Caution - the blade of your Katana is extremely sharp and may cause serious injury. Make sure that
the blade edge is never in a position where it could injure yourself or others. Never clean or oil
the blade with the edge towards .you and avoid touching the edge at all times. Never allow children
to handle the Katana.
Unsheathing and sheathing the Katana.
The blade fit in the scabbard is deliberately firm to avoid accidental unsheathing. Do not unsheath
the blade by simply pulling the handle and the scabbard apart, this is dangerous and will wear the
scabbard throat. To correctly unsheaih the blade, hold the wrapped section of the scabbard with the
left hand (edge side up) and the handle with the right. With the left thumb push the guard away from
the throat of the scabbard (Fig. A). When the friction resistance is broken, slide the blade gently
from the scabbard, making sure the back of the blade, not the edge, contacts the scabbard during
withdrawal (Fig. B). This avoids dulling the blade and cutting the scabbard.
To re-sheath the blade, hold the katana handle in the right hand, edge up, and the scabbard by the
wrapped section with the left hand, making sure that the scabbard is curving in the same direction
as the blade. Carefully insert the tip of the blade into the throat of the scabbard and gently slide
the scabbard and blade together, again making sure that the back of the blade, not the edge, is in
contact with the scabbard. Resistance will be felt when the guard is within about an inch of the
scabbard, and a slightly firmer push will then be needed to fully seat the blade.
Always store your Katana horizontally with the edge side up. This prevents the edge from bearing on
the scabbard and preserves the condition of both. If the fit between the Katana and the scabbard
becomes loose, through usage, the fit must be restored to prevent accidental unsheathing.
Contents of Maintenance Kit (fig. C)
|Powder Ball, for applying polishing powder to blade
|Rice Paper, for cleaning oil from blade, polishing and spreading oil on blade
|Brass Hammer, for removing and installing bamboo pins in grip. While this tool is a
traditional part of the maintenance kit, we strongly recommend against disassembly of the
Katana as the bamboo pins will wear, resulting in a loose grip.
Maintaining your Katana.
The scabbard of your Katana is finished in many coats of black lacquer. To preserve the sheen,
the scabbard needs only to be wiped occasionally with a very soft cloth. Handle the scabbard only
by holding the wrapped section, otherwise fine scratches caused by handling the lacquered sections
will dull the finish.
Blade maintenance is very important to preserve the finish. The maintenance kit allows you to
maintain your blade the same way as original pieces were (and are) maintained. Blade maintenance
should be performed at least every three months and any time the blade is touched (skin oils will
cause rapid corrosion of fine steels).
First, use a sheet of rice paper to remove oil from previous maintenance, holding
the edge away from you and working very carefully to avoid injury.
(Note: if you wish to save the rice paper, a soft cotton cloth may be substituted).
Then tap the powder ball lightly against the blade every two inches or so along its
length, dusting the blade very lightly with powder.
(Note: when using the ball for the first time, you may need to tap the ball
against the blade a number of times to start" the powder flow through the fabric of the ball.)
Then use a clean piece of rice paper or cotton cloth to carefully rub over the powder
to polish the blade.
Repeat until both sides of the blade have been polished and the powder removed.
Apply a few drops of oil along the length of each side of the blade and use a clean
piece of rice paper or cotton cloth to spread the oil evenly over the blade.
Be sure not to touch the blade again before re-sheathing.