Although small, mekugi play an important role with Japanese swords. Everyone knows that mekugi holds the sword together. However, mekugi should also act as a shock absorber. They must be sturdy while at the same time being flexible enough to absorb increased pressure when the sword is striking an object. Although bamboo chopsticks are often used to serve the primary function of holding the sword together, they have little use beyond that. We make our mekugi from a better grade of bamboo. They meet both requirements in that they are sturdy and flexible. Although bamboo is relatively low in cost, the process of making mekugi is very labor intensive. We try to provide you with a workable product at a fair price. We make our mekugi to accommodate the standard sized ana of most swords but may require some fine finishing work from you. Finishing is often accomplished with a little fine shaving with a single edge razor blade to achieve that “perfect” fit. Here are just a few steps in the manufacturing process of making mekugi.
The mekugi are shaped, sized, and as shown here getting the ends sealed.
A limited amount of hand sanding is done.
Soaking in a tea based mixture gives the mekugi a golden hue and cures the pegs through the introduction of tannin from the tea.
The color change can be seen in this before and after picture.
Air drying of recently soaked batch.
Hand oiling/rub down in our own clove based oil and again air dried.
Ready for a sword.
Please note that as these are hand made they are not uniform in shape or color as might be expected from a machined product BUT, they are of the highest quality and will take very little adjustment in order to achieve your objective.