• French
  • Japan Time : 02:40:16 PM

March Special Discount -15% on 2017's 5 best sellers until March 30th, 10am JPT

How to Choose Your Judo Wooden Weapons

As an expert in high quality Judo equipment KuSakura does not offer anything but the best made in Japan weapons available on the market. A small catalog, representing a fine choice - adapted to the need of all Judo practitioners.

These wooden weapons are all manufactured in Kyushu, Japan. To be more precise: Miyakonojo is the region called, where these wooden weapon craftsmen, Horinouchi, Matsuzaki and Aramaki, have their workshops and create these Judo weapons pieces.

When it comes to wooden weapons, wrong storage, brittle wood, and hidden cracks can easily cause severe injuries. And that is why the weapons offered on KuSakuraShop are exclusively made in Japan and undergo a strict quality control before shipment. Quality intact fiber structure is what is emphasized rather then wood color.

The basic woods for solid practice weapons are red and white oak. Isu no Ki is also a within the standard range, but slightly more special and typical Japanese. If you have a passion for wood or want to make a gift, choose your Bokken and Tanto in Sunuke or Tsubaki (Camellia), rare woods that definitely catch the eye.

Varnish Painting Versus Oil Polishing

The best way to protect your weapons from temperature changes, moisture and dryness is to varnish them. Our Japanese artisans use a very thin layer of transparent coating that covers the timber just enough to help prevent the weapon from warping.

However, non-coated weapons are available on KuSakuraShop too, because the raw surface of high quality timber is definitely more pleasant to the touch.
Where as small imperfections and splints can easily be covered and repaired with such lacquer, unvarnished weapons have to be carved from top notch Japanese quality wood. They are oiled several times before shipment to nourish the fiber. And that is what we recommend you to do roughly once a month with unvarnished weapons: Use our artisan's Camellia oil or any other maintenance or vegetable oil. This will help to keep the wood in good condition, prevents it from drying out or irregularly absorb moisture.
But keep in mind: Wood is a natural and living material, and each piece of timber reacts slightly different to the oiling process. The wood color can change significantly and usually darkens quite a bit and gets more intense.
As only the best timber on the market can be used for these unvarnished weapons, the overall manufacturing time takes longer and if out of stock in rare cases, the shipping time can take up to 6 weeks.

More Information on Available Timber

Click on "open" to get the full information

Akagashi (Standard Red Oak)

Akagashi, the Japanese red oak, is commonly used for the manufacture of wooden weapons. It is a bit lighter than Shirakashi (the Japanese white oak) and also a bit less dense. Because it is quite resilient to shocks, it is commonly used for contact practice (weapon against weapon) in other martial arts. It is the timber chosen by the Japanese army for their wooden weapons, and is an excellent choice for all Judo practitioners looking for standard weapons. Thoroughly chosen, this timber is also used superior and unvarnished weapons.

A enlever

a enlever ... unlike European oak. .

Shirakashi (White Oak)

Shirakashi (Quercus acutissima) is the famous Japanese white oak, that is native to the south of Japan. The best quality oak trees grow in moist soil and under plenty of sun like those in regions like Kyushu and Shikoku. Shirakashi timber from there is well-known for its outstanding characteristics in the manufacture of wooden weapons. The wood is particularly resilient to shocks because it is not too hard and is hence, often used for contact practice weapons for other martial arts. Shirakashi is slightly denser and heavier than Akagashi (red oak) and it is interesting to know, that unlike European oak, it floats in water. The Shirakashi timber used for these weapons is thoroughly selected and the best pieces are chosen for the unvarnished weapons offered.

Isu no Ki (Distilium racemocum)

Isu no Ki is a timber shrouded in legends, was used in Japan since ancient times for the manufacture of furniture and precious items like talismans. The Isu no Ki and Sunuke timber both stem from the same tree: The Isu no Ki is taken from the outer layer and the Sunuke from the core. The Isu no Ki has a purple-brownish color with a delicate wood grain, making it extremely soft to the touch. Compared to oak, it is slightly less solid and should not be used for heavy contact practice. The absence of contact practice in the Judo no Kata makes this wood a great choice for practitioners looking for an exquisite type of wood. The best and most thoroughly chosen Isu no Ki timber can be used for the manufacture of unvarnished weapons.

