question for (Japanese) swordsmen

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by matveimediaarts, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Recently I did my first live cutting exercise (katana). My shihan gave me a piece of the nihondake (spelling?) as a souvenier. How are these preserved long term? I'd like to keep it indefinitely. It's rather neat. :) Thanks!
     
  2. beer_belly

    beer_belly Valued Member

    By nihondake I am guessing you were cutting actual bamboo (maybe green bamboo, to be honest that construction of nihon-take is not one I am familiar with), in which case standard bamboo preservation techniques like soaking in low concentration borax might do the job, not sure how it goes keeping the colour.
     
  3. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Yes, it's bamboo-but not green. Thanks. :)
     
  4. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    Sorry, I've no idea. I've never really had any desire to save any of the targets that have been cut over the years. If it's bamboo that's already dried (not the best thing for tameshigiri targets by the way) then I imagine you could polyurethane it if you wanted, like any other piece of wood.
     
  5. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    I would never cut bamboo if it wasn't green.
     
  6. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Well, it had thoroughly soaked overnight and had the softness of green bamboo, I imagine. (I confess I've never seen the green stuff in person)
     
  7. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Here's a picture of it:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    That's not bamboo. :)
     
  9. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Okay, my mistake. :/ Pardon me.
     
  10. Mr. Tengu

    Mr. Tengu New Member

    If Im not mistake thats a rolled up tatami mat. Tatami mats were/are the traditional flooring used in Japanese homes. Its commonly used as targets for shuriken (not sure about sword) because it mimics the 'density' of human flesh. They are classically made of rice straw so its possible thats what you have there.

    Anyhow looks like a good cut :)
     
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    What form of Iai was the test cutting in?
     
  12. beer_belly

    beer_belly Valued Member

    Ok - not nihon take, possibly also not tatami omote - the threads make me think its beach mat (another very common test cutting material prepared the same way by soaking and binding in twine).

    Anyway, once it dries out (careful not to let it get mouldy) you can just leave it, only issue is insects wanting to nibble it.
     
  13. ScottUK

    ScottUK More human than human...

    Beer Belly is spot on. It is a beach mat - and his advice is correct too.
     
  14. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Shinkendo.
     
  15. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Thanks. :) The mat that piece came from was about 4 feet tall, and I got 3 perfect cuts-all wound up looking just about like the one pictured. :D
     
  16. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    From that picture, I can't tell if it's beach mat or Mugen Dachi tatami. Very nice for your first time at tameshigiri. I'm sure your instructor already pointed it out, but the slight raggedness on the edges tells me that, while your hasuji is fairly good, you need a bit more tip speed in your cuts. :)

    This may be of interest to you, although it is quite dated by now. It is an article comparing tameshigiri targets that I wrote for Iaido Journal a number of years ago (wow, ten years already!) ... Comparison Chopping
     
  17. whitefeathers

    whitefeathers Valued Member

    I have also heard of soaking it in vinegar in the fridge to keep it from getting smelly and molding and then letting it dry. I'm not sure what that process is as I have never tried it and never had the urge to save any of my pieces. I have saved bamboo pieces and one species shriveled up as it dried and some others just stay the same size.
     
  18. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Thank you for your constructive criticism. :) Unfortunately, the class was too short (and a number of students were up to cut) to discuss the good and bad parts of my cuts in detail. :(

    I like your article, thanks. :)
     
  19. Hyaku

    Hyaku Master of Nothing

    Cutting is pretty easy. Cutting with the correct technique is as hard as any Budo and takes years of practice. I don't like beach mats. Too many threads. Then again if your not in Japan you can't pop around to the Tatami Ya and grab a few. Tatami is harder when wet but cuts nicely. I have some nice bamboo growing on the land. Now and again I cut some and saw the bottom level to make flower vases.
     

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