A (棒: ぼう), joong bong (Korean), bang (Chinese),[1][2] or kun (Okinawan), is a piece of wood of varying lengths staff weapon used in Okinawa and feudal Japan. are typically around 1.8 m (71 in) and used in Okinawan martial arts, while being adopted into Japanese arts such particular bōjutsu. Other staff-related weapons are the , which is 1.2 m (47 in) long, and the hanbō (half , known as tahn bong in Korea), which is 90 cm (35 in) long.[3][4][5]

A traditional rokushakubō is 1.82m (6 shaku) and wielded with both hands, due to its weight and size.


The is usually made with hard wood or a flexible wood, such as red or white oak, although bamboo and pine wood have been used, more common still is rattan wood for its flexibility. The may be tapered in that it can be thicker in the center (chukon-bu) than at the ends (kontei)[6] and is usually round or circular (maru-bo). Some bō are very light, with metallic sides, stripes and a grip which are used for XMA and competitions/demonstrations. Older bō were round (maru-bo), square (kaku-bo), hexagonal[7] (rokkaku-bo) or octagonal (hakkaku-bo). The average size of a bō is 6 shaku (around 6 ft (1.8 m)) but they can be as long as 9 ft (2.7 m) (kyu-shaku-bō).[2]

A 6 ft (1.8 m) is sometimes called a rokushakubō (六尺棒: ろくしゃくぼう). This name derives from the Japanese words roku (六: ろく), meaning "six"; shaku (尺: しゃく); and . The shaku is a Japanese measurement equivalent to 30.3 centimeters (0.994 ft). Thus, rokushakubō refers to a staff about 6-shaku (1.82 m; 5.96 feet) long. The is typically 3 cm (1.25 inch) thick, sometimes gradually tapering from the middle (chukon-bu) to 2 cm (0.75 inch)at the end (kontei). This thickness allows the user to make a tight fist around it in order to block and counter an attack.[2]

In some cases for training purposes or for a different style, rattan was used.[8] Some were inlaid or banded with strips of iron or other metals for extra strength.[7] range from heavy to light, from rigid to highly flexible, and from simple pieces of wood picked up from the side of the road to ornately decorated works of art.

Martial arts

Japanese bo
Japanese wooden staff "bo" weapon made in the shape of a walking stick, 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) tall and 15 cm (5.9 in) circumference.
2 bo
(6 ft) tall and 1 in (25 mm) in diameter in the form of a staff.

The Japanese martial art of wielding the is bōjutsu. The basis of technique is te, or hand, techniques derived from quanfa and other martial arts that reached Okinawa via trade and Chinese monks. Thrusting, swinging, and striking techniques often resemble empty-hand movements, following the philosophy that the is merely an "extension of one’s limbs". Consequently, bōjutsu is often incorporated into other styles of empty hand fighting, such as karate. The "bō" is also used as a spear and long sword in some of its motions, such as upward swing and slashing motion across the body as well as extensions by gripping one end and thus increasing its length as thus making it similar to a spear.

The is typically gripped in thirds, and when held horizontally in front, the right palm is facing away from the body and the left hand is facing the body, enabling the staff to rotate. The power is generated by the back hand pulling the staff, while the front hand is used for guidance. technique includes a wide variety of blocks, strikes, sweeps, and entrapments.


The earliest form of the , a staff, has been used throughout Asia since the beginning of recorded history. The first bo were called ishibo, and were made of wood (branches, etc. was common?). These were hard to make and were often unreliable. These were also extremely heavy. The konsaibo was a very distant variant of the kanabo. They were made from wood studded with iron. These were still too cumbersome for actual combat, so they were later replaced by unmodified hardwood staffs. Used for self-defense by monks or commoners, the staff was an integral part of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū, one of the martial arts’ oldest surviving styles. The staff evolved into the with the foundation of kobudo, a martial art using weapons, which emerged in Okinawa in the early 17th century.

Prior to the 15th century, Okinawa, a small island located south of Japan, was divided into three kingdoms: Chuzan, Hokuzan, and Nanzan. After much political turmoil, Okinawa was united under the Sho Dynasty in 1429. In 1477, Emperor Sho Shin came into power. Determined to enforce his philosophical and ethical ideas, while banning feudalism, the emperor instituted a ban on weapons. It became a crime to carry or own weapons such as swords, in an attempt to prevent further turmoil and prevent uprising.

