We have got lots to talk about in today’s blog as we are going to discuss what a bokken is, its different types, how can you get one yourself and whether you can make a wooden sword at home or not, in order to avoid picking up real swords, to stay safe after making wooden practice swords that can otherwise be bought online or from stores near you.
If you are going to read this blog, then we should tell you that anyone can get cheap wholesale swords for sale and/or personal use from Knife Import at extremely low whole sale prices. You can find all types of swords at affordable prices—no matter if you want to buy real, decorative or wooden swords for practice; along with various other kinds of blades such as knives and daggers.
Let’s start the most basic question.
What is a Bokken?
A bokken is basically a Japanese wooden practice sword used for training purposes in a number of martial arts schools. It comes in different shapes and sizes but usually it’s in a form of katana. You can also find these wooden counterparts for wakizashi and tanto blades, but you must not mistake them with shinai the wooden practice swords made from bamboo.
Bokken, as you may expect, were first designed to inflict less damage on opponents while training and used by real samurai warriors, back in the Japanese feudal era. Still, these wooden swords can become a lethal weapon within the hands of a highly trained expert.
Records have been found explaining how the bokken practice swords were being used as tools for training in the Edo period, before the Meiji era of Japan.
Nowadays only four workshops, located in Miyakanojo (Japan), are manufacturing the standard bokken that are mostly used in Aikido and Kendo, since the 1950s, for it was when first ever standardized bokken wooden sword was created.
Different Types of Wooden Swords for Sale
Majorly there are two types of practice swords available in the market, which are the Japanese wooden swords and Western training swords for sale you see in stores everywhere. But as we are only discussing the Japan’s bokken, we are going to tell you about its different types, shapes and sizes down below. For we have previously mentioned that you can find different types of bokken swords for sale available in markets such as the:
- wakizashi wooden sword that has a smaller blade size than a katana or,
- an even smaller tanto blade made out of wood.
Terms for Various Bokken Parts and their Variations
It is very important for you to know which part we are talking about, while we explain the variety of shapes these wooden swords come in. For this reason, we think you should get familiarized with the Japanese terms for different parts of a bokken practice sword (standardized) which are as follows:
- Kissaki (tip or point)
- Sori (curvature)
- Mine (spine)
- Tsukagashira (butt)
Now that you know the important elements that make up these Japanese wooden swords, we are going to move towards their variations you can find out there. Because with a single element’s variation comes a new type of bokken. So, let’s discuss the parts, starting with the tip of the iceberg (in our case the bokken!)
The main reason varying tips are included in the design are for aesthetics, still a heavy tip can shift the equilibrium towards it. Meanwhile, prepare yourself to be bombarded with new Japanese terms for all the following variations of kissaki, found on the different wholesale wooden swords for sale in actual workshops, mentioned earlier in the blog.
- Shokisaki: the small tip that all classic bokken have
- Daikissaki and Tokudaikissaki: which means the large tip or very large tip respectively
- Unokubi: found on some koryu (stylized) bokken but it’s extremely rare
- Kedogata: flatter tip observed on ancient versions of kendo bokken
- Kantogata: hardly different from kendogata but seen on all kanto-style bokken
The Curvature (Sori)
Rendered the most important part of such wooden swords. Combined with properties like weight, balance, and size, the sori highly affects the characteristics of a bokken. Usually the highest point of sori (or curvature) is placed at the center of the practice weapon. While, types of Sori include:
Please know that the right way to pronounce/write Sori is “zori” when it’s placed at the end of two expressions.
Mine (Spine or Back of the Wooden Swords)
As you may observe in the picture, there are basically four general shapes of mine, which are:
- Gyo no mine
(Note: a classic bokken sword supports either a hiramine or kenmine finish.)
Tsuba (Hand Guard)
An optional part of the wooden weapon, so you might find a tsuba made out of leather, plastic or wood on some of the bokken like the Koryu (used in Kenjutsu). As the classic ones do not come with a tsuba.
This mouthful term, tsukagashira, is used to point out the pommel (or butt) of these wooden practice swords. Also used for aesthetical reasons, the pommels come in two shapes:
- Tsukagashira (flat pommel)
- Hanamaru (rounded pommel)
One of the optional features on a practicing bokken, the groove (hi or bohi) has two functions:
- Creating a typical sound Iaido practitioners are accustomed to hearing
- Reducing the weight of the wooden sword significantly
Atsumi (Thickness of the blade)
It’s not inconceivable that the thickness of the blade can make a huge impact on the whole bokken. There are three variations cause due to changes in Atsumi that are:
- Yagyu Ryu (thin) bokken
- Standard bokken
- Keishi Ryu (heavy) bokken
Making a Wooden Sword at Home
Finally, coming towards the end of this extensive blog on wooden swords, we want you to know that it’s possible to make them at home, all by yourself. However! You cannot fashion something as great as the high quality wooden swords for sale in stores near you.
This is why we recommend that you find the cheapest wholesale swords in the market and buy them, instead of ruining your axes and knives to make one at home.
We hope that you will like this blog and keep visiting our website for more interesting stuff in the future as well!