difficult. A special heavily padded design known as oni-gote (鬼小手) are used by some koryu, most notably Itto-ryu.