In 1609, the temporary peace established by Sho Shin was violently overthrown when the powerful Shimazu clan of Satsuma invaded and conquered Okinawa. The Shimazu lords placed a new weapons ban, leaving the Okinawans defenseless against samurai weaponry. In an attempt to protect themselves, the people of Okinawa looked to simple farming implements, which the samurai would not be able to confiscate, as new methods of defense. This use of weapons developed into kobudo, or "ancient martial way" as known today.

Although the is now used as a weapon, its use is believed by some to have evolved from the long stick (tenbin) which was used to balance buckets or baskets. Typically, one would carry baskets of harvested crops or buckets of water or fish etc., one at each end of the tenbin, that is balanced across the middle of the back at the shoulder blades. In poorer agrarian economies, the tenbin remains a traditional farm work implement.[2][9] In styles such as Yamanni-ryū or Kenshin-ryū, many of the strikes are the same as those used for yari ("spear")[10] or naginata ("glaive").[11] There are stick fighting techniques native to just about every country on every continent.


Japanese 6 ft tall

Bō 2

Japanese bō, close up of one end or tip (kontei)

Various antique Japanese bo (staff) showing the (kontei)

Various antique Japanese bo showing the kontei (end or tip)

See also


  1. ^ Kim, R. (1974). The Weaponless Warriors. Ohara Publications. p. 26. ISBN 9780897500418. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Demura, F. (1976). Bo, Karate Weapon of Self-defense. Ohara Publications. p. 10. ISBN 9780897500197. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  3. ^ Hayes, S.K. (1990). The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art. Tuttle Publishing. p. 79. ISBN 9780804816564. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  4. ^ Draeger, D.F.; Smith, R.W. (1980). Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts. Kodansha International. pp. 1–117. ISBN 9780870114366. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  5. ^ Hassell, R.G.; Otis, E. (2000). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Karate. Alpha Books. p. 204. ISBN 9780028638324. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  6. ^ Demura, F. (1976). Bo, Karate Weapon of Self-defense. Ohara Publications. p. 19. ISBN 9780897500197. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  7. ^ a b Lowry, D.; Lee, M. (1987). Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Staff. Ohara Publications. p. 22. ISBN 9780897501163. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  8. ^ Ollhoff, J. (2010). Weapons. Abdo Publishing Company. p. 14. ISBN 9781604532876. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  9. ^ Black Belt. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 22. ISSN 0277-3066. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  10. ^ Campbell, S. (1999). Exotic Weapons of the Ninja. Carol Publishing Group. p. 17. ISBN 9780806520636. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  11. ^ Demura, F. (1976). Bo, Karate Weapon of Self-defense. Ohara Publications. p. 18. ISBN 9780897500197. Retrieved 2015-09-13.

External links


0.8Syooogeki (0.8秒と衝撃。, Reitenhachi-byō to Shōgeki., "0.8 Seconds and a Crash.") is a two-member Japanese independent band, who debuted in 2009 with the single "Postman John".


Bo hiya (棒火矢, Bō hiya) is the Japanese version of the fire arrow. Bo-hiya were used in ancient Japan and by the samurai class of feudal Japan.


Bōjutsu (棒術), translated from Japanese as "staff technique", is the martial art of using a staff weapon called bō which simply means "staff". Staves have been in use for thousands of years in East Asian martial arts like Silambam. Some techniques involve slashing, swinging, and stabbing with the staff. Others involve using the staff as a vaulting pole or as a prop for hand-to-hand strikes.

Today bōjutsu is usually associated either with Okinawan kobudō

or with Japanese koryū budō. Japanese bōjutsu is one of the core elements of classical martial training.

Thrusting, swinging, and striking techniques often resemble empty-hand movements, following the philosophy that the bō is merely an "extension of one’s limbs". Consequently, bōjutsu is often incorporated into other styles of empty-hand fighting, like traditional Jiu-jitsu, and karate.

In the Okinawan context, the weapon is frequently referred to as the kon.

