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The Anatomy of a Nihonto

Conposition of Nihonto 

Nihonto is a long piece of iron.  The sharp blade and "Nakago" or hilt, which is inserted into "Tsuka", a decorative grip.  The hilt is anchored to the grip, using "Mekugi", a small piece of bamboo that's inserted into a cavity of the grip and punched into the "Nakago" so it won't slip out.  "Tsuba" or handguard is placed at the end of grip.  Each mounting, called "Koshirae", is one of a kind and has its artistic characteristics.  The scabbard for Nihonto is "Saya". There are decorative ones and plain wooden ones used for blade storage.

Components of Nihonto

  1. Kashira: Buttcap
  2. Samehada: Rayskin
  3. Tsukaito: Handle braid
  4. Mekugi: Peg
  5. Nakago: Tang
  6. Tsuka: Handle
  7. Menuki: Ornament
  8. Huchi: Collar
  9. Tsuba: Guard
  10. Seppa: Spacer
  11. Habaki: Blade collar
  12. Mine: Back of brade
  13. Bohi: Groove in blade
  14. Shinogi: Blade ridge
  15. Sinogiji: Area between shinogi and mune
  16. Ji or Hiraji: Area betwee shinogi and hamon
  17. Ha: Entire blade
  18. Yokote: Dividing line
  19. Kissaki: Tip of blade
  20. Kashiragane: Hole where the tsuka is tied through
  21. Makidome: Knot which ties it to the kashira
  22. Koikuchi: Scabbard mouth
  23. Kurigata: Knob which attaches sageo
  24. Shitodome: Fitting
  25. Sageo: Cord
  26. Saya: Scabbard
  27. Kojiri: Scabbard tip
  28. Monouchi: Most sharpened, top area of blade
  29. Hasaki: Edge of blade
  30. Boushi: Temper line on kissaki


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