The L7 hand cut Iwama bokken of Takemusu Aiki Aikido is 41" long. It has a moderate curvature and, with its fairly stout proportions, has a feeling of decisive to heavy balance. The defining feature of this weapon is its superb hand cut character, its solidness and simplicity.
The Iwama design is made from patterns and dimensions studied over decades including personal insights from direct students of Morihiro Saito, the first headmaster of the Iwama school and most senior weapon's instructor of Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. Despite its reputation for being heavy and thick, Saito preferred a bokken that was solid but restrained and not as blocky as is commonly thought. The original is similar to old school (koryu) bokken. The Iwama bokken does not accept a hand guard (tsuba) as the principles of the Iwama style rely on the use of the bokken as instructive of open hand techniques and body positioning as the defensive method rather than the use of protective devices.
Hi Brad I received the bokken and OH MY GOD, it is beautiful I almost don't want to use it, it looks so good. The jo and tanto are awesome too. One question on the bamboo tsuba, when I try to fit it, it got to 3/4 of the length of where it's supposed to be at the beginning of the tsuka. I didn't want to jam it in there forcefully, so is there a proper technique to install the tsuba? I'm assuming that I put an o-ring on each side of the tsuba. Makers response-Thanks so much! Tsuba are custom fit to individual bokken. They are intended to be a little snug at first however, they will seat into the transition ramp after a bit of use.
Hello, I'm mailing you to let you know i received the 42" aikiken i ordered near the beginning of the month. it is of the best quality i've ever seen. awesome, awesome sword, thank you! the grain on the chisel top is wild, changing color from light to dark with movement and the patterns within the wood make me feel like i'm handling a much more expensive piece of art. i hope to take care of it well enough to hand it down to my children! i can't wait to order another one of your wooden weapons. hopefully soon! - Andrew