What do tsuka-ito colors signify? I've heard that red ito on a weapon is only used as honorific gifts to master instructors (purportedly it was assigned solely for generals), and that black was the standard color for on-duty shogunate soldiers. What do other colors (e.g. brown, purple, blue) signify? I've seen some styles use brown or blue swords, and I've seen in some dojos dark green ito and once even orange ito (it was a heavily decorated tachi on a rack), but the latter swords were not actively being used. Before someone jumps in and assumes that I'm a newbie looking for advice to prematurely buy a sword and says "ask your instructor", rest assured that that's not the case; I got my sword quite a ways back and don't currently need another one.