The Japanese Sword Forum

Menuki placement question.
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Author:  kempiai [ Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Menuki placement question.

I wonder if there is an answer to this question?!

I have read a few books on the katana, and as yet I have not found an answer.
I even contacted Stephen Turnbull who is the author of a couple of them, but he responded that he is not an authority on the subject which puzzled me as he has written a few books on the subject?!!

My question is this. Should the menuki be placed always on the same sides of the tsuka?
My Iaito has them under both palms whilst holding the katana in, say, Jodan no kamae.
Yet almost EVERY other katana I have ever seen has them the other way around so that they would fall underneath the finger tips whilst gripping the tsuka.

Could anybody tell me if mine are perhaps the wrong way round (traditionally speaking), or is there perhaps no right or wrong on this subject, and as decorations it was up to the person wrapping the tsuka??

I hope that makes sense!!

I look forward to being educated.

Author:  kempiai [ Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Menuki placement question.

Nobody at all??!!
If anybody knows the answer please let me know I'm close to ordering my daisho, but can't without the answer :cry:

Author:  Guido [ Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Menuki placement question.

Menuki were originally used to cover the mekugi and prevent it from slipping out. Later on they became purely ornamental, and were placed about one hands width from the fuchi on the omote (outward side) and the kashira on the ura (side facing the body) on tachi. However, when the uchigatana was "invented," the placement did not change for traditional reasons, even though the sword was now worn edge up. This resulted in a reversed position of the menuki to what is seen on tachi.

An additional benefit of the menuki placement of tachi was the better grip on the tsuka, since the menuki filled the gap in the palm of the hand. On katana, gyaku-menuki (“reversed menuki”), or menuki placed in ergonomically correct position, were almost exclusively found on Yagyū-koshirae; nowadays it depends on the sword school.

Author:  kempiai [ Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Menuki placement question.

Thank you ever so much, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer.
Really interesting.


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