Ceremony for presenting a sword to a samurai

Is there a specific ritual or ceremony for presenting a sword to a samurai?

Comments for Ceremony for presenting a sword to a samurai

Click here to add your own comments

A good question!! Here's my best answer..
by: Paul

This is actually an excellent question - and one that I am actually a little hard pressed to answer..

Now I could be wrong on some of this, and will do some further research, but as far as I know the Samurai were not presented their swords by their lord and master, but either family heirlooms handed down through the generations or commissioned them to be made by an artisan..

I don't actually know if there was such a ceremony, as when a young Samurai was about to be born, a Sword was 'presented' in the birth chamber (Shinken no gi - sword presenting ceremony), so they kind of had one from the day of their birth..

As to generally handing a sword to someone, there is indeed some etiquette involved - the sword needs to be in its saya, usually with gloved hands so as not to leave marks anywhere, with the blade pointing towards the giver and with the handle on the left side.

As a side note, it is interesting that historically male Samurai usually considered handling money beneath their dignity, and so the family finances were often run by his wife - a traditional that continues to this day in modern Japan when a salaryman will hand over his paycheck to his wife and receives some pocket money back in return while she handles all major purchases, investments, etc.

This also meant that sometimes to afford a good Katana (many were extremely expensive) they could end up in debt to the merchant class, something that caused some considerable social friction.

Anyway, hope this helps - if anyone knows anything more on the subject, feel free to chime in!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask Questions About Japanese Swords.

Buying Swords Online Can Be DANGEROUS!
Find the Best Swords in the: