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08-14-2002, 06:50 AM
Hi Guys!

It's my first time to post something here. I'd like to ask what is the right length of a bokken and a jo? It would really help me a lot. Thanks!

08-14-2002, 07:24 AM
As far as i can remember a Jo should be 4 ft long and my bokken is about as long as my leg or taller (up to the hip) so i'd say about 3 1/2 maybe? dunno could someone confirm this.

i know this doesnt have to be the standard because you can get bigger bokken's and jo's personaly i'd like a 5 ft one but thats cause i'm 6'4" tall


08-14-2002, 07:37 AM
As far as I know there are 2 ways of measuring:

1. by your own body

2. by an absolute length

By method one the tip of a bokken should just touch the floor when you hold it in a reasonably firm but relaxed grip with your right hand (i.e. top of handle), and relaxed arm. A jo should be just below the armpit.

Method 2: I'm not sure about lengths of bokkens, they can vary considerably - often suburi bokkens being shorter or longer than the average one for kumitachi. For a jo it is 50 inches (I've never seen a purchased jo any different to this).


08-14-2002, 07:38 AM

I believe a bokken should be of the same length that would be appropriate for a real sword (or iaito). This means that if you stand up straight (not overextending) with you right arm down your side holding the bokken with a firm grip but not too tightly (fingers 4 and 5 should deliever the main part of the strength) so that the bokken points downwards and slightly forward then - if your hand is placed on the hilt just below the tsuba (the guard) - the tip of the bokken should be very close to the ground (1-2 centimeters (roughly half an inch)).

Off course this is just a guideline. In the end it depends on what you are comfortable with, which depends on your height and the length of your arms. You should be able to draw the sword and sheathe it again without overextending your arm and leaning forward, on the other you should avoid getting a 'toothpick' bokken since it tends to look kind of stupid for a big man to cut with a sword which is to short for him.

As of the size of the jo there are many guidelines. Some specify a specific length, and some claim it should be fitted to the person using it. For the last part I have heard rules of thumbs such as that is should go from the ground and up to just below the armpit, or from the ground up to just below the nipple (on a guy that is - give and take as needed for a woman (I'm serious!! please don't flame me for being politically incorrect))

Hope this helps

David Worsley
08-17-2002, 03:21 PM
I concur with Ian`s reply, I prefer the measured method,( no.1) but I am happy if students wish to use standard length weapons.

Most westerners are taller and broader than their eastern counterparts, and the weapons now imported are produced to fit the eastern builds.

However at 5`10" the standard size imports are perfect for me, NOT for my short, broad Wife!! ( she knows i`ve written this)

The suberi bokken (bokken to) are bigger because of the weight requirement, they need to simulate the weight of a katana.

08-27-2002, 03:01 AM
Hi! Sweden calling!

Thank you for telling me all about what length Jo & Bokken should have. Now my question: If I want to buy a good bokken from a western company I have found kingfisherwoodworks to be a serious company. But the Bokken the make is a little bit too long for me. Do you now of a Japanese company who makes good Bokken och Jo? That is a company where you can chose length and what material etc. I donīt like Tozando, little informationand just one choise. Hope you can give me a tip. Best regards // Rikard Jönsson

08-27-2002, 02:59 PM
not Japanese, but have you tried www.bearwoodproducts.com

08-28-2002, 11:02 AM
I donīt like Tozando,
I realize that this may be "off topic," but do you have any experience with Tozando's steel swords? How are they, quality-wise?

08-29-2002, 12:08 AM
Hi Cessna!

Sorry, canīt help you. I have no experience of buying from Tozando. I just talked about tthe information on their site about Bokken. Sorry...// Rikard

08-29-2002, 12:57 AM
not Japanese, but have you tried www.bearwoodproducts.com

Our dojo-cho got her weapons from them and she loves them. She also said they had great customer service.


08-29-2002, 03:57 AM
I realize that this may be "off topic," but do you have any experience with Tozando's steel swords? How are they, quality-wise?
Hi Cessna!

I have had a wonderfull experience dealing with Tozando. About six months ago I bought their #110 Hon Koshirae iaito, and I like it a lot. It's a bit heavier than your 'standard' iaito, and it is not easy to cut with, but I fits me great. They have little variation in fittings, but on the other hand their prices are quite reasonable.

My only regret is, that I perhaps should have had a sword a little longer, but the #110 only come up to 2.50 (japanese measure). I guess I should have found one that could be delivered in 2.55 or 2.6, but that was outside my financial possibilities.

BTW: they have a sale right now (they do twice a year) and the #110 is actually on sale.

I had a lot of trouble getting the sword through the customs in Denmark - not due to Tozando though as they were very helpfull supplying information during the proces.

Feel free to mail me, if you have any additional questions.