Saya is where the sword is kept when it is not in use. It has a little rope that ties the piece to the warrior belt. Made of several pieces, saya is cherished among Sword men, yet each piece has its particular name and role. Actually, the importance that has this item makes it as important as the sword itself there is no complete collection sword or functional sword without its associated Saya. As in the Japanese culture there are several types of swords, there is also several types of Sayas. The distinction is based on the associated blade and the material of which the saya is made of.
What is saya?
The word Saya refers to the Sheath or Scabbard that the warrior uses to keep the sword. Sayas serve to protect the blade when it is not in use. They serve also as support for the blade: the carrier has the blade within the Saya attached to his belt. Sayas are made the way not to scratch the blade and preserve his coating layers and therefore they need to be of relative tightness. They have to be hermetic and allow as few as possible moisture to form on the blade when it is kept. Sayas can also be used as weapon; in some martial practices; Sayas is used a complementary tool to the blade with which the warrior can strike or cover from strikes.
Generally, Sayas are made to fit the destined Swords: if they are to keep Ninja sword or Samurai Sword; if they are to be associated to functional sword or decorative one. These factors can affect the proficiency level required for the realization of the piece and may also affect the material to use for the construction.
Sayas are real pieces of art; they are designed the way not to create any contrast especially with the Tsuka. Saya and Tsuka should complete each other and the design has to be uniform with no discontinuity to the point that Tsuka and Saya should appear as one piece. Moreover, looking to the Saya and Tsuka, one is to be considered as the reflection of the other. Already, they are made of the same material and precisely from the same piece of material.
Saya Parts and Materials:
Saya designates the whole tool. Actually it is composed of several parts and several materials.
Saya is made of a particular Wood type produced by a tree called magnolia. The Magnolia wood is light, dry and easily worked. The carpentry procedure is simple but needs to be conducted with precaution and care not to destruct and therefore lose the piece of wood. The main material is Wood, yet some parts are in metal and can be iron or aluminum.
– Koyiguci: refers to the mouth of the Saya, it can be in contact with the Tsuba or can be separated of it by few millimeters (4 to 5).
– Kojiri: refers to the end of the Saya. This item and the Koyiguci are usually made of Buffalo horns.
– Kurikata (Kurigata): it is the point where the Sageo is to be attached.
– Shito dome: is an ornamental piece that is placed on the Kurikata. The Shito dome is commonly made of glowing metal that can be of various shapes and can even be a sculpture.
– Sageo: is the little rope used to tie the Katana Saya to the belt. The rope is made of the same material that the Tsuka Ito and usually it is Nylon.
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