Sunuke wood comes from a tree that is officially called “Isu no ki” or the Japanese Isu tree.
Only the wood that comes from trees that are 250-400 years old is called ‘Sunuke’. Therefore, although a great deal of care and attention goes into their production, it is naturally not possible for all Sunuke Bokken to be exempt from small imperfections. In Japan these ‘imperfections’ are generally considered to be a sign that the Bokken is indeed the genuine article, and therefore are preferred by some over Bokken which are without marks.
While the Isu wood which comes from the younger trees, is known for it’s beautiful color gradation, Sunuke is know for it’s dark, Chocolate-like color which gives it a charm of it’s own.
In terms of hardness and weight, it could be said to be one of, if not the best materials available in Japan. However, because of it’s hardness, it does not have much flexibility which makes it unsuitable for sparring and contact training.
The older the tree is, the more expensive the Sunuke wood becomes, and in the last few years, this material has become quite rare, it’s said that maybe we will not be able get our hands at Bokken made out of this material in a not too far off future.