A wooden Japanese sword used for training, usually the size and shape of a katana, but sometimes shaped like other swords, such as the wakizashi and tanto. Bokken is a term synonymous with bokutō in Japan, but is more widely used in the west.
Traditionally, the character Ken is used at the beginning of a word, for terms having to do with the sword, for example in Kendō (way of the sword) and Kenjutsu (art of the sword). In contrast, tō is used primarily as a suffix, for example, in shōtō (short sword) and daitō (long sword). Thus, in Japan, the word bokuto (wood sword) is more commonly used.
by Paul Wall Da People's Champ December 03, 2009