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How to Display a Katana

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There is no single "proper" or "right" way to display a katana - but the way you mount it can have important meaning. Make sure you understand what your mounted katana says to the world!

Of course, your collection is your own and you can always choose to display it in the way that works best for you. But here are some tips from the pros.

Mount a Katana on a Double-Sword Stand

double-sword stand (or a two-sword stand) offers a lot of advantages when mounting your katana - namely versatility. If you are looking at getting your first sword stand, we recommend you start with a two-sword stand (even if you only have one katana). 

You can use a two-sword stand wish to display your katana in a few different ways.

First of all, it is important to note that an unsheathed sword typically means your nation is at war - if you only have one katana you want to feature in this modern time, you can choose to ignore this rule and mount the sword unsheathed. 

To do this, mount your katana in the top stand (blade pointing up) with your saya in the bottom stand (curving parallel to your katana). The advantage to this method is that without taking the sword off the display you can see the detail on both the saya and the katana (including the blade). Higher-end katanas often feature a beautiful hamon pattern (the wavy black lines that are created when the blade is differentially hardened). The hamon is a feature of the katana and this method allows you to proudly display it.

Another important note is that pointing the handle to the right shows some hostility as well since the sword would normally be drawn with the right hand. So unless you have some particular reason to show hostility, keep your handles pointed to the left. 

Tonbo Daisho

The alternative to this, is getting a wakizashi to mount with your katana. In this case, you would generally display the katana on the top (blade facing up), with the wakizashi at the bottom (blade also facing up - centered underneath the katana). This is usually the preferred method of displaying a daisho (sword pair typically consisting of a big sword and a little sword - e.g. katana + wakizashi). 

If you are displaying a daisho with a katana and a wakizashi, they don't necessarily to be from the same series, although this can create quite an impressive look. For example, if you have the Paul Chen  Tonbo Katana, the Tonbo Wakizashi is going to look the best paired with it on the stand (pictured above), but you can pair any wakizashi with it as well. The only thing we would suggest here is not to pair a cheap sword with a high-quality sword, as it can take away from the intricate detail of the more expensive sword.

Mount a Katana on a Single-Sword Stand

You can use a  single-sword stand (also called a one-sword stand) to display a katana or wakizashi. In this case, the katana should be in its saya, generally with the handle pointed to the left as you look at it and always with the blade pointing up. Displaying the sheathed katana with the handle pointed to the left is generally the most friendly/neutral way to display the sword, so if you want to be more traditional in the way you display your swords, keep this in mind.

Another option for the single-sword stand is to mount the katana on the stand and rest the saya below it on the table-top just in front of the sword stand. Generally this should be done with the saya facing in the same direction as the blade (open end of the saya pointed to the left unlike the image above).

Mount many Katanas on a Sword Stand

You can get a 3, 4, or more sword mount and fill it with different katanas as well. This method works as a great space-saver if you only have a small area you'd like to feature your swords in. Pay attention to katana length here. This will look best if all the kanatas you mount are the same length, but if you have longer or shorter ones, as a general rule, keep the longer ones on the top and the shorter ones on the bottom.

Upright Sword Stands

Vertical Katana Stand

While mounting katanas on upright sword stands isn't the most popular or traditional way to display the sword, it is an excellent alternative if you have limited space or are looking for a way to feature your sword in the corner of a room. If you choose an upright sword display, keep your katana in its saya.

General Tips on Mounting Katanas

  • Handle pointing to the left
  • Blade facing up
  • Longer sword at the top, shorter sword at the bottom

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