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  • Writer's pictureKunizane Kaneda

About the scabbard and handle of a Japanese sword[EN]

What do you imagine a Japanese sword to look like?

I'm sure most people think of a black-lacquered scabbard, a hilt wrapped with a string, and a metal fitting such as a Tsuba.

Many people who want to order a Japanese sword ask me, "Does it come with Tsuba?"

So I'm going to write about the scabbard and handle of a Japanese sword.

First of all, most of the swords made by modern sword smiths come in a simple wooden sheath called "Shirasaya". My work is no different.

Shirasaya is the most suitable sheath for storing and preserving swords, and is the human equivalent of relaxing wear.

Do you spend your holidays at home in a suit, jacket or dress? I bet you don't.

The same goes for swords, and swords like to wear Shirasaya when they rest.

So what about a scabbard that is lacquered black and has many fittings?

Yes, it is the same as a suit or dress for humans.

I call it "Koshirae".

There are so many variations of Koshirae.

They come in different shapes and colors, different types of metal fittings, different types of strings wrapped around the pattern, and different ways of wrapping them.

They also come at different prices.

If you use inexpensive materials, you will get a cheap product, but if you use expensive materials and leave the work to a first-class craftsman, you will get a gorgeous product.

If you would like to have a suitable Koshirae along with the sword I make, I will be happy to help you with that.

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