A bokken is a wooden Japanese sword used for training, usually the size and shape of a katana, but sometimes shaped like other swords, such as the wakizashi and tantô. They are also known as bokutō (木刀, “wooden sword”), which is the usual term in Japan.
These should not be confused with shinai, the bamboo sword used in kendo.
Usage A bokken is used as an inexpensive and relatively safe substitute for a real sword, in training for several martial arts.
Bokken are also used in the AJKF Nihon kendo kata, a form of training to develop technically correct movements.
In 2003, the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) introduced a type of practice using bokken. Bokuto Ni Yoru Kendo Kihon-waza Keiko-ho is a set of basic exercises using a bokuto. This form of practice, is intended primarily for kendoka up to ni-dan (2), but is very useful for all kendo students.
Suburito are bokken designed for use in suburi. Suburi, literally “bare swinging,” are solo cutting exercises. Suburito are thicker and heavier than normal bokken and users of suburito have to develop both strength and technique. Their weight makes them unsuitable for paired practice or kata.
History Historically, bokken are as old as Japanese swords, and were used for the training of warriors. Miyamoto Musashi, a kenjutsu master, was renowned for fighting fully armed foes with only one or two bokken. In a famous legend, he defeated Sasaki Kojiro with a bokken he had carved from an oar while traveling on a boat to the predetermined island for the duel.
This bokken has hand carved Bushido inscriptions meaning honor.
- Samurai Wooden Training Sword
- 39.5″ Wooden Katana
- Solid Wood With Honor Engraved Onto The Blade