Category: Japanese Sword Katana

Image of Japanese sword tang, Nakago

The Nakago of the Japanese Sword: Invisible in the shaft but a valuable point of appreciating the Japanese Sword

There is a line that runs between the blade’s edge area and the ridge area. Between this line and the bottom of the blade (the area hidden inside the sheath) is called nakago (tang). The nakago is shaped by a particular form of filing, before the signature of the sword Read More

Image of Japanese sword hamon pattern

The Hamon of the Japanese Sword – An Artistic Pattern That Reveals the Aesthetic Sense of The Swordsmith

Even those seeing a Japanese sword for the first time are captivated by the vividness of the hamon (blade pattern). The hamon refers to the part that is tempered with extra heat, so it is actual proof that the sword went through the tempering process. The swordsmiths could simply stretch Read More

Cloose-up image of Japanese sword

Kitae-Hada: The testimony of the Japanese Sword that does not break or bend and cuts well

The blade of the Japanese sword is made by heating the tamahagane (steel for making swords) to high temperature then hitting it flat with a mallet. They use a chisel to create the rift in the blades, fold it, then hit it again with a mallet. This process is repeated Read More

Sori – The Curve that Captures the Sharpness and Beauty of the Japanese Sword

Sori – The Curve that Captures the Sharpness and Beauty of the Japanese Sword

As mentioned in the article about the craftsmanship of the Japanese sword, the Japanese sword was originally a straight sword with no curve at all, and was used for purposes of striking, plunging, and stabbing. As the methods of battle evolved, the function of chopping down became more common. The Read More

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

The Ridges of the Japanese Sword: Making the Blade Stronger and Sharper

As mentioned in the past, the Japanese sword is designed with the purpose of “chopping”. This means that making the blade shaper and giving it more cutting ability becomes the most important thing. To make it cut better, you need to make the blade thin, but if it is too Read More

Japanese sword Kissaki image

The Face of the Japanese Sword

The sharp edge of the Japanese sword is called “kissaki”. It is also called “boshi”, but boshi can refer to the kissaki itself or the hamon at the kissaki. Kissaki is used more often to avoid this confusion, so here we will go with “kissaki”. When buying and selling Japanese Read More

Japanese sword Tsukurikomi image

Japanese Sword Tsukuri-komi: Structure Evolving through Time

Japanese has a word “tsukuri-komi” which refers to the structure and style of the sword blade. In a previous article about the sword’s appearance, I mentioned that the tachi had a strong back-bend whereas the uchigatana had a strong bend at the edge. The angle of the bend, the thickness Read More

Image of Japanese Sword Katana made by Akatamtsu Taro

The Japanese Sword – The Difference in Appearance

The Japanese sword is praised as “beauty in use”. Its appearance is so simple with no unnecessary features, but in fact it has many skills woven into one piece of work. When we look at those details, we are drawn further into the charm of the Japanese sword as we Read More

Kaji Jinja shrine in Awata Jinja shrine in Kyoto

Crescent Moon Munechika: The Swordsmith Legend in Kyoto

Every year in July the atmosphere of Kyoto becomes mysteriously excited as the whole city prepares to hold Gion Matsuri – the biggest festival of the year that has been held annually for over a millennium. There is a connection between the world of Japanese swords and this historic festival. Read More

Being true to your Sword

– Though we use iaitō, bokutō and shinai; we must never forget that these are swords – Iaido and kendo are both budō that place a strong emphasis on manners and etiquette – not only to our partners, but also the spaces within which we practice and to opponents who are Read More