The rokushakubo, or bo for short, has been a part of most nation's cultures because it's essentially a stick or staff.
The rokushakubo of Okinawa may have been introduced from China but the tapered version - called a kon - is indigenous to the islands. The tapered staff is about 1.8 meters (6 ft) in length, with the ends tapering considerably. The end of the kon, because of its reduced circumference, has greater penetrating power than the rokushakubo and it is not as easy to ensnare with chain weapons.
Rokushakubo and kon techniques were not designed or developed for the warrior class but for the farmers and fishermen who needed protection from footpads (thieves) and brigands. The rokushakubo of the samurai is totally different in both technique and application. The Okinawan kon and rokushakubo rely on thrusting, swinging and striking techniques that stem from empty-hand styles of okinawate. Attacks are often avoided by agile footwork and returning strikes made at the enemy's weak points.
The Okinawan Karate Club of Atlanta teaches Tokamini Bo and Sagagawa Bo as taught to us by Shimabukuro O'Sensei. We also practice Shuzi Bo and Seite Bo as taught to us by Christensen Sensei.
-Michael Finn, Martial Arts: A Complete Illustrated History, The Overlook Press, 1988