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#1 User is offline   Joe Saunders 

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:38 AM

I'm not sure if this topic should be in this forum or perhaps the Other Martial Arts section. Mods, please feel free to move it to where it is most appropriate.

I have a number of (replica, ornamental) nihonto set up in a display in my living room. I was just wondering if there is any correct or incorrect way in which they should be displayed? For example, I've seen a few different methods such as:
Posted Image
Katana
Wakizashi
Tanto

As well as the opposite
Posted Image
Tanto
Wakizashi
Katana

I've also seen variations in which way the the point of the blade faced, and also in where the cutting edge of the blade was facing up or down.
Posted Image

Does anyone here have any knowledge on which way these blades should be displayed?

This post has been edited by Joe Saunders: 19 April 2007 - 03:44 AM

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#2 User is offline   letsstarttoday 

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:15 AM

I've often wondered this myself. I myself have one katana which i display edge up and with the tsuka on the right. I'm not sure what the proper is though, I'll have to research that a bit.

actually heres some info I just found within 2 seconds of googling it:


There are right ways and wrong ways by which a katana is displayed in your home or office. The Japanese katana cannot be displayed casually on the horizontal stand. The manner which it is displayed conveys your intentions, and somtimes the status of your nation. (not to mention there is a front/back side to each sword).

Order of placement for multiple swords:

If you own multiple swords and would like to display them on a multiple tiered stand, the order should be the Tanto (top tier), Wakizashi (middle tier), then the Katana (lower tier). This order directly corresponds to the order which the swords are worn on the samurais body as he dress and prepares himself each morning. The Katana is carried by hand to the entrance of the home and worn last, so it should go on the very bottom of the stand.

Displaying a sword in scabbard and out of scabbard:

Generally, the katana sword is kept within its scabbard when displaying it in your home. There are some circumstances when it is appropriate to display a katana out of its scabbard, one of these is if your nation is at war. When displaying in such a manner, you are conveying aggression and guarded attitude and the handle of your katana will be pointing to your right.

Cutting edge orientation:

EDGE UP - When not on horses, the samurai sword is worn with the blade side up on the left side of the body. This is also the popular style adopted in the more recent periods. A blade worn on the left side allows you to draw with your right hand. The upward facing edge allows you to cut downwards in front of you as you draw the sword from the sheath. Likewise, the sword on a stand should be displayed with the blade edge facing upwards. This also allows you to elimiate the pressure placed on the cutting edge.

Grip Orientation (as you face a displayed sword):

Grip pointing to the right - This conveys an aggressive or non-trusting intention. This is because you are able to draw the sword directly from the display stand with your right hand and respond to any immediate threat.

Grip pointing to the left - This conveys a non-hostile attitude and should be the way your swords are displayed on a regular basis. A left facing grip cannot be drawn with the right hand and has to be picked up, rotated (if grabbed with the left) or switch hands (if grabbed with the right) with before it can be drawn for use. By displaying your katana in this manner, you are stating that you feel no need threat nor harbor hostility that would require you to quickly reach for your sword. Additionally, a left facing grip with cutting edge upwards allows the front of your katana to face forward.
Posted Image
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#3 User is offline   Steve Leadbeater 

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:04 PM

Joe,
Pictures 2 and 3 are both correct, depending upon the perceived threat level.
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#4 User is offline   internerdj 

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:08 PM

View PostSteve Leadbeater, on Apr 19 2007, 10:04 AM, said:

Joe,
Pictures 2 and 3 are both correct, depending upon the perceived threat level.

Could you elaborate on what is wrong with 1?

Does 2 put any strain on the cutting edge?
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#5 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:36 PM

There is no strain on the edge in either position as in a sword with a properly fitted saya (scabbard) the blade is actually suspended within the saya and does not touch. The habaki (copper collar) is the only part of the blade that is in contact with the saya. For ornamental swords this is not much of a consideration. The lore of swords is complex, and often varies between regions and schools of swordsmanship. When I have seen swords diplayed in a horizontal stand by knowledgeable people they have always been edge up. The display typically includes only katana and wakizashi. Though either sword may also be displayed by itself (a wakizashi belonging to Kano sensei is on display by itself in the Kodokan museum).

I don't know about the tanto, I haven't seen them displayed very often with katana and wakizashi. Actually, tanto and wakizashi were somewhat interchangable, with some overlap in length. A samurai would not be likely to carry all three at the same time.
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#6 User is offline   Steve Leadbeater 

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 02:15 AM

View Postinternerdj, on Apr 19 2007, 03:08 PM, said:

Could you elaborate on what is wrong with 1?

Does 2 put any strain on the cutting edge?