Sunuke (the core of Distilium racemocum)

The Sunuke timber is extracted from the same tree as the Isu no Ki timber. The Sunuke though can only be found in the core of the trunk of trees of several hundred years. And these trees have become precious and hence, the logging is strictly regulated. Wooden weapons made from 100% true Sunuke as offered here, are rare and costly. Be aware that what is sold as "cheap Sunuke" by other brands is either Isu no Ki or any kind of dark painted timber. Sunuke is a dense and heavy timber that does not absorb shocks well. Hence, it is not meant for contact practice but makes the most beautiful weapons for Judo Kata and Suburi practice. Please note that depending on available material, the weapon's weight can vary greatly and perfectly illustrate the outstanding quality of this Tsubaki timber, all weapons are oil-polished and not available varnished.

Tsubaki (Carmelia Japonica)

Camellia timber (Carmelia Japonica) or Tsubaki in Japanese, is a special timber found in the southern parts of Japan. The camellia trees can reach up to 500 years of age and this timber has always been used by craftsmen to carve furniture-like objects. Tsubaki timber features a yellowish color with a delicate grain pattern, and its characteristics makes it the perfect material for wooden weapons: It is quite light, resilient and absorbs shocks well. Because of the latter, it is considered as stronger than Sunuke yet, slightly less resistant than white oak. It certainly makes outstanding weapons for advanced Judo practitioners looking for exotic and long lasting weapons. To show its outstanding quality, weaons made from Tsubaki timber are only available unvarnished and with an oil polish finish.

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever (Fagus crenata)

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlever

à enlver

Timber Comparison (for Judo Kate Bokken)

Wood Origin Bokken Weight Toughness Utilization Price
Ichii Kashi
(standard red oak)
South Japan - Kyushu 450 ~ 500 g *** Beginner 5,000JPY~
Hon Akagashi
(deluxe red oak)
South Japan - Kyushu 480 ~ 580 g **** Contact 5,500JPY~
White Oak
South Japan - Kyushu 500 ~ 600 g **** Contact 5,500JPY~
Isu no Ki South Japan - Kyushu 480 ~ 580 g *** Kata - Women 6,000JPY~
Sunuke South Japan - Kyushu 600 ~ 700 g ** Suburi - Present 16,000JPY~
(Camellia japonica)
South Japan - Kyushu 450 ~ 500 g *** Women - Present 16,000JPY~
Hon Biwa
Japanese Loquat
South Japan - Kyushu 520 ~ 580 g ***** Everything ! 97,000JPY~
Kiri Hokkaido - North Japan 150 ~ 200 g * Kata 6,000JPY~
Buna South Japan - Kyushu 350 ~ 400 g ** Children - Women 5,000JPY~
Murasaki Kokutan
Purple Ebony
South Japan or East Asia 550 ~ 650 g ** Suburi - Present 11,000JPY~
Shima Kokutan
Asia Ebony
East Asia 700 ~ 750 g ** Suburi - Present 45,000JPY~
Hon Kokutan
African Ebony
African (Gaboon or Cameroon) 750 ~ 800 g ** Suburi - Present 120,000JPY~

*Since wood is a living material, the weight is variable and this table is for reference only.
* As a living material, wood color may vary significantly from one weapon to another.
* The price is for the classic bokken shape.


All weapons offered on this website can be engraved to give it a personal touch. You can simply add the corresponding "Weapon Engraving Service" before putting the weapon into your cart.
Adding an engraving may delay the shipping by 3-5 business days.

Interviews: à enlever parce que SEIDO

Seido Co., Ltd. - KuSakura Judogi Dpt.

Shirako 2-27-51
Wako-shi, 351-0101 Saitama-ken
Tel JP: +81.4-8437-1740
KusakuraShop uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website, you agree to the use of cookies.
If you would like to know more about cookies and how we use them please view our page "Privacy".Close