View Full Version : Broke my saya!
12-23-2000, 03:59 PM
I'm completely ill at the moment... :redhot:
Well executing a half-speed, yet determined draw, my saya was accidently blocked by the wall behind me. The resulting draw caused the sword to jam in the saya and the last 2 inches of the sword splintered the koiguchi (scabbard mouth). Sure it's my fault for not judging my distance (forgot I was that close to the wall), but I expected my saya to be a LITTLE sturdier than that. It wasn't even a fast draw -- if it was my hand would have been cut. My left hand was actually holding the koiguchi together.
It's a Paul Chen Practical Katana -- do you think I can find another saya?
I taped the saya up, but I wont use it for drawing practice anymore. :(
12-25-2000, 02:04 PM
You're a lucky person. I have video of a very high ranking Japanese swordsman performing a draw from seiza and cutting through the koiguchi(mouth of the saya) and in the process, removing the thumb from his left hand.
On the issue of the saya, there are various people in the States that make saya, or if yours isn't too badly damaged perhaps it can be repaired(same or leather around the last 3-4 inches of the saya(including the koiguchi).
Don't know the URL but apparently 'Fred Lohman' makes good saya.
12-26-2000, 08:41 PM
The latest issue of Journal of Asian Martial Arts (look in Borders or Barnes & Noble) has a very detailed article on making a saya. Sometimes pre-made saya can be found for about $100-$150, but they might not fit the Chen blade, due to shallow sori. Made-to-order saya that I have seen start about $200, but take some time and the maker needs to have your blade. You should be able to find someone who know wood to repair it. The idea to wrap the saya near the koiguchi is a good one. A friend uses thin steel wire to wrap about the top two or three inches of the saya, then you can lacquer over it so it is not obvious.
[Edited by socho on 12-28-2000 at 04:17 PM]
12-27-2000, 05:53 PM
The cutting swords I get from Japan have a strip of copper over the ha side of the saya for the first 4 or 5 inches to avoid cutting yourself. I think anyone in Iai sooner or later tries to start the cut before clearing the saya. I know I have. And more than once. Always makes me remember; "basics, basics, basics." Draw first, then cut! Bob Elder
12-27-2000, 06:15 PM
Hm. I've never heard of saya being made to specifications that withstand a run-in with an unobliging wall.But then, I don't get around much.
Maybe there were samurai who had special steel saya made instead of the usual thin and lightweight wood and lacquer, so that they could use them as bludgeons? Otherwise, my guess is that the saya's main, if not sole, purpose was/is to sheath and protect the blade, and to protect the wearer from his blade. It was never meant for collision with solid, unyielding masses.
As far as I know, walls were not considered a worthy enemy back in ol' Japan. They are rather lazy, preferring their opponent to do all the work of attacking while they just stand there and take it. Thus, I'm not sure I would blame the wall for ruining your saya. Nor would I blame the saya or its maker for not having withstood an impact it was never meant to take.
I am sorry for your loss, though. :(
12-28-2000, 11:08 AM
Er... that's what I was trying to say, Janty. Except I was trying to be nicer about it. :laugh:
12-28-2000, 12:34 PM
No, actually I meant to say that I was longer-winded about it. You were more direct and to the point.
But what were you really thinking? :laugh:
12-28-2000, 03:30 PM
I know Brian ; we maynot be friends anymore,or whatever he thinks of me. But if he broke it it was surely on an accident.
Brian's the type of guy that takes martial-arts an- swords VERY SERIOUSLY, Also ,from what I've seen,he's pretty skilled with his sword. So Brian : If you got it from fantasy Cutlery in Jackson,take it back and maybe that guy can do something for you. Or go to the one by your house and ask for "Pete". Maybe he can help . . .
12-28-2000, 05:45 PM
Lighten up. I know Cady fairly well from days gone past and interesting things to do on a saturday night :moon:. When she writes a post like that one chances are she is pulling your (or someone elses) leg. That said I've mad a similar mistake with a Jo and low lights. Snapped the Jo in two rather easily (unfortunatly), didn't even break a lightbulb though. I feel sorry for you loss but hey you could just take advantage on the situation and make a new Saya. I know I've been looking real had at those links above; though I understand that not everyone is as nuts about woodworking as I am....hum I wonder what a KOA Saya would look like.
When did I graduate to "Senior Member"? I'm about as lowly as can be
[Edited by Tony Peters on 12-28-2000 at 06:47 PM]
12-28-2000, 06:08 PM
Yes, I was just being obnoxious and engaging in some leg pulling. So, what else is new? :)
We have all broken things due to carelessness. In my case, it was my own leg. That was a heck of a lot more aggravating than a busted saya, I can tell you.
We are "senior members" because of the number of posts we have written, not out of merit. For some sick, twisted reason, John seems to prefer quantity over quality as the criterion for that title.
And as for your remembrances of "interesting things to do..." I have this for you -- :toot:
Rest in Peace, Island Guy! I thought of you on Guam when I was watching Tom Hanks in his latest movie. :)
12-29-2000, 04:12 PM
For the original poster:
CAS Iberia (Chen) dealers don't generally carry parts (such as saya), but you should check with your dealer anyway.
I once (in a foolish act on my part) broke the shaft of a Chen naginata. Even knowing that my dealer didn't sell parts, I emailed him anyway to see if he'd check if CASI had any shafts available (and offering to pay for it, of course).
I lucked out, they did have one due to a special case where someone "special" wanted a blade only, and a new shaft cost me about a fifth of the price of a new naginata.
Admittedly, this was a special favor type request, and this was a dealer that I'd done a *lot* of business with. But generally speaking, if your dealer is willing to call and ask, and if CASI has had any returns on defective PK *swords*, then they certainly shouldn't be averse to selling a saya to you at a much reduced cost.
And if your dealer won't ask CASI? Find a new dealer. I can recommend a good one if it comes to that.
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