I prefer Japanese White Oak (Shiro Kashi) for bokken. Japanese White Oak differs from the White Oak found in the United States in that the Japanese White Oak tree is an evergreen. This means the tree grows fairly uniformly year round making the growth rings less eratic and therefore the wood much stronger. White Oak trees (at least most of them) found in the United States are deciduous trees, meaning the leaves fall off in the fall. The tree does not grow much over the winter months and then in the summer the tree grows like crazy causing the growth rings to be further apart. This inevitably makes the wood less strong.
For Jo, I like hickory. It has great impact resistance and a nice "feel" to it.
Last edited by lt-rentaroo : 02-15-2002 at 06:47 PM.