Re: bokken vs bokken?
Yoshokai aikido has weapons work from 7th kyu up. (Bokken, jo, tanto.) I think it's awesome.
I don't know anything about kenjutsu. However, I do recall hearing that the setsuninto katsujinken concept of the Yagyu school was put into practice with controlling rather than killing cuts. I remember hearing that O-sensei's own swordwork tended towards this method.
That said, most of what we practice would be pretty lethal. I think part of the point is to find a way to make a study of slashing people up and getting slashed up into a study of harmony.