Most of the practice undertaken in kenjutsu revolves around the use of a wooden sword known as a bokken. Safer than a real sword, but still dangerous, the wooden sword is easier to obtain and more forgiving when one makes a mistake that might have ruined the blade of a real sword.
In the mind of the student there is no difference between a wooden sword and a real steel sword- they are one and the same, and just like a steel sword the wooden sword required periodic care to keep it training worthy.
The first thing before any practice session is to physically inspect the sword for any cracks, splinters, or breaks in the wood to ensure it does not split during training or give off any splinters. Sometimes a slight crack or splinter can be sanded out, other times for safety’s sake the sword has to be retired.
Being made of wood it is also important to apply lemon oil or other wood oil to the sword every few months to keep the wood hydrated and strong- doing this will ensure your bokken lasts for years and years and stays at approximately at the same weight as a real sword.
Finally, when not in use your bokken should be stored in a travel bag or training case to not only keep it safe when not in use and on the way to class, but also to afford it the respect of a steel sword.