Tsurus are traditionally made from hemp. Because they tear quickly, require careful handling and are expensive, most kyudo people use synthetic tsurus. They are made of aramid and last for a very long time. Alternatively, mixed tsurus of hemp and aramid are also available. Depending on the weight of a yumi there are different thicknesses to buy. 0 is the thinnest 4 is the thickest. Shibata Sensei recommends using the thinnest possible tsurus so that they tear from time to time and thus revitalize the yumi.
Here are three examples of tsurus:
Has a beautiful sound, tears quickly, expensive, comes in different thicknesses and lengths - depending on the yumi
|Hemp/synthetic fibre mixed
Combines the qualities of hemp and aramid. The price is moderate
Is cheap in price and lasts long (not only good > see above)
Sensei recommends the brand "Katobi". It is available from Asahi in Tokyo, among others.
The Tsurumaki - 弦巻き is used to keep the prepared tsuru.
The tsuru is cunning
After tearing the tsuru, it makes sense to let the yumi rest for half a day or a whole day. Often the height (Urazori) of the yumi changes a lot in the relaxed state (it gets higher).
Raising a new tsuru
The new tsuru is hooked into the shimo-no-seki-ita with the knot already tied, and is placed firmly on the outwardly curved inner side of the yumi. Arrived at the Kami-no-seki-ita from the mooring point two finger widths are measured back. This point is the bending point for the new knot. During the first tensioning, caution is required as the tsuru can be too long or too short. If a discrepancy is found, the tensioning process must be stopped immediately and the tsuru lengthened or shortened accordingly.
How the tsuruwa (tsuru knot) is tied
The shimonoshigake is usually left in place. The tsuru is lengthened or shortened on the Kaminoshigake. With heat the tsuru becomes more supple. With the Waraji - 草鞋 (tendon grater) the tsuru can be rubbed warm in strong up and down movements. The Kusune - クスネ (tsuru resin) spreads evenly and the surface becomes smoother.
Nakashikake -中仕掛 (tendon development)
In order for the ya to sit firmly on the tsuru, a nakashikake (conical thickening) is applied to the tsuru in the annock area. The tsuru is held from just above the handle to
9 cm down with white glue and then wrap hemp or softened old tsuru fibres around the tsuru as shown. Finally the winding is rubbed smooth with dohos - 道宝木 (rubbing woods). The Hazu -筈 (arrow cam) should then be kept full. So the Nakashikake should neither be made too thick nor too thin.
The doho's are to be cleaned after work again, otherwise they are useless for the next use.
Dilute the white glue for the Nakashikake slightly with water