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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 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.
This tsuba is available as an option with selected Kingfisher bokken or may ordered to your specifications (see instructions on this website) 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.
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:
Kanji are ideographs and pictographs used in written Japanese. On Kingfisher Swords, Staffs, Hiking Sticks and katana kake (sword stands), inscriptions are oriented vertically and read top to bottom. The characters are burned into the wood by hand with a calligraphy stylus. The bokken, shown above with and without tsuba, is inscribed with the word "randori", which is made up two kanji. The first, ran, means chaos. The second, dori, means to seize or capture. Randori refers to the martial practice of freeform attack and defense practice. On the Jo staff to the right, is the kanji "masagatsu agatsu"which means - true victory is self victory. The Kingfisher kanji archive is an unusual window into esoteric kanji and uncommon phrases that could be inscribed into your wooden weapon or hiking stick. They are compiled from arcane classical sources that relate to the Japanese martial arts, natural phenomena and Zen thought.
Use Ctrl-F or Cmd-F in your browser to find keywords. Select the radio button to choose your inscription and then close this inscription window. When the product and any other options are added to your cart, the inscription choice will appear with your order.