As part of our article leading up to Women's International Day and our "Women in Iaido" series, this article covers the steps in Reiho - Wearing of the sword (in this case an iaito) in paired practice.
#1 - Facing one another in a standing position, members then seat down in Seiza facing each other. Iaitos are placed on the right side of each other. Members then bow to one another (see the two pictures below).
#2 - After this, members place iaito in front of themselves (mirroring each other).
#3 - Bow to the sword (ToRei)
#4 - This is followed by preparing the iaito for wearing (see below picture). This is done at a synchronized pace with each other. Specifics are not covered in-depth here; generally, the metsuke is focused beyond the koshirae but is also an opportunity to check its condition.
#5 - With the right hand securing the tsuba and upper part of the iaito, the left-hand slides along the saya to the kojiri. Then, bring the iaito up using the left hand and ease the iaito into the obi.
#6 - The sageo is alternated between either hand; brought over the saya, looped from below and prepared to be secured with part of the hakama strap (see pictures below).
#7 - Stand up after wearing the sword, again in a synchronized manner. Reiho completed.
Reiho in a standing position can be performed as such as well, with or without the iaito worn. Facing each other, bow at about 30 degrees to another. If bowing to a senior person, the junior side bows to a deeper degree.
Members featured: Mari (left), Julin (right)
Photo credits: Jerry