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Method of Sword Maintenance part 2


force of subsequent blows must be adjusted accordingly. When the blade is taken out of the hilt, the peg removed from the hilt should be replaced.

IV) If the blade is mounted in a full Koshirae, other attachments such as sword guard (Tsuba) and spacers (Seppa) on both sides of the sword guard in addition to the collar must be replaced. When the collar is too tight to remove, it can be loosened by hitting it with a wooden hammer on the back (Mune) after covering the collar with a cloth for protection.

V) The wiping process requires two pieces of paper. The initial one removes the old oil and dust, which is called preliminary cleaning. First place the cleaning paper on the back and fold it into halves toward the edge. Then, hold the paper-covered blade from above the back so that the thumb and the forefinger grip each side of the cutting section from above the paper.


Hardly any force is needed to wipe the blade upward, one way, starting from the base. When the cleaning paper reaches the point, be particularly careful in wiping lightly. No pressure or friction must be put on the point. Use a down ward wiping action, other wise you may get the cutting of paper or even fingers.

VI) In case the oil cannot be removed with ease, cotton or gauze soaked in benzene or pure alcohol may be used in the same wiping manner as described above.

VII) The powdering starts from the base toward the tip on the obverse in a light, uniform patting motion to cover the blade surface. Then turn the blade over and start patting from the point download toward the base.

VIII) Then, use the other sheet of paper to wipe the powder off the blade surface in the same manner as described in (V) in this section. If oil remains, some more powdering and wiping is necessary.

VIIII) When the surface is thoroughly clean, check for the presence of rust, flaws and other damages. Then, without putting back the hilt, collar and other attachments, the blade alone must be placed back in the scabbard.

Note that the two kinds of wiping paper used in this process must not be interchanged and should have distinct purposes - preliminary and final.

X) The re-oiling with a piece of paper, or de-starched flannel, folded in size 3cm x 6cm and soaked in fresh oil completes a round of sword care. When the paper is ready, the sword is to be drawn out of the scabbard again. After placing it in the left hand, put the oiling paper on the back to do the same movement as described in the wiping process.

To make sure the blade surface is thoroughly covered with oil, repeat the same procedure a few times. Just as in the wiping, the handling of the sword as well as the oiling paper must be most

carefully done. The paper should contain the right amount of oil so that no excess oil will overflow and harm the scabbard. The oil must be spread thinly and evenly.


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