What is a Shirasaya?

The Shirasaya is a simple wooden mount without any decorations. It’s made of a Tsuka and Saya that the sword’s blade is kept when not in use.

Traditionally, the Shirasaya is made of Nurizaya wood. Plus, it’s for whenever a blade is not expected to be used for some time.

The Appearance of a Shirasaya

When looking at this piece, it was externally featureless except for the Mekugi Ana for securing the Nakago or tang. However, there are times when the Sayagaki, or blade formation, was also present on the Shirasaya.

To have a special type of storage is vital since prolonged Koshirae mounting can harm the blade. This is due to factors like lacquered wood usually retaining moisture and encourages corrosion.


These types of mountings aren’t appropriate for actual combat since the lack of a Tsuba and handle wrap is dangerous. With that, the Shirasaya would never have made its way to the battlefield.

However, there have been hidden mountings that were similar to the Shirasaya, like the Shikomizue or sword-stick. It was a concealed blade that was commonly used for self-defense.

History of the Shirasaya

According to experts, the Shirasaya was first invented during the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1868 A.D. While its origin is a mystery, it makes sense since carrying of swords during this era was prohibited in Japan.

During that time, the government attempted to establish peace throughout Japan and believed that imposing these laws would prevent conflict. Because of that, the Samurai had to keep their swords since it had no purpose in times of peace.


To prevent the swords from acquiring damages, they needed a tighter fitting Saya to store their swords. This was the Shirasaya, a type of scabbard designed for storing blades for long periods.

The Shirasaya is made from Honoki or magnolia wood, which is efficient in keeping blades protected. It also prevented moisture from entering and causing corrosion on the blade.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Your First Shirasaya

If you plan to purchase a Shirasaya, you’ll have to consider a few things. First, is the material used, since different wood types are utilized for modern productions.

Also, consider the type of sword you plan to use it for. And most importantly, it’s best to see what price range suits your budget.

Most of the decisions lie on your personal preference when choosing a Shirasaya. Aside from these three things, it’s necessary to ensure that the shop you’re buying from is legitimate.

The Material of the Shirasaya

Most Saya is made from wood, and that includes the Shirasaya. Traditionally, the Shirasaya was made from Honoki wood, a type of Japanese magnolia. It was known for its strength, durability, and high resistance against elements.

Today, bamboo or other types of visually appealing wood are used for modern Shirasaya.

If you want something similar to the authentic ancient Shirasaya, choose plain wood like Honoki or bamboo. For a Shirasaya with modern designs, you can opt for other types of visually appealing types of wood.

The Type of Sword

Since the Shirasaya is for keeping the Nihonto, know the sword that you plan to use it with. If you’re going to store a Katana, the Katana Shirasaya is necessary. For the Tanto, the appropriate type of Shirasaya to utilize is the Tanto Shirasaya.

The Shirasaya can be used for any blade, and a lot of styles are available for each type of Nihonto.


Collectibles come in matching sets with two or three swords of varying lengths. A set of three swords usually consists of the Katana. Wakizashi, and the Tanto.

Some shops and manufacturers offer custom sizes if you own other types of swords like the Tachi or Nodachi.


Of course, your budget plays an important role in every shopping decision you make. When planning a purchase, ask yourself how much you can afford.

Also, check out what’s available on the market. Some budget-friendly Shirasaya is well-constructed so that you may be satisfied with these.

If you want something more expensive, it’s best to save up and wait until you can afford the best one.

Original price was: $799.Current price is: $699.