On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Aden Steinke wrote:
> Almost correct -as well as being used when a blade was made, shirasaya
> or plain wood mountings were used to hold a blade not in use, while a
> wooden blade (tsunagi ?) could be put in the fittings for display (don't
> just grab a sword off the wall and try to kill your host...).
True--I was thinking of that as being 'not yet mounted' since the fittings
are removed, and haven't been put back on.
Another interesting note on the wooden or bamboo blades: Apparently, in
the Edo period, samurai who were down on their luck would occassionally
sell their swords. However, since they needed to maintain the appearance
of wearing two swords, they would get a wooden or bamboo replacement
(since it would rattle around inside the saya as though something were
actually there). Just hope you never had to get into a fight....