I'd like to know the name of the maker of this bokken, which I purchased in France some years ago:


To make it easier to read the characters, I have traced them (correctly this time):


  • The first kanji is "separate", I think. May 22, 2019 at 23:03
  • The second might be "grade 4" May 22, 2019 at 23:07
  • It's also not far from the kanji for "bokuto", 木刀 May 22, 2019 at 23:36
  • 4
    I dropped a link over in the Japanese SE chat room. The indication was that TonyD's answer is correct, essentially it means "New".
    – JohnP
    May 23, 2019 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


Your tracing isn't quite right: the bokken has a short down stroke at the top of the left character. The correct kanji is shown below, is pronounced "shin" or "arata", and means "new" in English.

Unfortunately, it's such a ubiquitous kanji that I haven't been able to narrow search matches down to anything useful.

  • Thank you I have updated the image. May 23, 2019 at 15:39
  • I believe you're right. My answer is probably wrong. I found this kanji in the following link... Google translate says the first character is "shin", second character is "dome". So the character that's on your bokken is likely "shin". sinonome-japan.com/en/bokken/… May 23, 2019 at 16:12
  • @DanieleProcida: You're welcome. By the way, the updated image isn't quite right... it should have that small downward stroke at the top left.
    – Tony D
    May 23, 2019 at 19:46
  • @SteveWeigand: I must admit I "cheated" a bit - my partner's Japanese and I went straight for the "hey, what's this kanji?" - actually got confused for a bit when told the first version of the trace wasn't the same as the photo - so hard to tell.
    – Tony D
    May 23, 2019 at 19:48
  • The real question is why is it "shin"? What's the significance of it? I know it means "new", but does that mean it's natural wood or something? Or is it "shin" as in "spirit" or "live"? May 23, 2019 at 19:51

I believe I have an answer for you about the manufacturer. There is a circle around the character, which is common in Japanese for use in brand names, logos, indicating special meanings, and so on. In this usage circle is "maru" so I searched for 丸新 (Marushin) and found this company (#14 of the last section, same information as below).

新留木刀製作所 Niidome Bokutou Seisakujo
新留 義昭 Niidome Yoshiaki
〒885-0017 〒 indicates zipcode
宮崎県都城市年見町10街区8号 Miyazaki-ken Miyakonojo-shi Toshimi-cho 10-gaiku 8-go
木刀製造業 Manufacturer of bokutou

Their website. The representative's name is 新留 義昭 (Niidome Yoshiaki. 新 is read nii [like knee] in some names). It looks like the symbol comes from the first character of their last name, but there was no image of such a mark on their website. So while it's possible this is where it came from, I can't guarantee it.

  • Welcome to the site! This is an excellent addition, thank you for the digging and the find!
    – JohnP
    Jun 3, 2019 at 14:02

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