View Full Version : What is a shirasaya for?
I've been practising kungfu for 5 years and recently became interested in Jpanese swords. Ive found lot of names for these swords, for example shirasaya. I read it is a blade inside a wooden sheath but cannot find any info about the purpose of placing a sword there, ect.
Could someone please explain something about shirasaya or provide some internet link?
Hung Gar kungfu
It is my understanding that it strictly for storage. While several films have shown it being used as a walking stick, the shirasaya I have seen didn't have the blade held firmly enough for serious use. I'd be afraid of impaling a bystander if I tried to cut with it.
Shirasaya, as mentioned, are strictly for storage of the bare blade. IIRC, if you have a new or newly polished blade, you would not want to put it in an old saya to be scratched. Usually when you send of a blade to be polished, you would commission a shirasaya to be constructed as well. I believe the glue used in constructing a shirasaya is not all that strong, so utilizing it for anything for storage of the blade would be unwise.
From Richard Stein's Japanese Sword Index
SHIRASAYA - plain wood storage scabbard
Completely unsuited to use as a weapon.
If I'm not mistaken (please correct me if I am), shira means rest. So the shirasaya is a "resting" saya, implying what you guys have already said - that it is a storage device, and not to be used as a weapon.
Just my .02
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