Swords Glossary

This site  is to help sword lovers to explain many of the Japanese sword related topics which sword lovers may want the answer.

We welcome all to ask questions and we will put your questions answered by the smith master and display in this page.

This page will be updated from time to time, please stay tune with us.
Topic one: Japanese Sword Part in General.
Topic two: How to clean your swords in a correct way?
Topic three: Free advice from the smith?

Topic one: Japanese Sword Part in General.

Boshi - the hamon on the kissaki
Fuchi - hilt collar between the tsuka and the tsuba
Ha - the edge of the blade; typically much stronger than the rest of the blade
Habaki - wedge shaped metal collar used to keep the sword from falling out of the scabbard and to support the fittings below; fitted at the ha-machi and mune-machi which precede the nakago
Hada - the grain of the blade, created by the folding process to remove impurities from the blade
Hamon - the pattern on the blade indicating the border between the harder ha and the softer mune
Hi - the fuller or blood groove; also called a bo-hi (wide fuller)
Kaishizuno - a hook shaped fitting used to lock the scabbard to the obi while drawing
Kashira - butt cap (or pommel) on the end of the hilt
Kissaki - the geometrical change at the tip of the blade intended to use for stabbing
Kogai - spike for hair arranging carried sometimes as part of Katana-Koshirae in another 'pocket'
Koiguchi - mouth of the scabbard or its fitting; traditionally made of buffalo horn
Kojiri - end of the scabbard or its fitting to protect the saya; also traditionally made of buffalo horn
Kozuka - decorative handle fitting for the kogatana; a small utility knife fit into a 'pocket' on the scabbard
Kuri-kata - knob on the side of the scabbard for attaching Sageo
Mekugi - small peg for securing the tsuka to the nakago; nihonto traditionally had only one bamboo mekugi which was flexible but strong
Menuki - ornaments on the hilt (generally under the tsuka-ito); to fit into the palm for grip and originally meant to hide the mekugi
Mune - the spine of the blade
Nakago - the tang of the blade
Nakago-ana - the hole(s) for the mekugi
Sageo - cord used to tie scabbard to the belt/obi when worn
Same-hada - literally the pattern of the ray skin
Same-kawa (samegawa) - ray or shark skin wrapping of the tsuka (handle/hilt)
Saya - a wooden scabbard for the blade; traditionally done in lacquered wood
Seppa - washers above and below the tsuba to tighten the fittings
Shinogi - the ridgeline which runs down the center of the blade
Shitodome - an accent on the kurikata for aesthetic purposes; often done in gold-ish metal in modern reproductions
Sori - the curve of the blade, measured on the mune side, from the mune-machi to the tip; a product of the hardening process
Tsuba - sword guard
Tsuka - hilt; made of wood and wrapped in samegawa
Tsuka-maki - the art of wrapping the tsuka, including the most common hineri maki and katate maki (battle wrap)
Tsuka-ito - the wrap of the handle, traditionally silk but today most often in cotton and sometimes leather
Wari-bashi - metal chop-sticks fit in a 'pocket' on the scabbard
Yokote - the line between the kissaki and the rest of the blade, indicating the geometry change