Kashima Bokken Long Sword
The Kashima bokken is straight, relatively heavy and has little taper. The design is unique to the Kashima Shinryū (鹿島神流)a koryū (old school) martial art dating to the early 16th century.
The Kashima Bokken overall length is 41 1/2" with a tsuka length of 10 1/2". The profile is generally stout with a thick oval hilt (tsuka) and a feeling of heavy balance which, while noticeably different from most other wooden swords, lends itself well to the heavy inertial style of the Kashima Ryu (school). A bamboo tsuba (hand guard) is included since tsuba are always used in traditional Kashima swordwork.
The area of the kashira on this L5 grade kashima bokken is flat with a 45deg bevel chamfer. Quality grade L7 has a slightly domed kashira and grade L7hc is also domed but reveals the hand cut tool marks.
This bokken is always used with a tsuba (hand guard). Made of reliable cross laminated bamboo, it's not prone to the dramatic and sudden failures common to solid wood tsuba. Note the clean lines of the tsuba relative to the blade. The tsuba is easily removable however, the Kingfisher design uses a compression chamfer on the inside of the opening that naturally clamps onto an o-ring. The geometry counters forces that tend to move the tsuba. This system is superior to the broad rubber band type collars (tsuba dome) that rely on the elastic of the collar to keep the tsuba in place.
This is the short stubby kissaki (point) of the Kashima bokken in grade L5. It's made to withstand the direct impact which often occurs in the Kashima sword style.