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Swordmaking Anatomy: Katana

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By chioky   |   
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© 2008 - 2020 chioky
*Puts on glasses and wears a suit*

Oh wait I already do that, listen up class! I am Chioky Sensei and your in swordmaking class and todays lesson is the anatomy of the sword, more precisely katanas. So I have drawn a katana with its saya as clear as possible. Then I have named all the different parts of a katana in japanese with english. However there is still many more parts to the katana, but this is a simple version knowing the parts that are most improtant. This will be on the test next week so study hard class!

*walks out of classroom*

Kashira The very bottom of the sword is the hilt on the end of the handle of the katana. It is meant to keep the tsukamaki together however it is meant for decoration more then practicality.

Tsukamaki This is what the handles katana is wrapped in. It is either leather or silk cord and It should be wound very tightly and neatly. If it is poorly wrapped then it will unravel quickly and must be replaced over time.

Tsuka This is the entire handle of the katana itself. It's made of a strong wood and Its function is to provide both impact absorption and shock tolerance. The tsuka is suppose to be detachable from the tang.

Tsuba This is the handguard which is ussually circle in shape which seperates the tsuka from the blade. This is one part of the sword where artistic freedom is at its highest potential.

Habaki This is the metal collar that encircles the base of the blade just above the tsuba. It serves a dual purpose: to lock the tsuba into place, and also to secure the sword in its scabbard.

Shinogi This is the ridge of the sword where the grinded blade portion ends, and the sword becomes thick. On one side the blade will be flat and on the other side will be sloped the center line is the Shinogi.

Ha The overall sharp edge of the sword. This is the part of the sword where you will spend the most of the time swordmaking to sharpen the blade to a fine sharp point with precision.

Mune This is the flat, non-sharp back or "spine" of the sword. The mune is almost never sharpened and The flattened mune is also functional in deflecting enemy sword blows in battle.

Boshi This is the edge pattern on the curved portion of the tip of the blade. Not to be confused with the kissaki, its use is decorative only. Remember this is not the tip of the blade only when it curves.

Same This is the ray skin (stingray skin) that covers the handle of the sword and lays underneath the cord wrap (tsukamaki). Ray skin is the traditional material used in Japanese sword making to provide grip.

Sageo This is the cord made of silk or cotton that is used to tie a sword's scabbard (saya) to the obi of a samurai. However, it is usually kept bound to the saya and never actually tied to the obi for everyday use.

Kurigata This is the knob on the side of the saya which the (sageo) would be tied onto, which then would tie onto the obi of the samurai. It is built so to allow enough space for a suitable knot.

Saya This is the scabbard where the sword "lives" when not in use. It's usually made of two halves of custom-carved wood sealed together to form a snug fit around that particular blade. The wood is usually highly laquored and sometimes highly decorated.

Hamon This is the wavy blade pattern of the sharpened portion of the sword. It is a visual effect caused by the tempering process, when trying to create a desired transition between the soft and hard metals.

Kissaki This is the very tip, or point area of the sword. It's often confused with the Boshi becuase that is the curved end of the blade where as the kissaki is the ver tip of the blade.

Kojira This is the very end of the saya that must hold the tip of the blade, while it is living inside the saya. It is ussually more shaped to be flat then to be rounded in the construction of the saya.

Koiguichi This is the very start of the saya that the blade must slide through into the saya. This is the crucial part where the koiguichi must correctly slide onto the habaki of the katana.
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Comments219
anonymous's avatar
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WubMeister's avatar
WubMeisterHobbyist Writer
HAMON!
Davaroht's avatar
This took you a lot of time & investigation: Man, we're really grateful for this contribution to DevianArt.
Useful indeed and a good reference for those who draw o want made stories about it (me included). Thanks again man!....
zhugebeifong's avatar
zhugebeifongHobbyist General Artist
I'm looking for a kashira for my katana. Do you by chance know where I can find one?
angelbolt85's avatar
this educate me and help me when i cosplay as Zer0 from borderlands 2
msmeganechan's avatar
msmeganechanHobbyist General Artist
Amazing research and development works about swords. Also the Tsuba design collection. Awesome... Thanks! ^_^
Striker-EUREKA-mk5's avatar
Do a zweihander anatomy next!
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
i havent done these in years
PokemonTrainerNaira's avatar
PokemonTrainerNairaHobbyist Traditional Artist
Great explanation, I really learned a lot, thank you very much :hug:
selena2788's avatar
hi! may i bother you asking if there're definite proportions between thr differnt parts of the katana?
thanks! ^_^
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
just remember blade should be 30 inches and handle 10 inches, total 40 inches
selena2788's avatar
ok! thank you realy much!! i'll try to respect the rules even tought i have to make an anime sword and tought i'm female, so i'm shorter than a guy. thanks for the help and ,anyway, GREAT WORK!!! ^^
lupusbellum's avatar
lupusbellumHobbyist Writer
Practical anatomical definition to a truelly exuisite form of blade. o:
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
knowledge is power
Striker-EUREKA-mk5's avatar
And now you know
and knowing is half the battle!
lupusbellum's avatar
lupusbellumHobbyist Writer
Power accomplishes endeavors O:
Keszanne's avatar
nice, didn´t thought much about the named parts of a Katana thx :} and fave
grtz K.
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
well now you know all the parts
Keszanne's avatar
I hope they will stay in my head till needed ^^
BlueyCrawford's avatar
BlueyCrawfordStudent Digital Artist
used, wanna see? [link]
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
thats pretty intresting
BlueyCrawford's avatar
BlueyCrawfordStudent Digital Artist
yea, no doubt.
Fun-Fit-Vicky's avatar
Nice, added it to favourites ^^
chioky's avatar
chiokyStudent Artisan Crafter
why thanks alot
Sui31's avatar
Sui31Student General Artist
Thanks! I'll need this for my Chizuru cosplay :D
anonymous's avatar
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