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"These should not be confused with shinai, the bamboo sword used in kendo.".

I think this gives the (incorrect) impression that bokutō are not used in kendo, and that shinai are used instead. It also sounds a bit like an order to the reader? Any ideas for rephrasing to make it clear that kendo makes use of bokutō and shinai, in a more friendly manner? Or maybe remove this sentence as its talking about shinai and kendo, not bokutō?

On that basis there are a lot of things one shouldn't confuse a bokutō with ;-) StringTokeniser (talk) 19:31, 29 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have a photo of a Bokken I have made, would this be a suitable photo to add to the page or is one photo enough?

--StringTokeniser (talk)

Corrected a few grammatical mistakes.

-- Suburito, is that the 'oar paddle' bokken? I know there is a very thick, wide, heavy bokken used for strength training which is said to be modeled after (either literally or for the sake of style) a makeshift one carved by Musashi before his fight with Kojiro. I'm not entirely sure what that sword is called, however.

Historically, bokken are as old as Japanese blades, and were used for the training of warriors. They are heavier than an actual blade, which emphasises the delicacy of the real blades.

Hm. I always thought that even Suburitos (< 1000 g) are not as heavy as metal swords (> 1000 g). --zeno 10:39, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A metal sword of this size weights more than one kilogramme ? This sounds a little bit odd... this should be checked (on a historical sabre if possible) Rama 12:48, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
See for example: Of course this is not a historical weapon ... --zeno 16:02, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

--- Isn't the 'oar paddle' bokken known as an Eiku? As for the weight of a Suburito, some of them are as hefty as a metal blade, but the balance point usually isn't in the same ballpark.

Special aikido/iaido bokken[edit]

I added the part about a special "iai-drawing only" bokken in the article. Just in case anyone is in doubt they actually exist, check this page outBokken with Plastic Saya The aikido bokken part can be found under Iwama Ryu Bokken :)

Fred26 12:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About the wood types[edit]

Just thought i'd say that i was the one who added the part about the impact grade hickory, i assure you i didn't put it in for advertiseing purposes, i added it becuse not many people know that impact grade hickory is the best wood for bokken. And added the link at the bottom to the company that makes them becuse its the only company on the net that uses only impact grade hickory. Why it wasn't added earlyer is beyond me, i've been useing bokken for a few years now and before i found out about this wood i was breaking alot of them lol.

>>Suggestion: Instead of speaking in absolute terms, why not add "it is widely considered" or "considered by many" to be the best wood for bokken... Or, "in terms of duability and flexibility, Impact Grade Hickory is an excellent choice..." I mean, come on, it is an opinion that impact grade hickory is the absolute best wood for bokken. Have you had scientific tests performed on every wood on the planet, and every wood that ever existed? I can say, for instance, that ancient Siberian Green Ironwood is the best wood for bokken, but that species of tree is extinct, and the only avaiable Siberian Green Ironwood existing today is in the Napalese Royal Museum. And "best" in terms of what? Is the wood's physical attributes the only measure? Did you know that there is a species of Hawthorne on the isle of Santorini off the Greek coast that is thought to have magical properties that will improve anyone's bokken wielding skill... What I'm saying is, it's all very subjective when you start saying somthing is "the best"... Siameez 13:41, 25 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any measures on red oak? I've been buying bokken from relatively basic stores for a few years, and the company making these bokken mark the wood as simply "red oak". There is a brief mentioning about red oak in the Construction section, but how about some measurements as "red oak" appears to be common. --TerraGamerX 05:29, 17 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bokken Spelling[edit]

Bokken is spelt boken and bokken interchangeably in this article. I thought it was spelt 'bokken' but both could be acceptable as far as Im aware. Does anybody know? Furthermore, if both are acceptable shouldnt we make use of one variation across the entire article and point out the usage of both at the top. Suggestions? SIGURD42 15:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd prefer bokken, simply because that's what I encountered first, and that's what I got used to. :) However, looking up the Japanese article, it seems to be that 木刀 should be spelt ぼくとう, that is, bokutou, or bokutō. Now what? chery 15:45, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I must be blind or something. chery 22:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As stated in the beginning of the article both japanese words exist: bok(u)ken and bokutō. 'U' is often unpronounced in Japanese; therefor bokken is an acceptable spelling. I think boken is plain wrong. --Philippe 12:12, 6 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I share your feelings about boken, but according to google, it seems way more common. :\ We should ask someone who actually speaks Japanese maybe? chery 12:46, 6 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I say we change it to bokken, everyone seems to agree and we at least need some consistency in the article. Any objections? SIGURD42 11:05, 12 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I never saw the spelling "boken" before reading the current version of this article. Most Google hits do not refer to swords. --zeno 11:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I got the following answer from Michael, who moved the article:

