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If choosing one’s Bokken is an easy task for a beginner, it is a much harder endeavor for veterans in need of a tool able to support the focus of their work. The weight, length, species of wood but also the curvature and thickness of the Bokken play a determining role in the weapon’s behavior during practice. Let’s review all those components.
The origin of the Iaito does not date back very far, to the 60s or so. The creation of this tool for practice was primarily driven by new laws and regulations, enacted after World War ll. Since then, with the experience of many trades in the manufacture of the Nihonto (Japanese sword), some Japanese craftsmen have developed an expertise, still unparalleled outside the archipelago.
We went to the region called Gifu to visit the workshops Minosaka and Nihon Token (Jisei), two of the most famous in Japan. Familiar with this topic for some years, we had many questions to ask – which we are summarizing here.