A bokken (木剣) or a bokutō (木刀) is a Japanese wooden sword used for training in kenjutsu (剣術) that is usually the size and shape of a traditional katana.
While little is known about the precise date bokken first emerged, the earliest records of the modern bokken can be found during the muromachi period (室町時代) where samurai used them to practice their kenjutsu.
As katanas were expensive and could easily be chipped with too much use, the bokken was seen as a durable and efficient alternative as a tool for sparring and practice.
Despite its lack of a bladed edge, the bokken could still be lethal in the hands of a trained user. Miyamoto Musashi was known to fight fully armed assailants with nothing but the tool, often killing his foes in a single strike. As such, bokken are now mainly used for solo practice sessions or kata (型) while shinai (竹刀) are used for sparring.
Bokken are also used as a core tool in the Japanese martial art aikido (合気道) through aikiken (合気剣), which was first taught by the founder of aikido - Morihei Ueshiba.
The BOKKEN is hand carved and shaped by a professional Aikido practitioner and master woodcrafter, applying his own experience and training to find the right balance of feeling, weight, and strength for each piece.
Using a traditional Japanese planer, the whole process can take anywhere from 6 - 15 hours of woodwork. Each stroke of the planer must be carefully angled and placed as overcutting or undercutting will compromise the structural integrity of the blade.
After the piece has been shaped, it goes through a traditional hardening process with fire before it is then sanded down and strengthened with linseed oil. Finally, it is then lightly coated in a lacquer for a beautiful gloss finish.
Our BOKKEN comes with a unokubi (うの首) blade tip (also known as the kissaki (切先)) and is made from traditional red oak wood to decrease its weight and increase cutting speed.
Each Bokken also comes well presented in a decorative silk sword bag, and can be personalized with a custom engraving on a small walnut wood plaque on the bottom of the hilt (also known as the kashira (頭)) or on the blade itself.
Please note that our swords are limited to specific forging periods, and we are only able to produce a specific number during each production run depending on the materials and time available to the woodcrafter. Once we have received the maximum number of orders for that particular period, the window will close and the BOKKEN will become unavailable for ordering. As the creation process involves a high level of complexity (both in preparation and selection of the wood), please note that we are unable to cancel orders once the production on your blade has begun.
Please drop us an email if you wish to discuss having a piece created outside of a production window.
The current crafting window for the BOKKEN is open and can accommodate 6 requests.
The blade and hilt of the BOKKEN can be engraved according to request. Simply send any designs to firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number.
While the wood is lacquered and strengthened with linseed oil, it is still highly recommended to store your BOKKEN in a weapons bag and to keep it dry and away from moisture.
We also recommend recoating the BOKKEN with a coat of linseed oil as needed or at least every six months .
In accordance with Shopify's regulations regarding the sale of weapons, it is important to note that the BOKKEN is NOT a weapon, but a display piece (though it still possesses a cutting edge). It should only be used for its aesthetic beauty and in accordance to individual state regulations.