If you look on Google, bokken comes up with 666,000 results, and boken comes up with 8,664,000 results. Michael 19:14, 15 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google is not always the best method for finding out which is the correct spelling. I doubt that all results for "boken" refer to wooden swords. Some links on the first result page do not. If you search for things like "kendo bokken", "aikido bokken", "iado bokken", you get different results:

  • kendo: 49.900 k, 182.000 kk
  • aikido: 48.700 k, 238.000 kk
  • iado: 17.800 k, 132.000 kk
  • sword: 80.600 k, 178.000 kk

Regards, --zeno 22:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bokken is correct; the hiragana has a subscript tsu to indicate a doubled consonant. There are two kanji pairs that can describe this type of weapon, depending on which character for "sword" is used. Bokken is 木剣, and bokutou is 木刀. --GenkiNeko 22:11, 13 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Over 5 years in Japan - never met one person who recognized the word bokken. Not my kendo teachers or classmates in Kobe, Nagoya, Kaga or Hamamatsu, not the museum officials in Kita Kyushu where Miyamoto Mushashi's bokuto resides. Books and dictionaries I consulted used bokuto exclusively. While there may be two kanji pairs that are used - only one is used in Japan - 木刀. Indeed the Japanese language version of this entry uses roman letters for bokken - not kanji or hiragana (or even katakana). What an odd development it is to have a Japanese term that is not used in Japan. ( (talk) 00:50, 4 June 2011 (UTC))Reply[reply]

    • The name can always be changed to "Bokken (bokuto)", or you can find references to bokuto and add the information about alternate names. Since this is the most common name now in English for wood swords of this type no matter what they are called in Japan people will be searching for the word "bokken" more than any other termSamuraiantiqueworld (talk) 02:13, 4 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This item is indisputably "bokken" (or ad hoc descriptions such as "wooden katana" or "wooden sword") in English, and 木刀(ぼくとう、bokutou)in Japanese. The question is how have we managed to get to this strange state of affairs in English, where we say something that is apparently made up. Is it that the Japanese formerly said 木剣?


I'm going to copyedit a bit and maybe polish up the grammar here. If I change any meaning or content that should not be changed, please let me know with a quick note on my talk page. I'm learning still, and would appreciate it. Resonanteye 20:57, 27 November 2006 (UTC) A few quick notes- saya, suba, nodachi et al need a brief definition in english, so people (like me) who don't know the terminology can understand the sentence. I also changed some phrasing in the section that had the advert tag-if there are sources for any of that it might be ok. ResonanteyeReply[reply]

More Sources[edit]

Two sources doesn't cut it. So, I added a refimprove tag to the page. MastaFighta (talk) 10:08, 4 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've uploaded a lower-quality photo.[edit]

I actually own a Bokken, I've uploaded a photo I have of it, it isn't particularly good, but here it is if you want to see. This article could use a few more photos, if anyone has a few better ones.

Here's the URL:

--Pstanton (talk) 00:31, 4 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

wood list neds to be made longer[edit]

IVe used maple and beachwood to make bokkens before and they perform wonderfully. I am wondering if there are anymore sources for other boen making woods. ~~unknown~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 16 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The "Construction" section only talks about the types of wood used, nothing about the actual construction process. (talk) 18:12, 27 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The bit about Kashi confused me as I was copy editing this article today. Is American White Oak really also known as Kashi? What is the distinction between Kashi and Shiro Kashi? The Quercus alba page indicates that Kashi is in fact a nickname for Japanese white oak. So, I'm going to go ahead and delete the little parenthetical phrase about this distinction.Braincricket (talk) 05:11, 20 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I assume training Bokken are not sharpened. Is this correct? Are they sharpened in rare cases of actual combat use such as Musashi? Mydogtrouble (talk) 17:53, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Types of Bokken[edit]

Could someone who is knowledgeable start detailing the specific properties of EACH TYPE of bokuto? I thing it would be an invaluable resource to martial artists to be able to see each of the different types and learn what PROPERTIES make it unique, and the RATIONALE behind each koryu's use of this special variant. This information seems pretty scant online, even in online martial arts websites. —User:Kaecyy (talk)