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Mekugi (目釘)

Ever wonder how the sword is held together with the handle (柄)? Well, if you have taken a sword apart before you will know you must first remove a small bamboo peg. That is called a "mekugi". Most Japanese swords only use one to hold the blade in the handle to prevent it from flying off during use, some do use two. With time and repeated removal and insertion, they do get loosened, and may even break. This is why there must be a few spare ones in case replacement is necessary. As they are not easily found in shops for sale, even when you come across them, the size may not be ones that will fit your sword, it is best to make your own. I make mine using the bamboo from old damaged shinai (竹刀). Be warned, this takes quite a bit of time and patience. Be sure to check the size and fit frequently, because once sanded down too much, it will be loose and therefore useless. It also means you have to start all over agin.......

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