Care and Maintenance of your new Japanese weapons (Simplified)
I would recommend the following book for a lot of information not only on the upkeep and maintenance of the sword itself but also in the proper knots, techniques in handling etc., etc. This is a most excellent work. I will explain the process but this book is very much worth the price. Check with my good friend Michael Harris of www.satcho.com he is located in New York. “Japanese Swordsmanship Technique and Practice” by Gordon Warner and Donn F. Draeger (about 25.00-30.00). Now the cleaning process in general terms. Wipe your blade clean, removing all of the packing oil. You won’t have to clean it again for a couple of months or unless you use it. When you do clean it you will take a small piece of the rice paper and fold it over the blade starting back towards the tsuba and then pinching it between your thumb and fingers wipe the blade in one continuous stroke towards the tip (please make sure that the edge is facing out). Do it two or three times making sure that you complete off of the tip (do not stop at the tip). Then with your Uchiko (Pom) tap the ball along the blade (evenly spaced) about 5 times on each side of the blade. The Uchiko is filled with a very finely ground and powdered stone, known as hazuya and jizuya, that will absorb any oils on the blade and acts as a very, very fine abrasive to clean it. Wipe again with a fresh piece of paper as before. Now take the small piece of cotton cloth out of the plastic box and put a few drops of the clove oil on it making sure that it is evenly distributed. Wipe the blade in one stroke (as with the paper) with the oiled cloth. You’re done.