The Tip and Body of the Katana’s blade

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We’re mainly going to talk about the tip of a katana (1) and a few mainparts of the body of the blade (2) . Just keep in mind that these are the most frequently parts people in the sword circle will talk about, there are some more but i don’t think we need to do all of them in order to get a descent knowledge of the parts of a katana.

If you know all of these you will probably know more than your friends :)   I also need to thank Pierre for revising  all of the images (and correcting me along the way)  to make sure i’m not screwing things  up…

tip1

This is the overview, let’s dive into the details…

The kissaski (鋒) is the point of a katana. You can find them in different variations of length but mainly we have :

  • Ko kissaski (小鋒) : small  point
  • Chu kissaski (中鋒) : medium point
  • O kissaski (大鋒) : big point

The kissaki in the picture above is considered  a Chu kissaski, something you will find on most of the production swords.

kissaski

The Boshi (帽子) is the hamon that is running along the kissaski of the blade

boshi

 

The Yokote (横手) is the line that divides the body of the blade (ji)  with the tip (kissaski). It’s not just a ‘line’ like you can find on many production katana, it’s a change in geometry of the blade towards its tip. On a picture is very hard to see if there is really a change in geometry, it’s something you need to feel to be sure :)

yokote

 

The Koshinogi (小鎬) is the extension of the shinogi at the tip of the katana

koshinogi

 

The Fukura (フクラ) refers to the roudness, the curvature of the cutting edge along the kissaski

fukura

 

The Mitsukado (三角) is the point where the Yokote, Hasaki and Fukura coming together . The Mitsugashira (三 ? ?) on the other hand is the point where  Yokote, Koshinogi and the shinogi are having a party.

mitsukado

The Shinogi (鎬) is the ridgline  that seperates the edge (ha) and the back (mune)

shinogi

 

The Shinogi-Ji (鎬地) is the are of the blade between the Shinogi (ridgline) and the mune (back of the sword)

shinogiji

 

 

The Habuchi (刃縁) is the line  of the  hamon

habuchi

 

The Hamon (刃文) is the temper pattern along the blade it’s edge

hamon

 

The Ha (刃) or Yakiba covers the whole area between the Ha-saki (刃先) or cutting edge  and the habuchi

ha-mune

 

The Jihada (地肌) is the surface pattern of the hada. It’s the main part where you can properly appreciate the Jigane (地金) which is very hard to point at since the Jigane is the steel that maks the blade. So the Jigane is also present in the ha, shinogi-ji, tang, etc

jihada

 

The Hi (樋) is the groove in the blade. Here same story as with the kissaski, they  do come in various shapes and types. Lot of folks confuse the word Hi with Bo-Hi which is a certain type of Hi. Bo-Hi(?) can be translated as ‘Big groove while a Soe-bi(?) for example is a small, fine groove.

hi

 

The Sakihaba (先幅) is the width of the blade at the Yokote

sakihaba

 

The Monouchi (物打) is the part of the blade that is most used for cutting

monouchi

boshi
The boshi is the temper line in the kissaski.

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13 Responses to “The Tip and Body of the Katana’s blade”

  1. Dave Evans says:

    Thanks for the sword info. appreciate it Dave

  2. Anita says:

    Thank you so much for the information on Katana swords, I am just starting to take a major interest in Japanese swords and I have a lot to learn.. So thanks for getting me started..

  3. Chris P says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for! Keep it coming, I’d loveto see every part broken down into specific detail.

  4. Takumi says:

    Well, just an appreciation. As fas as I know, what you have identified as the mitsukado is what I know as mitsugashira: the point where shinogi, koshinogi and yokote meet. On the other hand, the mitsukado is the point where the hasaki, yokote y fukura come across each other.

    Any one else thinks like me?

  5. Takumi says:

    Oh, and the kanji for habuchi is 刃縁.

  6. admin says:

    @ Takumi you’re right, need to fix that..Thxs!

  7. George Eric says:

    need to know the scabbard part where there is some long filament black to tie up . sometimes this part is untied and very difficult to make the tie of this kind which must be explained how to do it .

    thank you for showing me how to tie up this part.

    Thank you
    Rgds
    George Eric

  8. Mark K. Nozaki says:

    Thanks for the info, as a new collector it’s good to know that there are people who share thier knowledge with others and that experts are out there keeping an eye out for errors and misconceptions.

  9. christian calvache says:

    lo necesito en español!! ayuda

  10. christian calvache says:

    necesito la informacion en Español!! ayuda gracias

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