It is critical to recognize that the iaitō is not a genuine weapon. It was created with the intention of allowing you to exercise iaidō without damaging yourself in alone practice and lowering the risk in partner practice.
An iaitō's build must closely resemble that of a katana. In order to practice handling an actual katana as realistically as possible, it is critical that you appreciate its size, weight, and balance, as well as its finish. It is used to familiarize the practitioner with the weapon and simplify the transfer to a truly sharp katana once he has the necessary practice and skill to handle it safely and properly.
In most schools in Japan, solo iaidō in the form of kata was practiced with one's own (real) katana, and training combats or kenjutsu kata in which two or more people participated with wooden bokken were practiced with wooden bokken. Although the practitioners of the time were experienced with the use of a real weapon, these regulations were closely followed in order to avoid damaging the swords or injuring the companions.
With the unification of Japan and the establishment of peace, many samurai are left without a master or a job, lose their position as knights, and must seek new means of income.
Many became public servants (judges, bailiffs, etc.) because they were among the few who had received an education, while others pursued medicine and surgery, which they mastered thanks to the knowledge gained on the battlefield. Poems, music, and painting were even used to make a living by the most educated.
Without trade or a lord, the vast majority became robbers, posing the greatest threat to the new Japan's peace. Many more simply became Rōnin, or lordless samurai, renting their sword to the highest bidder or working as a bodyguard for a single individual.
Others, either desiring to continue their commitment to the Martial Arts or simply not understanding how to pursue another trade, create the first dōjō (schools) where they teach the proper usage of weapons for a living.