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DavidM
10-07-2002, 04:15 PM
Anyone know if there's a traditional way of displaying a Katana? Is it cutting edge up, or down?

Thanks
David

Liz Baron
10-07-2002, 04:38 PM
In all the books I have about Japanese weapons, the general rule seems to be that swords are displayed as they would be worn. For Tachi this would mean edge downwards, as they are worn slung not unlike a western sword. Katana and Wakizashi would be diplayed edge upwards.

Kanzan Sato's book ("The Japanese Sword") states that convention for Tachi is hilt to the left and blade downwards. Separated blades and their mounts are diplayed with the blade above the mounts, and Tachi mounted vertically should be displayed with the back of the scabbard facing the viewer with the hilt at the bottom.

He goes on to say that daisho should be mounted hilt to the left and blade upwards, with the Katana above the Wakizashi. If mounted vertically it should be hilt upwards with the edge away from the viewer.

This is all from the current English edition of the book, I don't know if anyone has better/more up to date information?

L

:)

Kevin Wilbanks
10-07-2002, 07:44 PM
Interestingly, a man who had spent some years living in Japan told me that openly displaying swords on a stand in the home was considered crude and tacky by many Japanese. Perhaps it would be different in a dojo, where they might actually be there in order to be used. Anyone know anything about this?

Kevin Leavitt
10-07-2002, 10:12 PM
Don't know for sure, but I would buy that it is very showy and tacky, not to mention bad for your blade to have it exposed to the air and moisture. Probably better to have it sheathed.

To each is own though

Kevin Wilbanks
10-08-2002, 12:09 AM
I meant in the saya (scabbards).

DavidM
10-08-2002, 12:49 AM
It was really just one of those things where my mantle was empty so I bought a cheap 20 dollar Kat and put it on the mantle, just didn't know if there was a "Correct" way to display it

Chuck.Gordon
10-08-2002, 01:21 AM
A couple points here:

On the idea of display being gaudy/gauche; I suspect some of that is post-war reaction. Another data point, most Japanese weren't allowed swords, ever, much less the full daisho. For a non-'samurai' to display swords WOULD be quite a gaffe.

If they are displayed:

On a 'standard' katanakake, like the little two-sword rack that comes with most cheapie sets (note that there are lots of different styles and types); generally, in the saya, edge up, tsuka to the left (I think, my ambiperplexity is kicking in) -- the kurigata (the little knob through which the sageo loops) should be outward.

I've heard and read that in 'warrior' houses, during time of war, the tsuka was reversed, for ease of use. This may be a romantic notion, but in some dojo, the bokuto and katana (if any are present) are racked tsuka to the right for this reason.

There's some amount of romantic hoo-ah attached to which way the tsuka points (peaceful intent, vs combat readiness), but I think what it really boils down to is ease of use.

In a vertical stand (usually only used for tachi), the tsuka goes down, the edge inward.

Chuck

Bronson
10-08-2002, 02:58 PM
Interestingly, a man who had spent some years living in Japan told me that openly displaying swords on a stand in the home was considered crude and tacky by many Japanese.

Recently I had a young japanese exchange student start taking my class. After class we were talking and during the course of conversation he pointed to the weapons rack and said something to the effect that in Japan people who own (or maybe it was display) bokken are considered somewhat "unsavory" :confused: I said "good thing we're not in Japan" and we all laughed. Has anyone else heard anything like this? Or is it more likely a local, family, school, church, or whatever dislike of bokken and the people who own them?

Thanks,

Bronson

Guest5678
10-09-2002, 07:09 AM
When you trust your visitors - the tsuka is to the left.

When you don't trust your visitors - the tsuka is to the right.

The ha (edge) is up always with katana.

-Mongo

DavidM
10-09-2002, 02:20 PM
Very interesting...anyone know the story behind that?

Guest5678
10-09-2002, 03:09 PM
Very interesting...anyone know the story behind that?
Stems from people, then and now, training to draw the sword right handed (most of the time).

If unsure of the visitors intentions, having the tsuka to the right allows you to draw the sword for use, much quicker (right handed). Most people draw a blade right handed...

-Mongo

Chuck.Gordon
10-09-2002, 03:43 PM
When you trust your visitors - the tsuka is to the left.

When you don't trust your visitors - the tsuka is to the right.

The ha (edge) is up always with katana.

-Mongo
Hey Mongo!

And then there's the whole business about which end is pointing toward/away from the kamiza. Point and edge should face AWAY from the kamiza. I fhte weapons rack is on the left wall, facing shomen, the tsuka would be to the right, regardless of whether you trust 'em or not.

Of course, it all depends on who you wanna piss off, the kami ro the visitors ...

Chuck

Guest5678
10-10-2002, 10:10 AM
Hey Mongo!

And then there's the whole business about which end is pointing toward/away from the kamiza. Point and edge should face AWAY from the kamiza. I fhte weapons rack is on the left wall, facing shomen, the tsuka would be to the right, regardless of whether you trust 'em or not.

Of course, it all depends on who you wanna piss off, the kami ro the visitors ...

Chuck
HA! Either way you go you're going to piss somebody off...... so many people, so little time....

-Mongo