Part of the japanese katana--Rayskin
Rayskin, also known as Samegawa or Samehada, is the word "stingray" or "shark skin" in Japanese. It is a kind of shagreen used to reinforce the handle and tie it together. The rough uneven surface also helps to fix the ito handle sleeve to the handle. It is an indispensable part of the Japanese sword.
Because it is a sturdy material, it can withstand the rigors and demands of war, while also increasing the aesthetic appeal of the sword.
The rayskin itself is a by-product of the fishery, the pastinachus sephen (Cowtail Stingray) species is hunted for its meat, and rayskin is a by-product of the process. Despite some concerns, oxtail stingrays are neither threatened nor threatened and can be found in large numbers in warm tropical waters without wasting any fish.
Some sword makers have some models with synthetic rayskin substitutes, but they are not particularly popular among sword makers who like genuine ones.
Traditionally, the rayskin wrapper covers the entire handle, but due to the high cost, the cost of a single piece of ray skin is usually between US$50 and US$70. Most companies that produce swords use panels embedded in grooves. Save money, but also get most of the benefits of fixed ito packaging features.
Due to the high price, there is no waste of chips and debris, and it is also common in the production of swords, because the gap between the two smaller lengths is small to avoid wasting material. The quality of rayskin will also vary from sword to sword, some of which have fairly thick and abundant nodules, while others may use skin areas with sparse nodules.
A practical example of a handle that is surrounded and half-wrapped by the rays, the rayskin completely covers the length of the handle. Put the fuchi on the rayskin and fix the wooden board on the ray skin to make the rays level. The glue between the ray and the wood does not work now, and the skin of the ray is slightly shortened due to aging for a hundred years. In the Jiangdong era, lacquer was usually used to harden the ray skin because the ray skin was weak against rain. The white light skin is used on parade swords and noble swords. During the Shinto period, white-ray skin was not uncommon. The Edo government adopted a policy of ethnic isolation and has maintained peace for more than two hundred years.
Hope the information about Rayskin is helpful to you.