Again, the saï was a simple farminstrument which the peasants turned to
their advantage once they were forbidden to carry weapons. Usually, the
saïs are used in pairs. A third saï was hidden in the obi (belt)
and was used to replace one saï that was thrown at the charging enemy.
If the throw was successful, the fight could be over all at once. If not, the
distraction could be just enough to get close to stab with the saï or to
counter an attack and win the battle.
Originally, the saï was made out of 2 separate parts: the stem and the
curved prongs. These 2 parts were then pounded together in a process similar
to that used by swordsmiths. Around late 19th century, another method was
used. A finished saï would serve to create a saï shaped cavity in
the ground. Molten iron was poured into this shape, producing a perfect twin
of the first saï when the iron had hardened. Rough edges were removed and
afterwards the saï was polished.
The stem of the saï should cover the complete forearm, to guarantee full
protection when countering an attack. The butt of the handle can have various
shapes ans can be used in the same way as a bullet.
Another version of the saï, called jutte or jitte was a
weapons used by the Japanese police. It is smaller than the saï and has
only one prong.