The removable hand guard fitted onto wooden swords (tsuba) perform the obvious function of separating the tsuka (hilt) from the blade and protecting the hands from an opponent's weapon. The presence of the tsuba on a wooden sword also allows for certain specialized techniques where the edge of tsuba itself becomes the instrument for atemi (striking) and pressure point manipulations. The Kingfisher removable bamboo tsuba is available with some wooden swords and not on others in accordance with the traditional use of the weapon.
The Kingfisher tsuba seats quickly and securely onto the weapon. Shown at the right the first compression ring is placed at the correct position.
The tsuba is slid along the blade and seated into the first compression ring. The second ring follows the tsuba and seats into the chamfered recess in the tsuba.
Direct forces from use of the sword creates a compression of the ring rather than a lateral movement and the tsuba stays tightly in position. As strong as the assembly is, it is not terribly difficult to remove. Some twisting and front to back motions will loosen the assembly for quick removal.
Iron tsuba on shinken (real swords) are forged thick enough to withstand the stresses that the guard might encounter. As it turns out, this thickness is similar to the thickness of the blade and the two appear proportional to each other visually. Kingfisher uses the overall dimensions of the Kashima tsuba which is strong, rigid and suitable for the demands that a bokken might encounter. It is commensurate in size to the thickness of a wooden sword, making up in dimension for the difference in mechanical properties between wood and iron.
Bamboo Tsuba Price $35.00 (includes tsuba and 2 compression rings)
note: The bamboo tsuba is available to accompany Kingfisher bokken but is not sold separately because it cannot be fitted accurately without special tools. If you'd like to have your existing bokken fitted with a bamboo tsuba, send us your bokken, enclose return shipping address and credit card information including the expiration date and the billing address of the credit card. You will be charged $35 + return shipping.
Kingfisher Leather Tsuba
This tsuba is available as an option with selected Kingfisher bokken or may ordered to your specifications (see instructions) to fit most other bokken. Note: If intended for a non Kingfisher bokken, the blade section must have a continuous taper as the tsuba relies on a tight friction fit and requires that the blade gets thicker toward the tsuka (handle) in order to seat properly
The leather used for this product is perfectly uniform and pre-stretched to form a strong, tight fit that adapts itself to any change in the weapon, whether from impact or humidity fluctuation. The leather is industrial grade, uniform, smooth and of the highest quality. It is produced by the sole US manufacturer of leather belting for machine tool drives. The tsuba is precisely wound, trimmed, dyed and polished to a deep red burgundy luster.
On the left and above, is an ebony display bokken with leather tsuba. (Ebony or other exotic wood is not recommeded for paired practice or contact).
The Kingfisher leather tsuba, due to its custom nature and expense is recommended for specific situations as follows:
1) Kingfisher Bokken of very high quality (grade L7 Hickory or better and special wood selections)
2) In circumstances where utterly reliable hand protection is required.
3) For non Kingfisher bokken of very high quality
4) In circumstances where it is impractical to send a bokken back to Kingfisher for the fitting of a bamboo tsuba. (note: the leather tsuba can be sized and fitted without the bokken by following the directions) - click here to order separately