The Horinouchi workshop closed permanently in September 2019 (see the detailed article on our blog). Solutions are being implemented and we are confident about the possibility of offering this product again soon. Therefore, orders for 'Hokushin Itto Ryu Shoto - Classic Woods' are temporarily suspended until we transfer the technology to the other workshops. Note that it is possible that the cost of this product increase significantly, depending on how new artisans will implement its manufacturing process.
Product Information & Size Chart
Hokushin Itto Ryu Shoto - Red/White Oak
Made in Japan (Kyushu)
Flat Spine | Rounded Butt | Long Kissaki
Red Oak or White Oak available
This Shoto is made from a single piece of oak (red or white) and carved on the southern islands of Kyushu (Japan). As the short version of the Hokushin Itto Ryu Bokken, this Shoto is significantly thicker and heavier and slightly longer than a standard Shoto. It is mainly for Hokushin Itto Ryu practitioners, but also makes an excellent heavy Shoto for Kenjutsu and Kendo practice.
- Choice of wood species: red oak, white oak.
- Available finish: Urethane varnish or camellia oil polish.
- Manufacturing workshop: Horinouchi for all models.
We also offer the standard length Bokken version of this model, the Hokushin Itto Ryu Bokken.
Non varnished - Oil polish option:
All our high-end weapons are available either varnished with urethane or polished with camellia oil. The latter is more pleasant to the touch and these unvarnished weapons are also more ecologically-friendly, but they require regular (monthly) maintenance with oil (camellia or wood maintenance oil). Further, they can only be made from the finest timber of Japanese quality. Given the need for maintenance, our stocks are limited. Also, since the craftsmen must select the best wood possible to manufacture these wooden weapons, the processing time is longer than for varnished weapons. Please note that the oil polish can darken the wood significantly.
Hokushin Itto Ryu Shoto Specifications Wood Akagashi (Red Oak) Shirakashi (White Oak) Weight ~ 380 g ~ 400 g Full length 54.5 cm Blade length 41 cm Tsuka length 13 cm Tsuka diameter 38 x 28 mm Mine Hiramine (flat spine) Tsuka shape Hanmaru (Rounded butt) Kissaki Short Kissaki
*Due to the hand-made manufacturing, color and weight may vary from one weapon to another.
About Hokushin Itto Ryu School:
The original Itto Ryu, founded by Ito Ittosai Kagehisa in the later 16th century, has today disappeared but its techniques and legacy are still alive in many styles such as the Ono-Ha Itto Ryu, Mizoguchi Ha Itto Ryu, Hokushin Itto Ryu and many more.
The Hokushin Itto Ryu was founded in the late Edo period, around 1820 by Chiba Shusaku, one of the last Kensei. As sister school of the Ono Ha Itto Ryu, Hokushin Itto Ryu focuses on dueling and is well known for its emphasis on very fast Tsuki techniques. It is also one of the last Koryu in which all Kumitachi must be practiced with a Shinken (real sword) in order to become a Shihan. Despite its relative youth at the time, Hokushin Itto Ryu was one of the three major Kenjutsu schools at the end of the Meiji period and was practiced by numerous famous historical figures such as Sakamoto Ryoma, Yamanami Keisuke, Ito Kashitaro, Mochida Moriji (one of the most amazing Kendoka of the 20 century!) as well as many key figures who developed modern Kendo. The Hokushin Itto Ryu is very likely one of the main base of modern Kendo, especially its "Gekiken" training (sort of ancient form of Kendo that consists of training with a Shinai and armors.)
One must recognize that Hokushin Itto Ryu is one of the very few schools acknowledging modernity and their well designed international website and Youtube channel would probably honor the reformer Sakamoto Ryoma.
You will also find some demonstrations on our Youtube channel: Hokushin Itto Ryu Kenjutsu - 40th All Japan Kobudo Demonstration (2017).