Shinai Care

A new shinai is not ready for use upon purchase. First, it has probably been shipped with a number of protective strings binding the staves together; these should be cut off and discarded. Remove the hand guard anf rubber stopper, and examine the knot which ties the Tsuru (弦) string to leather tsuka (柄) , so that you get a sense of how it is tied. Undo this knot, and slide off the handle, and the entire string (中結) nakayui-tip piece. Use a pencil to label the staves so that you know it what order to reassemble them afterwords they will fit more perfectly if reassembled in order. Next remove the rubber tip piece, and gently pry apart the staves. They are held together with a small square of metal near the bottom end.

Examine the staves carefully for splinters. Ligthly sand the edges with a sanding block (sand paper-Fine) so that the contact surfaces are smooth. A new shinai should then be soaked in oil for a day or two or wrap it with a piece of oil paper, to prevent it from becoming too dry or brittle. Fill the tip with a light oil (mineral oil), * Do not soak the staves for more than a couple of days, as they can become oversaturated and heavy. Wipe off the excess oil and reassemble the shinai.

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