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What are the 2 strips of wood on the sides of the tsuka for? (Pic in post)

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#1 piryohae3

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 12:27 AM

This is from a video about Bizen's sword museum. At first glance I thought it was a partial samegawa wrap like on cheaper production swords but upon closer inspection, the narrow strips of wood are on the outside which seems to indicate it is indeed a full same wrap. I thought it'd be optimal to have as much of the ito to have direct contact with the same to prevent slippage due to the bumpy texture.

 

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Since rays aren't native to Japanese waters, who did they trade with to get the skins? I wonder how they came up with the idea to use ray skins on a tsuka in the first place.


James J


#2 IanB

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 12:35 AM

It is exactly to prevent the same creating bumps along the edges of the tsuka the tin wood shims are there. Remember there is no paper packing along the edges.

Ian Bottomley



#3 SteveM

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 12:48 AM

http://www.ksky.ne.j...mewrapping.html

 

But I question the comment that says ray skins were imported from south seas. I think rays are also found in Japan (at least, that's what wikipedia tells me), and I find it slightly hard to believe that there would have been sufficient south sea trade in ray skins to meet Japan's needs. 

 

https://en.wikipedia...owtail_stingray

 

Edit: I think there must be other threads on this topic. As I recall there is always some disagreement over exactly what type (genus) of rayskin is used.


Steve M

#4 Ford Hallam

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 01:03 AM

It might be informative to read Henri Joly's 'Sword and Same" as it contains the Ko Hi Sei Gi by Hogitaro Inada, a fairly comprehensive Edo period text on same used on swords and saya. I cant recall off hand but I pretty sure it covers the sources of the varieties of ray used.


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#5 Logan09

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 03:47 AM

My understanding is the wood strips are used to get the final shape of the tsuka(and to true up the Ito to the Fuchi/kashira) and to prevent the nodes from catching on the Ray skin(preventing full stretching of the Ito)
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