Kojiri – Saya Decorative Arts

Kojiri can be found at the end of the Saya. The Katana Kojiri is traditionally made of buffalo horn. Sometimes this can be made of metal. Generally speaking, Saya is made to fit the Kojiri and contrary to what others believe this does not work the other way around.

This is why some Saya can be reworked to fit and others could not. However, this involves carving and shaping. This does not guarantee that this approach will work though. Sometimes trying to do so can destroy a Saya.

In this case, most often than not repairs or replacements are needed to finish the Saya. The style of daisho during the Tokugawa period uses black lacquered items with horn koiguchi and kojiri. The dai was flat while the sho was rounded. Outside of the castle any style is permitted.

Katana Kojiri Materials

  • Buffalo Horn
  • Silver
  • Blackened Steel
  • Antique silver, black or gold
  • Copper with the use of ferric chloride. This will give this Katana part an antique brown loo

Different Types of Kojiri

  • Mam or Round. Made of lacquered black or red; which may also be covered with shark skin, Jidai-mono, sewa-mono and wagoto. Among the types of Katana Kojiri these are not often used.
  • Cutstraight across. This is also known as ichimonji or Kiri cut. This is also the choice among daimyo or Samurai of almost equal rank. This is often worn with Kitsuke

On our higher-end saya mostly you can find Buffalo horn ends which are durable and a perfect fit for a sword that is intended for frequent use.

Showing Respect

  • Pick up the sword and keep the kojiri resting on the floor between the knees
  • The curve of the Saya must be facing towards the sword owner
  • Look towards the sparring or training partner
  • Looking forward beyond the sword reach forward using the left hand touching the Saya with the fingertips
  • Lift the Katana Kojiri slightly off the floor. Pull this on the left hip as the tsuka is tilted forward in the right hand. Once it reaches the belt level use the left hand to insert this into the Obi

Kojiri is mostly made of buffalo horn for the Katana. However, Tachi, normally use metal type butt end for the sword saya. Some designs incorporate flowers or other designs.

This protects not just the Saya but the blade of the sword as well. some are made with an oval shape since this is commonly associated with genuine antique Japanese blades.

Some designs depict well-known gods. Some are made copying the image of Chinese immortal gods. These are full of interpretations and not just use for its aesthetic values only.

A rule of thumb when designing the Kojiri is to find a theme and the right fitting for it. Choosing between several designs before making the final decision is a great idea.

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