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It is not uncommon for samurai to carry their swords and store them in a special enclosure accessory. For example, they usually don't use obi (obi) to wear a katana with a living blade directly on their waist. Instead, they put the katana on an ornate base called koshirae, and then wear the koshirae around the waist. However, the samurai of feudal Japan also used shirasaya to protect their swords from damage. Although koshirae and shirasaya may look similar, they are two unique accessories with their own purposes. So, what is the difference between kosirae and shirasaya?
The koshirae is a gorgeous mount in which the Japanese sword is placed when worn by a samurai. Back in feudal Japan, the law required the samurai to carry a sword with him at all times. In fact, the law actually requires them to carry swords: a large sword and a smaller companion sword. Although the law does not require them to store or carry these swords in a specific way, most samurai will put them in koshirae.
Koshirae is most commonly made of lacquered wood. They are hand-made using locally harvested wood and are shaped to fit the samurai's preferred sword. Since most samurai carry two swords, they usually wear two separate koshirae. Wooden knives were placed on the belts, allowing them to quickly get out of their sheaths and draw their swords for battle.
The Japanese government has specific regulations on how samurai should be worn. For example, in the Edo period of Japan, if there was a fierce war, the samurai had to wear the koshirae with the hilt of the sword on the right hand. In peacetime, the samurai must wear a koshirae with the hilt of the left hand.
On the other hand, shirasaya is an undecorated stand in which traditional Japanese swords are stored when not worn or used. The fundamental difference between koshirae and shirasaya is that the former is designed for samurai, while the latter is only designed for samurai not to carry or use swords.
Another difference between koshirae and shirasaya is aesthetics. Koshirae's design usually emphasizes aesthetics. They are made of gorgeous markings and decorations to create a more eye-catching appearance. In contrast, Shirasaya has a more basic design, including little or no flashy marketing and decoration.