Re: 1, Pick up the Tanto and put in inside your Kimono.
Pick up the Wakazashi and place it in your Obi.
Pick up the Katana and carry it in your hand. (Left hand if there is a percieved threat, or Right if not)


They are picked up from top to bottom in the manner of getting dressed.
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#7 User is offline   sam 

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:06 PM

I am a Japanese but neither Samurai nor Kendo expert. My neigbour is 8th Dan Kendo Hanshi, and this is the info I got from him.

The saya is on the left. Why? Because, assuming most of us are right-handed, one has to grab the sword with the right hand. Why? When placing it into the obi, one has to hold the katana in his right hand, opening the space with his left hand.

When a Samurai wears Katana and Wakizashi, he would place first Katana into the obi, then Wakizashi. Mind you, both Katana and Wakizashi are not facing towards the same direction. Wakizashi should not get in the way for Katana.

The tanto is worn inside the kimono but seldom or on no occasion will it be worn together with Wakizashi and Tanto.

So Katana at the top and below it is Wakizashi. Blade-up naturally as it`s how they are placed in the obi. According to him, there can be no deviation as it is so basic. Again I`m not qualified to confirm it. All I can say is, recall how the Katanas are handled in Kime-no-Kata.
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#8 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:40 PM

View Postsam, on Apr 20 2007, 05:06 PM, said:

I am a Japanese but neither Samurai nor Kendo expert. My neigbour is 8th Dan Kendo Hanshi, and this is the info I got from him.

The saya is on the left. Why? Because, assuming most of us are right-handed, one has to grab the sword with the right hand. Why? When placing it into the obi, one has to hold the katana in his right hand, opening the space with his left hand.

When a Samurai wears Katana and Wakizashi, he would place first Katana into the obi, then Wakizashi. Mind you, both Katana and Wakizashi are not facing towards the same direction. Wakizashi should not get in the way for Katana.

The tanto is worn inside the kimono but seldom or on no occasion will it be worn together with Wakizashi and Tanto.

So Katana at the top and below it is Wakizashi. Blade-up naturally as it`s how they are placed in the obi. According to him, there can be no deviation as it is so basic. Again I`m not qualified to confirm it. All I can say is, recall how the Katanas are handled in Kime-no-Kata.


If I understand you correctly sensei, you are writing that picture one is what you where informed was the correct position then? Very very interesting.

Kind regards,

Mike Hanon
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#9 User is offline   Francois 

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 04:55 PM

View Postsam, on Apr 20 2007, 09:06 AM, said:

I am a Japanese but neither Samurai nor Kendo expert. My neigbour is 8th Dan Kendo Hanshi, and this is the info I got from him.

The saya is on the left. Why? Because, assuming most of us are right-handed, one has to grab the sword with the right hand. Why? When placing it into the obi, one has to hold the katana in his right hand, opening the space with his left hand.

When a Samurai wears Katana and Wakizashi, he would place first Katana into the obi, then Wakizashi. Mind you, both Katana and Wakizashi are not facing towards the same direction. Wakizashi should not get in the way for Katana.

The tanto is worn inside the kimono but seldom or on no occasion will it be worn together with Wakizashi and Tanto.

So Katana at the top and below it is Wakizashi. Blade-up naturally as it`s how they are placed in the obi. According to him, there can be no deviation as it is so basic. Again I`m not qualified to confirm it. All I can say is, recall how the Katanas are handled in Kime-no-Kata.

My father is a 6th dan Kendo expert and does collect katana. He agrees with everything in your post Sam-sensei.

View PostHanon, on Apr 20 2007, 09:40 AM, said:

If I understand you correctly sensei, you are writing that picture one is what you where informed was the correct position then? Very very interesting.

Kind regards,

Mike Hanon

Yes the top picture is the traditional way swords should be displayed, although it is more commom just to see the katana and wakizashi displayed. Always blade up.

This post has been edited by ptnippon: 20 April 2007 - 04:57 PM

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#10 User is offline   sam 

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 12:06 PM

View Postptnippon, on Apr 21 2007, 01:55 AM, said:

My father is a 6th dan Kendo expert and does collect katana. He agrees with everything in your post Sam-sensei.
Yes the top picture is the traditional way swords should be displayed, although it is more commom just to see the katana and wakizashi displayed. Always blade up.


I`ve never seen a tanto displayed together with Wakizashi/Katana. Perhaps tanto is something to keep in your pocket or most likely in a drawer!! Civilians (Chomin), women and Yakuza carry a tanto!!

I can only relay any other questions to a Hanshi next to me, who used to be Shihan at the Imperial Police Guard (Kogu Keisatsu).
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#11 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 04:47 PM

I echo Sam's and PTNippon's post, but ... note that kendô is not koryű ...

There do exist 'unusual' things in certain koryű schools. The question what is correct or not, therefore has to be viewed in a certain specific context. The "specific contest" may in certain cases be different from what is common ...
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