The Dark Sai…

I am an ever constant lurker in a couple of martial arts and blade forums. It just so happened in one of these forums, that there was an interesting discussion about the origins and use of sai, a unique impact weapon I blogged about earlier. Many opinions were offered, but I think it is fair to say that nobody knows for sure where sai truly originated. However I thought quite a coincidence that I also happened to come across this dark beauty:

Japanese Sai Dagger

Japanese sai dagger.
[view full size]

Now this is a cool looking sai. According to the website I found it on, this sai is an “exact replica of the 16th Century fighting knife.” I dunno about all that. I mean, it’s hard enough to find any reliable documentation about the sai, let alone any documentation that would allow anyone to make an exact replica of anything.

In fact there are quite a few design features that are markedly non traditional about this sai. Like the contoured ridged grip. And very sharp point. Traditional Sai usually had a straight cylindrical grip, and a fairly blunt tip. And then there is the flared pommel. Traditional Sai pommels were either straight, had a thick squarish cylinder, or have a multifaceted ball that was used for striking. Not a flared flattened one.

And lets not forget the weird contour of the side prongs. Traditional sai have simple curved prongs, that narrow at the tip, not the complex talon like prongs that this one does. Probably more telling is the fact that this even has a sheath, while traditional sai practitioners wear their Sai in their belts, unsheathed. So I’d take their claims of exact duplicity with a grain of salt.

Thats not to say that this isn’t a beautiful weapon. I love what they’ve done to it. The scale-like contours of the grip, the complex curves of the side prongs, the rather ominous point to the tip, the black finish and even the kanji on the sai and sheath are excellently done.

Traditional sai were mostly used as truncheons rather than daggers. But as a dagger, this sai truly comes into it’s own. I love it.

Japanese Sai Dagger – [Medieval Weapon Arts]


7 Responses to “The Dark Sai…”

  1. November 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Just wanted to say “hi”. I don’t even know how I found your website, but as a wannabe writer, I find it very helpful in arming my characters. 🙂

  2. 2 ladyofspiders
    November 7, 2007 at 10:32 am

    *jumps up and down* oooh I am so glad you daid a post on the Sai. That is a nice looking blade, and thanks for the intresting info as always

  3. November 8, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Thanks, I’m glad you found my little blog helpful!

    LOL Somehow I had a feeling you might like this! Happy to see I was right 🙂

  4. November 8, 2007 at 1:02 am

    I like!!! Really nice design, I want one!!

  5. November 8, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Yeah, It’s a beautiful dagger. I cannot lie…

  6. 6 saibeauty
    July 12, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    ohhh *sighs* please can you tell me the name of the website and how i can buy it it looks soo beautiful

  7. July 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hi there beauty!

    Indeed I love these. I’ve always loved sai, but I love this design even more because it merges a few design elements I love into one package, a few of which you don’t normally see in traditional sai design.

    I found this Sai on a site called Medieval Weapon Arts. They have changed names since (Probably under new management or something) to Realm Collections.

    The Sai can be found here: http://www.realmcollections.com/p4381/japanese-sai-dagger.html


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