Kingdom of Fife Menuki

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Menuki 目貫 [めぬき] are the ornaments that are found under the handle wrap on katana and wakizashi.  They define the character of the sword and can tie the owner to the sword.  The Menuki can be replaced when the tsuka (handle) is re-wrapped.

Hardly the placing of a katana or its menuki near violets

Not here in the clarity and bone-brittle spring sunshine

No ancient murmur in step and pulse like Okinawa.

Yet the placing of a pad near red-skinned herbaceous fingers

The noticing of the bare silver birch, the opening applause of blossoms

It harkens a speed to the toil and labour of stance, strike

Breathe and breath to give life to kata, pattern

A rhythm.

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