Sword Care and Maintenance

clean kit

When handling and maintaining Japanese swords, it is imperative that certain rules and guidelines are followed - not only for the preservation sword, but also for your own safety. First you will need to prepare an environment that is safe and conducive for maintaining and viewing Japanese swords. Additionally, before handling any blade it is essential that you remove your watch and any pieces of jewelry that you are wearing, as it is possible that these may come into contact with the blade and scratch it.



The Necessary Tools

You will need your sword cleaning tool kit which you can purchase on the internet or buy the required impliments seperately and construct your own kit. However you choose to acquire a kit it should consist of:

The Cleaning Kit

    1. Two pieces of Nugui-Gami (Japanese traditional cleaning paper.)
    2. Uchiko, Finely ground stone powder (hazuya and jizuya) in a silk ball used to remove oil and moisture from the blade.
    3. An approved sword oil, commonly referred to as Choji-oil.
    4. Small pieces of lint-free cloth (or tissue) to apply the new oil.
    5. A Mekugi-Nuki (small hammer) to remove the retaining peg.
    6. A Fukusa  (a silk cloth used to handle and view the sword).

There are many websites with instructions on sword cleaning and many advocate using cheaper materials but if you own a quality sword you will want to either employ a professional craftsman or at least purchase the best materials available.
A good source of information on sword care and maintenance is the publication "Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords, A Collector's Guide" and is available at Amazon.com.