WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

So you just stabbed, sliced, or gored in some way a few mooks or perhaps someone more important.

But wait, there's blood on your sword! Eww, gross! No worries, just perform a swift cutting motion and all that nasty gunk will fly right off (possibly leaving a cool, dramatic splatter on the floor)!

It's called chiburi in Real Life, but it was more common to clean the sword on a convenient piece of cloth (such as that worn by the dead enemy).

Other liquids (such as water or oil) don't usually count, unless there's some symbolism to it.

In many recent Japanese films, because the blood is often CGI, this method will be shown as completely effective. This leads to a case of Reality Being Unrealistic, as the act of chiburi does not completely clean a blade. If there's enough blood on the sword, it won't even prevent rust. Samurai would often wipe their blade off after performing chiburi to ensure it was clean before sheathing it. But don't expect to see that part.

Related to Finishing Move and Victory Pose (as part of the flair that goes with it), and while not exclusive to katanas, they do look best for it. This may be because it was originally a katana technique (more or less).

Examples of Swipe Your Blade Off include:

Anime and Manga

  • The scene in Samurai Champloo after Kariya Kagetoki cuts down Jin.
  • Rurouni Kenshin, being a Jidai Geki, has this all the time; even Kenshin himself does it a few times despite his Thou Shalt Not Kill vow and reversed sword blade. Old habits die hard.
    • Subverted, however, in the Tsuiokuhen OVA: as Battousai, Kenshin would clean his blade with rice paper immediately after every successful assassination.
  • The titular warriors of Claymore seem to have a fondness for this. An Establishing Character Moment for Theresa of the Faint Smile was her splattering bystanders thus after a kill.
  • Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach does this at one point during his fight with Nnoitra.
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa does this to Eriku and the eldest Mizune sister. It's done with drool after she shoves her hands in their mouthes to make them shut up. It turns out to be a bit of subtle forshadowing, as she later reveals she did this to implant them with snakes which allowe he to kill them at any time.
  • At the end of Code Geass, when Zero Suzaku kills Lelouch.
  • Although they do not actually swipe their swords, Ogami Itto and other bushi characters in "Lone Wolf and Cub" do wipe them off after a fight. Seeing the nature of the manga, that is to be expected
  • Done in Highschool of the Dead with a Baseball Bat.
  • Guts does this with his BFS after killing Bazuso during the opening scene of the first Berserk movie.


  • Standard post-fight procedure in Usagi Yojimbo. He still cleans the blade properly afterwards, though.


  • Happens several times in the Crazy 88 battle in Kill Bill, as well as after the fight between O-Ren and The Bride.
    • And when O-Ren deals with the belligerant Yakuza boss.
  • Done somewhat by 300 where a scene shows blood being flung off a thrust spearhead.
  • Referenced in The Last Samurai. After beheading his former comrade, Katsumoto's sole act of cleaning his weapon is something of a flick of the sword.
    • Just beforehand an attending samurai had ensured the blade was clean with water from a bottle. What, none left over?
      • That could've been sake, not necessarily water, for ritual purposes.
  • Interestingly, the ronin bodyguard does this several times in Zatoichi, which uses CGI blood, but there's usually still blood on his sword when he sheaths it.


  • In the Book of Amber, Merlin at one point finds himself in possession of a vorpal sword. He discovers while using it that swiping the air cleans it perfectly. Probably justified for a collapsible blade that "seemed to be made of moth wings and folded moonlight".
  • Diagonally used in Tower of the Elephant by Robert E. Howard. Conan wipes his blade on the grass after slaying the lion guards of the tower. Noted because it serves the same purpose (symbolic cleaning of the sword) but averts the cleanliness of merely shaking it off, adding a barbaric twist to the trope.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe averts this when Peter saves his sister from a wolf by killing him with his sword. When Aslan comes onto the scene, his first comment that Peter has not cleaned his sword. Peter does so and the lion dubs him with an honorific, followed by the advice to always clean his sword.
  • Galad does this in Wheel of Time, but characters usually just clean their weapons with a cloth, because the swipe is not 100% effective.

Live Action TV

  • The samurai in Deadliest Warrior's Viking v. Samurai fight does this disdainfully once he's finished.

Video Games

  • In the OneChanbara games, this is a gameplay mechanic where slicing through hordes of zombies (whose blood is probably well-rotted) without cleaning the blade can cause it to get stuck in the corpse, leaving the player vulnerable.
  • Ryu does this automatically with all of his weapons in Ninja Gaiden 2.
    • In Ninja Gaiden/Black/Sigma, he does it after using the new Ultimate Technique with the True Dragon Sword, Storm of the Heavenly Dragon.
  • Tyrants in Resident Evil seem to do this after they've killed you.
  • In Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn Ike's finish animation after killing an opponent includes him doing this twice.
  • One of Ukyo's win poses in Samurai Shodown.
  • Vergil does this quite a few times with his sword, Yamato, in Devil May Cry 3.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha does this after every battle in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army.
  • Notably averted by Ryoma from Power Stone; one of his victory poses involves him wiping off the blade with a few pieces of paper and letting them dramatically fly away in the breeze.

Western Animation

Real Life

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.