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Leather Tsuba?

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  • Leather Tsuba?

    I heard a while back (can't remember from who, fairly sure it was at this year's Aus Nats though) that you're not actually meant to have hard plastic tsuba on jo bokken (despite that they're always sold with hard plastic tsuba). Apparently if the jo impacts on the tsuba, the hard plastic ones can shatter all over the shiaioji/dojo floor.

    I guess that just leaves hard leather? Firstly, can someone confirm? And second, how many people have leather tsuba for their jodo bokkens instead of the plastic one it came with? (Heh, and any pretty designs?)

  • #2
    I've had a plastic tsuba shatter on me when I muffed the suriage in Kendo Kata Ropponme. So I can see the logic.

    Actually, it was a very tight fit and it kinda exploded on impact


    • #3
      i had a plastic bokken tsuba broken once too... in kendo jigeiko (long story). anyway, it did break but just into two clean pieces. no shattering or explosion or anything! lol

      kendoshop is selling some fancy and more katana/tsuba looking rubbertype kind of bokken tsubas. they look like the kind that would deform or bend on impact, but not break apart and shatter(just as leather would do, probably). maybe that's a cheaper option to leather tsuba?


      • #4
        I recommend you switch to a leather tsuba. It lasts way longer than a hard-plastic one. Two months ago I was doing kenjutsu with a partner who used a bokken with the standard quality plastic tsuba. I managed to shatter it with one blow..(hehe). My partner took it quite well..she wowed to shatter mine...I think she meant my tsuba.

        I have a leathertsuba for my own bokken and its perfect. I recommend you get one with no delay unless, for whatever reason, your sensei does not allow a leather-tsuba. DO IT!!!!!


        • #5
          Sempai's not gonna care if I have a leather tsuba. Especially not if you're not technically meant to have them on jo bokken but he's going to see his sempai (sorry, make that sensei now! woo-hoo, go Tony!) next month and asked if I wanted anything cos Adelaide has sweet FA in the way of MA gear so I thought it'd be a good time to make my jo bokken 'legal'.

          Seems like the consensus is that it's definitely worth doing. (Wonder if he can get me a pretty one....)


          • #6
            You can purchase the soft plastic tsuba which are made from polythene - they tend to be a lot less brittle. I have never had one shatter on me but I have seen one split down the 'join'.



            • #7
              I have one of Tony Pickerings 4 ply kangaroo leather tsuba, very well made piece of gear, sadly does not fit on my SMR Jodo bokken which is a little thicker than a standard kendo bokken..... I do have to replace my plastic bokken tsuba every few years as they deform but have never broken one.

              I recomend the leather one.



              • #8
                Ha, my kendo bokken is thick and heavy as a club. Nothing standard fits it. My jodo bokken though is a nice, pretty thing I bought at the auction with the corresponding jo.


                • #9
                  We were told at Wollongong nationals as well that you are meant to use Leather Tsuba, not Plastic Tsuba - cause Plastic Tsuba are dangerous when they break.

                  I too use one of Tony Pickering's leather tsuba... my problem is it's kind of soft, so it sits kind of crooked on my bokken, a little misshapen from where it sits in my sword bag.


                  • #10
                    I've used a moosehide leather tsuba from Kim for eight years now. I don't want to see the guy/gal that can smash it....


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ken Morgan View Post
                      I've used a moosehide leather tsuba from Kim for eight years now. I don't want to see the guy/gal that can smash it....
                      I can recommend Kims stuff as well. I got a Solid Leather Tsuba for my SMR-bokken. Unfortunately it didnt fit my bokken so I had to butcher it a bit, but it works like a charm now that it is in place.


                      • #12
                        That's been a while ...

                        Yup - I got one of those (furless) moose? buffalo? tsuba about eight years back while passing through - it fits fine and it's been well behaved the whole time.



                        • #13
                          Hey, they do look pretty but Tony's a lot closer to home! Thanks for the headsup, Marcus. I'll see about protecting it in transit.


                          • #14
                            I recommend the hard leather as well, but don't let the dog near it, they love such things to chew on.


                            • #15
                              We haven't had the moosehide tsuba for years now, fellow who made them for us had done disappeared.

                              The nicest ones are rawhide water buffalo hide since that stuff can get to be 1/4 inch thick, but it's damned near impossible to get hold of the hide.

                              We looked into getting some water buffalo or ox imported but with the brucellosis and anthrax and other restrictions, things aren't moving as easily as they used to in the raw skin market. Our single tannery around here only does cowhide and it's too thin for single ply.

                              We now do a machine stitched tanned leather tsuba that's pretty stiff and of course unbreakable since it will bend rather than break.

                              Protects my thumb pretty well.

                              We've also got plastic tsuba that are a bit tougher than your usual cheapie stuff, and better looking too, in cream and dark brown with dome to match. I use them for jodo as well, haven't had a problem with one yet.

                              Kim Taylor