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August 24, 2008
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Swordmaking Anatomy: Katana by chioky Swordmaking Anatomy: Katana by 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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:iconmsmeganechan:
msmeganechan Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing research and development works about swords. Also the Tsuba design collection. Awesome... Thanks! ^_^
Reply
:iconstriker-eureka-mk5:
Striker-EUREKA-mk5 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Do a zweihander anatomy next!
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
i havent done these in years
Reply
Hidden by Owner
:iconpokemontrainernaira:
PokemonTrainerNaira Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great explanation, I really learned a lot, thank you very much :hug:
Reply
:iconselena2788:
selena2788 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
hi! may i bother you asking if there're definite proportions between thr differnt parts of the katana?
thanks! ^_^
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
just remember blade should be 30 inches and handle 10 inches, total 40 inches
Reply
:iconselena2788:
selena2788 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
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!!! ^^
Reply
:iconlupusbellum:
lupusbellum Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Practical anatomical definition to a truelly exuisite form of blade. o:
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
knowledge is power
Reply
:iconstriker-eureka-mk5:
Striker-EUREKA-mk5 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
And now you know
and knowing is half the battle!
Reply
:iconlupusbellum:
lupusbellum Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Power accomplishes endeavors O:
Reply
:iconkeszanne:
Keszanne Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011
nice, didnīt thought much about the named parts of a Katana thx :} and fave
grtz K.
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
well now you know all the parts
Reply
:iconkeszanne:
Keszanne Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011
I hope they will stay in my head till needed ^^
Reply
:iconblueycrawford:
BlueyCrawford Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
used, wanna see? [link]
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
thats pretty intresting
Reply
:iconblueycrawford:
BlueyCrawford Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
yea, no doubt.
Reply
:iconfun-fit-vicky:
Fun-Fit-Vicky Featured By Owner May 16, 2011
Nice, added it to favourites ^^
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
why thanks alot
Reply
:iconsui31:
Sui31 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'll need this for my Chizuru cosplay :D
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
have fun with that
Reply
:iconsui31:
Sui31 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconyukathedemon:
YukaTheDemon Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011
:3 Thanks for this! Its helping out with my Zanpaktou for my Bleach OCs
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
have fun with that
Reply
:iconblitzfenix:
BLITZFenix Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2010
Very useful, Im now more cult in the art of swords (katanas)... Arigatō chioky sensei! :katana: :bow:
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
now be more of a cult towards all swords
Reply
:iconblitzfenix:
BLITZFenix Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2010
Ill do that, I already know lots of stuff, I spent a weak learning medieval arms teachings by a weapons master in a medieval fair :D

Oh btw, Im really considering making a katana with your tutorials has base, any advices? :p
Reply
:iconbaracuss1:
Baracuss1 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010
This is a life saver! Really helps with my Stories! :D
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
and I hope your stories turn out excellently
Reply
:iconbaracuss1:
Baracuss1 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
Thanks! Have you read some of them? You'd probably like 'em since you're a Bleach fan.
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
I dont read fan fiction
Reply
:iconbaracuss1:
Baracuss1 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
It's not Fan Fiction though. I just get alot of inspiration from Animes such as Bleach.
Reply
:iconken-pachi:
Ken-Pachi Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010   Traditional Artist
Some things,such as Fuji-kashira,mekugi-ana and menuki
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
yes those things
Reply
:iconken-pachi:
Ken-Pachi Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010   Traditional Artist
But..pretty good :D
Reply
:icondsantiag:
dsantiag Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010  Professional General Artist
Now we're showing what I like! Good tutorial!
:clap:
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
knowledge is the key to understanding
Reply
:iconrawrlz:
rawrlz Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2009
then whats the tails people give swords? like a string with a tassle on it? or is it just a tassle 0.o?
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
thats called a tassle
Reply
:iconthree-forces:
three-forces Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
hey, have you seen any katanas that have a large kashira
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
it would defeat the purpose of the katana
Reply
:iconthree-forces:
three-forces Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Really, I don't see how. Please explain.
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
it would be too heavy and off set the center of gravity of the katan
Reply
:iconthree-forces:
three-forces Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait, how big are we talking?

Would it be ok on an O-katana, nodachi, or odachi?
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
were talking a normal katana, thats what you fist said duh
Reply
:iconthree-forces:
three-forces Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
No No! I'm talking about the size of the tsukagashira.
Reply
:iconbloodysplat:
BloodySplat Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2009
What does "Bo Hi" mean please!? DX
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
I actually cant remember, google it
Reply
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