Saya (鞘) is the Japanese term for a scabbard, and specifically refers to the scabbard for a sword or knife. The saya of a koshirae are normally manufactured from very lightweight wood, with a coat of lacquer on the exterior. The wood is light enough that great care must be taken when drawing the sword; incorrect form may result in the blade of the sword slicing through the saya and severing one or more fingers. Correct drawing and sheathing of the blade involves contacting the mune rather than ha to the inside of the scabbard. The saya also has a wooden knob (栗形 kurigata) on one side for attaching a braided cord (sageo), and may have a shitodome to accent the kurigata as well as an end cap (小尻 kojiri) made from metal. Traditionally the koiguchi and kojiri were made from buffalo horn.
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