katana swords
Malak The Beast asked:

I’ve read that the Samurai would carry these swords through his sash. This leads me to believe that that would allow for slippage and movement of the swords during movement of the body. Modern swords come with a leather strap attached to the scabbard, now then how are these suppose to attach to the body? I could only assume they go over the shoulder but with that that would make drawing the sword more troublesome than wearing them at ones waist. Please help with me research, thank you.

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5 Comments to “The Proper Way to Carry the Katana, Wakazashi swords?”

  1. Jerry L says:

    The obi (what you call the sash) is about 4 inches wide and about 10-12 feet long, and it is wrapped quite snugly several times around the waist. The swords may be worn between these wraps or between the obi and the kimono or haori, so either way they are quite stable.

    There are some books out there on Japanese swordsmanship that may give you additional details.

    US military sabres for example, had two straps that attached to loops on the scabbard that then attached to a belt worn around the waist and the scabbard was free at the side. This made them easy to wear on a horse, but could be troublesome on foot with the scabbard bouncing around threatening to trip the wearer.

  2. Dead says:

    theres is a string you would tie around the hakama.. and the swords werent so cheaply made that they would slip out the sheath… some people just carried them in the left hand holding the scabbard and drew with the right….but yea they tied it down around the hip…with a belt and a rope ish thing..

  3. shyheart says:

    better hold the blade.coz the handle is sharp…,

  4. peter gunn says:

    both katana and wakizashi were traditionally worn through both the obi and the strings of the hakama. the obi by itself goes round the body twice and the string of the hakama another 4 times. If all of these are pulled tight it makes for a pretty snug fit. (it’s part of the hakama’s use to block the back straight up) If you hold your swords in between all these strings they are held in place pretty tightly since they are worn with the edge upwards there is no risk of them falling out. Besides usually the scabard is made to fit the blade so tightly you could hold them upside down and the still would not fall out. The rope around the sword has no function but for decoration. It’s made in a special knot that can be changed for the occasion (every day, formal,…

  5. ChargerIIC says:

    THe ‘proper’ method is doubtlessly with the Obi wrap. Many sword sellers will try to sell them with leather ‘frogs’, which are a Western way of holding sword to a belt. While western sword belts and frogs have some advantages in weight distribution, using a sash defintly holds the sword in a far more stable position (no knocking people with the scabbard when you turn :) ) I personally prefer the Scottish style of simply carrying the blade in it’s sheath and how you wear your blades should be a matter of personal preference in all but formal situation.s

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