Koiguchi – Katana Sword Replacement Parts
Katana Koiguchi is the mouth of the saya, its traditionally made of buffalo horn. Kuchi in Japanese language means mouth. Aikuchi means the mounting style where the Fuchi meets the Koiguchi.
This part and the Kojiri are made from buffalo horn. Almost all of our high-end Saya are traditionally fitted with water buffalo horn parts. In iaido one of the most aggressive movements is referred to as Koiguchi no Kirikata or cutting the Koiguchi/ Carp’s mouth.
Freeing the blade from the Saya allows the sword to be drawn quickly. This is important especially during competitions. If will deal with a fatal cut if the maneuver is made in real life.
There are certain restrictions that are given as a guide for those who are using swords in martial arts schools and when practicing with a Katana.
This part is left higher than the wood to allow them to flush with the finished lacquer. When lacquer is applied this dissolves the previous one applied. This produces a very thick homogenous durable finish.
However, the downside is that this takes a long time to cure but, when it cures properly the Koiguchi and Kojiri are filled down. This allows proper sanding and polishing thus resulting in a beautiful looking Saya.
This explains why some Saya looks better than the standard ones. This entails a bit of sacrifice on paying for more for this feature. This is when a swordsmith must be a craftsman and good at carpentry skills.
This will come in handy when the time comes for specific customization. Metal might be used but, this is not a common choice. Be clear when specifying what features the Saya must possess. The Saya opening must properly fit the Habaki.
One must keep in mind that a perfect fit into the Saya will eventually loosen up in the future and that the sword must be inserted into the saya in a certain angle, failing to do so will damage the saya.
Repetitive drawing and re-sheating will wear away at the mouth of the Saya, this why buffalo worn is recommended as it is more durable and will sustain longer.
Koiguchi Maintenance Tips
The Habaki normally suffers from wear and tear. A new Saya will not remedy the issue since this will get loose over time. The recommendation is to oil the blade and the Habaki after cutting once every few months (depending where you live and the climate).
The buffalo horn rings reduce wearing out by keeping the Saya from splitting in half. Water buffalo horn is custom carved for the Saya.
Repairing Split Saya does not call for replacement of the buffalo horn. The gaps are filled instead to reinforce this Katana blade part.
Special kind of glue is used along with wood dust. To restore the cosmetic appearance of the Saya a refinishing service must be done.
When refitting the mouth of the Saya the Habaki must be check to fit snugly into the Katana Koiguchi of the Saya. This must keep the sword from sliding out to make it easy to draw the sword.
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