Tying a sageo on the saya of your Katana isn't that hard, a tutorial


Upon general request, we decided to make a tutorial on how to tie a sageo around the saya of your samurai sword. Now note that this is an ‘presentation’ knot and you won’t see it very often when martial artists are actually using their katana.

The sageo is that ‘piece of rope’ you can generally find on your saya (scabbard) and throughout it’s history , it served many different purposes :

  • The original and most known way of using the sageo was to tangle it around the belt (obi) and saya so that the saya stayed where it was put in the belt without moving around when ‘drawing’ the sword
  • Tying up the sleeves of the kimono before starting to ‘draw’ with the sword
  • Tying up prisoners
  • Actually I believe it was used to do all kind of ‘tying-up-things’

Concerning the tutorial, we made 4 loops on one side of the kurikata and 3 on the other side but you can also do 3+3, just use your creative spirit :d…it’s an decorative knot after all…


























Good luck with your sageo and if you have any questions, just drop a comment here..





  • Zane Dobbins

    thanks!!!! itsperfect!

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  • Till Bender

    Step by step. Very helpful guide. THANKS A LOT!!!

  • Viks

    Fab instructions….Easy and Simple to carry out well pleased

  • dustin


  • Nic

    Done it, Im well chuffed! thanks mate. The old one some how came loose and it was bugging me big time. Thanks to you its now sorted. Nice1 my son! :-)

  • admin

    My pleasure…any other tutorials you guys like to see here ?


  • http://tatsuteryu.com Shidoshi Spohn

    I loved this. The directions are simple and easy to follow. I have forwarded this site to my students. Now there is no reason for them to have untied sageos.

  • http://www.kylekarate.com Andy Brown

    Superb instructions! Many thanks for that. I’d been trying to redo that wrap for some time, but couldn’t work out the knots – so easy when somebody shows you how.



    When you do the sageo how do you tight it up hard

  • George

    i “invented” another style. I made 4 and 4 loops and put a little knife that matches with my katana inside the loops, and then fixed the ends so it wouldn’t look bad. that’s all thanks to u and the pen u had inside though :D. thanks a lot, u r the man

  • Greg

    Dave, I’m one of those curious people who untied the sageo and regretted it instantly, for months my sword stayed in its bag and was afraid to come out. The very day I discovered your website and the how to guide I went home and fixed it. Thanks very much, I thought I would never have it the same again, you a life saver!

  • admin

    A live saver ? Never thought to achieve that status :o

    My pleasure..any other tutorials you like to see here ?


  • George

    I have looked for this all over the http://www... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • Tom

    nice howto.
    now I finally have a decent knot … :)

  • Joe

    Well done, I was just wondering how to do that to my other swords, so I figured I’d take it apart one loop at a time… Oops! LOL. So now I can redo the one I undid and retie all the others to look officially pro.

    As to your request for other demos… I’d like to see how you sharpen the tip of the sword smoothly. It’s always a curve/swing motion so I just am curious as to what you recommend to not mess up the angle.

    Thanks for the great site and Happy New Year!

  • Joe

    Oh, also; Are you tightening this along the way once the pen is through, or only at the end once both ends are tucked inside the loops? Thanks :)

  • jenifer

    I can’t seem to get the pics to load…. Mine is loose and i remember tying it once, but that was a while ago… I still remember some of it but there is one part i need to remember but cant seem to… The only issue i have is the pics not loading.. if they loaded then that would help. but thank you :) and i’m sure the knots were used to tie up all kinds of things as well :p

  • James

    how long would you have you’re sageo rope because i didn’t untie mine it disintegrated from being pushed into my belt all the time

    • admin

      Hi James,

      It depends but usually they’re between 180-220 cm long.


  • http://yahoo robert

    I already know how to tie this knot but i dont have neatness and i was wondering if you could give me
    some tips on knots for tieing the sword to your back.

  • Boogles McGee

    I was wondering, is there any sort of significance to the configuration of the knot? I have what appears to be an old katana, and it was originally tied with a configuration of 3 loops toward the bottom of the saya and 2 toward the top. Is there any significance to it, or is it players choice for decoration only?

    • admin

      As far as i know there isn’t any significance to the configuration of it..

  • Austin

    Wonderful instructions. I used it when I retired my shinken due to the age of the blade.

  • frank

    When backpacked around the globe, visting Japan, i got fascinated by the Ronin story.
    Visited the temple, bought a katana (?) shipped it to NL (was not allowed in my Backpack….strange)
    Years later my 7 year old son wanted to take the sword out, great responsibility but he can handle, so far so good.
    Later I saw, he thought it had to be done unfolding the knot…..

    So this has been the status since, i asked around before, now i found this tutorial

    will work out, i guess


  • LEE

    Well, after undoing the Sageo on the Katana that belonged to my father some 30 years ago, I have found your site and been able to make amends, yes it has annoyed me for that long.


  • Mike

    Thanks for these instructions! I had mine untied since I got my new sword and managed to put something at least half-decent together with this page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Markianimated Маркіян Юнко

    How do you tie it to your belt?