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…
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.
The Boshi (帽子) is the hamon that is running along the kissaski of the blade
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
The Koshinogi (小鎬) is the extension of the shinogi at the tip of the katana
The Fukura (フクラ) refers to the roudness, the curvature of the cutting edge along the kissaski
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.
The Shinogi (鎬) is the ridgline that seperates the edge (ha) and the back (mune)
The Shinogi-Ji (鎬地) is the are of the blade between the Shinogi (ridgline) and the mune (back of the sword)
The Habuchi (刃縁) is the line of the hamon
The Hamon (刃文) is the temper pattern along the blade it’s edge
The Ha (刃) or Yakiba covers the whole area between the Ha-saki (刃先) or cutting edge and the habuchi
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
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.
The Sakihaba (先幅) is the width of the blade at the Yokote
The Monouchi (物打) is the part of the blade that is most used for cutting