How to Tie a Katana

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A katana is a slender and elegant Japanese sword carried by Samurai warriors and sometimes made for decorative purpose in honor of its great tradition. To wear a katana, it must be tied to the sash of the warrior. Alternatively, a katana can be tied in decorative knots even though it isn’t worn. It is not really the katana that is tied but its scabbard. The scabbard is called a "saya" and the traditional cord used in tying a katana is referred to as a "sageo." The sageo is tied to the knob, or "kurikata," of the saya housing the katana. The katana can traditionally be tied in two ways depending on its purpose.

Things You'll Need

  • Scabbard
  • Cord

The Orthodox Warrior Style

Wrap one end of the cord in a small piece of thin plastic film. Slip the plastic film inside the hole of the knob of kurikata. Remove the plastic film and pull a small length of the cord to the other side of the hole.

Flip the longer arm of the cord over the other side of the hole, so it meets with the other part of the string. Draw the shorter end of the string until both arms are equal.

Tie a slipknot with both arms of the cord. Sheathe the katana in its scabbard and wear it along the waistline with the free ends of the cord.

The Display or Decorative Style

Wrap one end of the cord in a small piece of thin plastic film. Slip the plastic film inside the hole of the knob of kurikata. Remove the plastic film and pull the cord until equal lengths of it are on either side of the kurikata.

Cross the two free ends of the cord around the kurikata to make a final knot. Draw both ends under the scabbard.

Make a small hole on each side of the cross formed by the ropes around the kurikata. Fold back a small piece of each arm of the cord on itself and slip that into the each hole to make a knot.

Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 until you make as many knots as you want or until you reach the shorter end of the scabbard. Fold the free ends of the cord and slip them inside the row of knots made. Pull tight the overall knot. Wear the katana in its scabbard.

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