Koiguchi – Katana Sword Replacement Parts
Katana Koiguchi is the mouth of the saya or its traditionally made 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 Saya are traditionally fitted with water buffalo horn parts. In iaido one of the most aggressive movements are referred to as Koiguchi no Kirikata or cutting the Koiguchi/ Carps mouth. Freeing the blade from the Saya allows the sword to be drawn quickly. This is important especially during competitions. If will deal a fatal cut if the maneuver is made in real life. However, these are no longer time of war. There are certain restrictions that are given as guide for those who are using swords in martial arts schools and schools of practice.
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 the very thick homogenous durable finish. However, the downside is that this take 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 smart 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 to the Habaki. Using plastic in place of metal is not a permanent solution in case repairs are needed in the future. One must keep in mind that a perfect fit into the Saya will eventually loosen up in the future. Repetitive drawing and re-sheating will wear away at the mouth of the Saya.
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 Habaki after cutting once every few months. However, the Habaki must be removed from the sword. The buffalo horn rings reduces wearing out by keeping the Saya from splitting in half. There are times that plastic is used for the lower end of the Saya. 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 after using copper wire. 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.