Chu Bo

Chu Bo (simplified Chinese: 储波; traditional Chinese: 儲波; pinyin: Chǔ Bō; born October 1944) is a retired Chinese politician. He served as the Communist Party of China Secretary for the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the top leader of the region, holding position from 2001 to 2009. He also served as Governor of Hunan Province between 1998 and 2001.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru), sometimes styled as Dragonball, is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha. Dragon Ball was initially inspired by the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West as well as Hong Kong martial arts films. The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.

Toriyama's manga was adapted and divided into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed 20 animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018). From 2009 to 2015, a revised version of Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan under the title Dragon Ball Kai, as a recut that follows the manga's story more faithfully by removing most of the material featured exclusively in the anime. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes films, both animated and live-action, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, along with several collections of soundtracks and a large number of video games. Dragon Ball is one of the top twenty highest-grossing media franchises of all time, having generated more than $20 billion in total franchise revenue as of 2018.Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time, with the manga sold in over 40 countries and the anime broadcast in more than 80 countries. The manga's 42 collected tankōbon volumes have sold over 160 million copies in Japan, and are estimated to have sold more 250–300 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humour of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential manga series ever made, with many manga artists citing Dragon Ball as a source of inspiration for their own now popular works. The anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is also highly popular across the world and is considered one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture. It has had a considerable impact on global popular culture, referenced by and inspiring numerous artists, athletes, celebrities, filmmakers, musicians and writers across the world.

Dried turnip

Dried turnip (simplified Chinese: 萝卜干; traditional Chinese: 蘿蔔乾; pinyin: luó bō gān; alternative simplified: 菜頭乾) is one kind of pickles in China, also a kind of vegetables with unique flavor. It is rich in both Vitamin B and iron.

Inn of Evil

'Inn of Evil (いのちぼうにふろう, Inochi bonufuro) is a 1971 Japanese film directed by Masaki Kobayashi. The film set during the Tokugawa Shogunate and is about a tavern in Edo where smugglers use it as base of operations. The film was adapted from the novel Fukagawa anarakutei (lit. Fukagawa Comfort Restaurant) by Shugoro Yamamoto. The film received four awards at the Mainichi Film Concours, including Best Actor and Best Score.

A jō (杖:じょう) is an approximately 1.27-metre (4.2 ft) wooden staff, used in some Japanese martial arts. The martial art of wielding the jō is called jōjutsu or jōdō. Also, aiki-jō is a set of techniques in aikido which uses the jō to illustrate aikido's principles with a weapon. The jō staff is shorter than the bō. Today, the jō is still used by some Japanese police forces.

Ken (unit)

The ken (間) is a traditional Japanese unit of length, equal to six Japanese feet (shaku). The exact value has varied over time and location but has generally been a little shorter than 2 meters (6 ft 7 in). It is now standardized as ​1 9⁄11 meter.

Although mostly supplanted by the metric system, this unit is a common measurement in Japanese architecture, where it is used as a proportion for the intervals between the pillars of traditional-style buildings. In this context, it is commonly translated as "bay". The length also appears in other contexts, such as the standard length of the bō staff in Japanese martial arts and the standard dimensions of the tatami mats. As these are used to cover the floors of most Japanese houses, floor surfaces are still commonly measured not in square meters but in "tatami" which are equivalent to half of a square ken.

List of practice weapons

This list of practice weapons, is of weapons specifically designed for practice in different martial arts from around the world. Unlike those in the list of martial arts weapons article, many of which are designed to be effective weapons, generally those listed here are blunted or otherwise designed for safe regular practice and training.

Bokken (Japanese wooden swords, also known as bokuto)

Suburitō (Japanese wooden sword, longer and heavier than a bokken)

Iaitō (Practice weapon used in Iaido)

Shinai (Japanese Katana-like sword made of Bamboo strips, used in Kendo)

Tanren bō (Japanese blunt, wooden, suburito-like bat used in Aikido)

Taijijian (Demonstration version of the Jian, Chinese straight sword, for use in T'ai chi ch'uan)

Épée (European fencing weapon)

Pugil stick (Heavily padded pole-like weapon)

Foil (European fencing weapon)

Federschwert (Steel sparring sword used in European martial arts)

Dussack (European curved, single edged practice sword)

Sabre (European fencing weapon)

Waster (Wooden European sword simulator)

Foam Weapons, Boffers (Foam Weapons used in live action role playing, SCA, and the like)

Rubber duck (American mockup of a firearm used in training, such as Marine Corps Martial Arts Program)


The Noppera-bō (のっぺらぼう, Noppera-bō), or faceless ghost, is a Japanese yōkai (legendary creature) that looks like a human but has no face. They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as a mujina, an old Japanese word for a badger or raccoon dog. Although the mujina can assume the form of the other, noppera-bō are usually disguised as humans. Such creatures were thought to sometimes transform themselves into noppera-bō in order to frighten humans. Lafcadio Hearn used the animals' name as the title of his story about faceless monsters, probably resulting in the misused terminology.

