Iaito & Koshirae - Mini Series 4

The 2nd part of this issue's topic covers the Habaki and then lead in to the levels of iaito construct. The Habaki's function is to hold the blade such that it sits nicely within the saya (almost not touching it). It is fitted between the blade and its tang (nakago). In a fitted iaito, one would see the blade, followed by the habaki, seppa and tsuba. Like the tsuba kashira, kojiri (saya cap) and fuchi, the material for habaki varies. Originally crafted using iron, other metals such as copper, silver and gold are generally introduced. There is also a variety regarding Habaki crafting and finishing. In general, there are 2 types of habaki construct. Namely, these are habaki are made from 1 sin

Iaito & Koshirae - Mini Series 3

Following on from previous post, this issue's topic covers the Saya (sheath). Saya are typically made from Honoki (magnolia wood) and lacquered. Honoki wood is a soft wood that is low in oils and hence material of choice for saya making. The specific curvature (sori) of an iaito blade meant each saya is closely designed to fit that particular blade. This also implies if an iaito's sori has been altered for whatsoever reasons (rare instances), a re-design of the saya is also needed. Hence, the close relationship between blade and saya. Fun fact: One example of an old saying that exemplifies this is "Moto no Saya ni Osamaru" - returning a blade to its original saya, used to describe reconcilia

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