seeking a quality Bokken to buy

Brother John

Senior Master
Jan 13, 2002
Reaction score
Wichita Kansas, USA
Anyone out there know of a good maker of Bokken???
My old Sensei had a really good one that his instructor from Japan had given him as a gift... VERY NICE.
Then I bought one from a well known martial arts supply catalog...
Perhaps I was spoiled with a fine model in the first place, but it was addicting..
and painful after a few hours.
Your Brother
If you are looking for a nice bokken be ready to shell out a lot of $$. They some times go for several hundred dollers (I have see $400 before).

Despair Bear

I'm working on a project at home and have been drilling and cutting pieces of cribbing [white oak cut into 3-1/2 x 6 x 48 inches] that is used in the trucking industry to secure wide loads such as machinery, loaders, etc. Drilling this stuff is like drilling steel, so it seems to me that perhaps if you know a good woodworker [or someone in a HS Wood shop] they could lend you some assistance in this area for a great deal less than $400.00.

Just a thought since there are a large number of sources out there for exotic woods, such as lignum vite - purple wood, teak, mahogany, ash, hickory, etc. or simpy go to a site known as Woodfisher [you can fill in the before & after]- Years ago I picked up a hickory bo, jo and bokken from this gentleman, and have no complaints about his products

:asian: :asian:
Years ago, i used to purchase Bokken from a company in Maryland... the Kiyota company... the ywere pricey, but their stuff was of quality i feel comfortable recommending.

Also, i second the choice of Bugei products, their stuff has always held up very well in our training.

hope that helps!! and Good Luck!

respects, Guro Jeff
If you wanted to make it yourself, I don't think I'd go for lignum vitae like old sempai suggested! That will chew down a standard saw blade faster than a piece of concrete. And forget sanding it to a perfect finish...that is, unless you have about 4 months to spare! If I'm not mistaken, it is the hardest wood known to man. Yikes!
When I lived in Japan, I had the luck to run across a store in Kyushu, Kumamoto City, that caters to kendo/iaido/jodo practice...

I can't find the URL, but the phone number is (096)372-3666, fax is (096)366-6353.

Now all you need is someone that speaks or reads/writes Japanese!

They can custom make bokken/jo/shinai/bogu/etc. Their prices are stiff, but the quality is very high.

They also specialize in Musashi's Ni Ten Ichi Ryu method of swordsmanship...

Good stuff.


One of our students has a store here in Arizona that among other neat things sells ebony bokken and Bahi Bokken. I have both a ebony bokken and a ebony suburito and they are both extremly nice. The web adress is
Good luck on your search.

Jeff Harris
Arizona Shinkendo
When I did jo I used a Japanese white oak bokken from kiyota. That thing was a real banger. Only complaint was that it came with one of those cheapie plastic tsubas, which was broken by a poorly, and forcefully, swung jo. There are 3rd party tsubas for sell. If you intend to use it for a banger I'd get one of those.

Think they were in the $30 range.
I recently bought a bokken from (might have been .net) it was 7000 Yen with shipping to the US (two swords for Ni Ten Ichi Ryu) I will let you know about quality when i get them, they looked nice on the web site.
You might take a look at:
Sei Do Kai website

The Sei Do Kai website has some nice bokken for decent prices. I know that Kim Taylor (of SDK) has also done some custom work in a number of woods before, and you might try contacting him to see if he would be willing to craft a custom bokken for you.

The wood you select will have a lot to do with what you are going to use your bokken for, obviously. If you are going to do just simple training (solo forms, no contact) or presentation of forms, you might want a more decorative and softer wood; on the other hand, if you are going to be making contact often, you might want to go with something a lot harder and/or more splinter-resistant.

Just my 2 cents' worth.....let us know how it goes!!

Just a note. Tink is closing his store at the end of the month, and he is marking stuff down to get rid of his inventor. We are sorry to see him close, but if you want a nice ebony bokken at a good price this is your chance.
The web address is

Jeff Harris
Please try this site
They offer quality hand-made bokkens, especially interesting are bokkens from Cornel wood (type of Dogwood), very hard.
My friend also bought this bokken and when they had a sensei from Japan (will check his name), the sensei couldn't lose hold of that Cornelwood bokken. Funny, right?
Best regards,