Noppera-bō are known primarily for frightening humans, but are usually otherwise harmless. They appear at first as ordinary human beings, sometimes impersonating someone familiar to the victim, before causing their features to disappear, leaving a blank, smooth sheet of skin where their face should be.


Obake (お化け) and bakemono (化け物) are a class of yōkai, preternatural creatures in Japanese folklore. Literally, the terms mean a thing that changes, referring to a state of transformation or shapeshifting.

These words are often translated as ghost, but primarily they refer to living things or supernatural beings who have taken on a temporary transformation, and these bakemono are distinct from the spirits of the dead. However, as a secondary usage, the term obake can be a synonym for yūrei, the ghost of a deceased human being.A bakemono's true form may be an animal such as a fox (kitsune), a raccoon dog (tanuki), a badger (mujina), a transforming cat (bakeneko), the spirit of a plant—such as a kodama, or an inanimate object which may possess a soul in Shinto and other animistic traditions. Obake derived from household objects are often called tsukumogami.

A bakemono usually either disguises itself as a human or appears in a strange or terrifying form such as a hitotsume-kozō, an ōnyūdō, or a noppera-bō. In common usage, any bizarre apparition can be referred to as a bakemono or an obake whether or not it is believed to have some other form, making the terms roughly synonymous with yōkai.

Okinawan kobudō

Okinawan Kobudō (沖縄古武道), literally "old martial way of Okinawa", is the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts.

Ruyi Jingu Bang

Ruyi Jingu Bang (Chinese: 如意金箍棒; pinyin: Rúyì Jīngū Bàng), or simply Ruyi Bang or Jingu Bang, is the poetic name of a magical staff wielded by the immortal monkey Sun Wukong in the 16th-century classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Anthony Yu translates the name simply as "The Compliant Golden-Hooped Rod", while W.J.F. Jenner translates it as the "As-You-Will Gold-Banded Cudgel".

Ryukyu Kobudo

Ryukyu Kobudo is the branch of Okinawan Kobudo developed and systemized by Taira Shinken under the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinko Kai association.

Ryukyu Kobudo uses the following weapons: Bō, Sai, Eku, Kama, Tinbe-Rochin, Tekko, Nunchaku and Tonfa.

Tanren bō

A tanren bō (鍛錬棒) is a bat used in aikido for strength and suburi training. Despite being only 3 feet (0.91 m) overall, with 10 inches for the handle, the "blade" is a large lump of rectangular wood, with its cross-section being a square with dimension of three square inches, and has an overall weight of 4 to 7 lbs.

By designating one corner as edge, an aikidoka can use it as an even heavier suburitō, practice suburi, kata, hasuji (edge-angle) and tomei (swing stopping), and learn the bounce-back of the sword by practising against tanrenuchi, now typically a tyre stood upright on a concrete base.

As it is designed towards aikido and strength training, specifically for getting used to the weight of a heavy-handled object, it does not resemble a sword in shape, length, or mass. Thus, unlike suburito, it is less effective for learning the katana's cut, and is not suited for contact with other swords.


Umaibō (うまい棒) or "delicious stick" is a small, puffed, cylindrical corn snack from Japan. It is produced by Riska and sold by Yaokin. It has a suggested retail price of 10 yen, but because profit margin is so slim, its price can change without notice. Its consistency is similar to Cheetos. The mascot is a cat, Umaemon, whose name is a pun on that of a popular animated character, Doraemon.There are many flavors of Umaibō available, including savory flavors, such as salad, mentaiko, takoyaki and cheese; and sweet flavors, such as cocoa, caramel, and chocolate. Some flavors were discontinued after a brief period, while others became a staple. Some flavors are only sold in specific locations, such as tourist spots.

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