Katana Blade – Sword of Heaven

Katana blades were used in both ancient and feudal Japan. The Samurai Katana is characterized by its curved and slender single edged blade. It has a circular or square guard with a long grip to accommodate two hands.

It was during the Kamakura period when Katana was used for the very first time.The change in how close combat warfare was conducted brought about the popularity of the Katana blade.

The Katana is a complex piece of art and a deadly weapon, The blade alone is constructed with many different parts in mind, Each of the parts of the blade have its functions. continue reading to learn more about the different Katana parts.


The Kissaki is the tip or point area found on a Japanese sword. This Katana blade part is separated from the rest of the blade with a clear visible line referred to as Yokote.

The amount of curvature on the cutting edge of the Kissaki is referred to as Fukura. This can either be Tsuku which is full and round or Kareru which was straight or nearly straight.

When one looks at the Katana blade, it is the fan shape area at the tip of the blade. The size of the Kissaki varies depending on what period the blade was produce. Like other kinds of blade this was reshaped in later periods.


Shinogi is part of the Katana blade describe as a ridge on the blade that runs from the Yokote to the end of the Nakago.

This ridge line is important because this lends an air of authenticity and accuracy of choosing a blade relevant to the Ryu to which the practitioner belongs.

The term high Shinogi is given to a Shinogi that has a substantial difference in height between Shinogi and the Kasane. Blades with thin Kasane has a high appearing Shinogi.

Blood Groove

The presence of blood groove / HI or fuller helps to reduces the weight of the sword without sacrificing strength or blade integrity

Some people think that due to it’s name “blood groove”, that it has something to do with blood, however that is not true. The real reason for adding HI is because it makes the sword lighter and easier to wield as compared to a sword without blood groove.

Adding blood groove is optional, and you can select whether you want no groove, single groove or double groove.

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Mune when defined is simply the back edge of the Katana blade. also referred to as back or collar notch.

The Mune goes through the length of the blade from this notch at the back to the very tip or Kissaki of the blade.

according to some Japanese sword enthusiasts Mune is the best part of the blade to blocking since it is not susceptible to chipping and cracking in sword to sword contact, unlike using the HA (cutting edge).


Hada is the grain pattern found on Japanese swords. These are seen as folded lines, sometimes referred to as weld lines.

These lines varies depending on the way the blade was folded. There are different small and large variations of the Hada.

Some are stretched and some have mixed variations. Generally, swords are created with the Hada running down the blade similar to that of a grain of wood. this is due to the steel folding process.


The term given to the tempered cutting edge of the sword is HA. The cutting edge is opposite side to the Mune.

It is also known as Hasaki or Yaiba. When the sword is placed on display the HA must be edge up.

Chips on the Ha maybe fatal. This will depend on how far the chip has reached the hamon. This shall be considered a fatal flaw if the chips extends way past the hamon line of the sword.

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The Japanese translation for Hamon is blade pattern. The Hamon is the transition made from harder to softer steel at the back of the sword.

This is the objective of this transition process. The way the blade appears is thrown in a purely a side effect of it. Swordsmiths take advantage of this “side effect” to produce a specific temper line to leave a school signature.

The Hamon can be a wavy line on the cutting edge of the Katana. Most of time a special form of clay is used to achieved this effect. Sometimes one can see a cloudy effect this is a result of nie crystals forming in the metal that increases the hardness of the steel.

Wave Hamon

Round Hamon

Round Hamon

Straight Hamon

Choji Hamon

The sword has arrived, and I'm more than happy to write down this review, the service was excellent and I want to personally thank the team for an amazing Katana, I chose a T10 blade with hadori polish and the result exceeded my expectation in every respect.

Vincent Montgomery

Amazing customer service and astonishing craftmanship! those guys really know what they are doing. The quality of the sword is great and overall 6 star shopping experience.

Bob. D


Boshi is the Hamon that runs along the Kissaki of the blade. The top of the Boshi resembles that of a candle flame.

Boshi is round in shape and referred to as tempered area or point. In terms of flaws, it is considered a fatal flaw if the Kissaki is broken past its Boshi.

However, if the break does not extend towards the Boshi, a good polisher can remedy this by reshaping the Kissaki.


Yokote for beginners is a real bevel. It is both quite sharp and steep. Yokote marks the change in geometry of the blade towards the tip.

Most mass produced Katana swords does not have Yokote. A sword without Yokote shows the effect of using a different angle polishing the sword.

Some people view Yokote as the dividing line between the Kissaki and HA.

The Katana Parts

After the blade is made, it is time to assemble the Katana, each part that makes the sword is practical and helps to the functionality of the sword.

Aside from being functional, the parts are made with astonishing beauty, details and themes, which will help you design unique and quality sword by your own preference.

You can choose from our free parts that comes when ordering custom sword, or you can choose more high quality parts for additional price.

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Katana Fittings

Tsuba (Hand Guard)

Tsuba comes in many different shapes and style, normally either round or square guard. Its primary function is to act as guard at the end of the grip.

Tsuba contributes to the balance of the samurai swords while at the same time protects the hand from injury.

Tsuba is very practical and contribute to the sword functionality, during the peaceful Edo period the Tsuba started to become more decorative.

Fuchi (Hilt Collar)

Fuchi and Kashira are the set of hilt collar and buttcap. Some swords comes with a Kojiri with an end cap used on the scabbard.

The tang of the Samurai sword is going through the hole in the Fuchi.

Different designs can be ordered for the Fuchi. This can be simple or something extravagant. we offer a large selection of customized Fuchi. That are made of Metal, Brass, Iron or Copper.

Kashira (Pommel)

Kashira is the butt cap or pommel found at the end of the Tsuka.

Kashira is part of fittings that will keep the Japanese sword together. The cord winding of the hilt is what holds the Kashira and Menuki in place.

You can select the Kashira for your Samurai sword from beautiful collection of traditionally made fittings that can be ordered with your custom sword.

Choosing Your Samurai Sword

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“It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first” – Miyamoto Musashi

Habaki (Blade Collar)

Habaki refers to a wedge shaped metal collar that keeps the sword from falling out of its Saya.

Habaki encircles the base of the samurai sword blade. This fitting locks the tsuba in place while it keeps the Samurai sword in its Saya or scabbard.

The Habaki also support the rest of the fitting and allow the sword to be drawn quicker.

Seppa (Spacers)

Seppa are the spacers found on each side of the Tsuba. they are designed to keep the fitting tight.

Seppa can be easily replaced with a new one. It can be said that the choice of using a plain or ornate Seppa falls on the preference of the sword owner.

You can choose the color of the Seppa to match with the rest of the sword fittings.


Menuki are ornaments found on the Tsuka. This was used originally with the intention of hiding the Mekugi pegs.

Menuki fits the space in palm and allows for more proper grip of the Samurai sword. the Menuki has proven its usefulness.

You can choose your preferred Menuki, remember It is more than just a fancy décor for a Japanese sword. Menuki will give you better control of your sword.

Samurai Swords Handle Parts

Tsuka (Handle)

The Tsuka is the handle or hilt of a Japanese sword. Tsuka is wrapped in rayskin Samegawa. The art of wrapping this sword handle is referred to as Tsuka-maki. Tsuka-Ito refers to the traditional cord that is used to wrap the Tsuka .

Our handmade sword ito wrap is made of Rayon, leather, synthetic leather and suede leather. We offer large selection of ray skin samegawa colors, and Tsuka Ito wrap colors and materials.

Mekugi Pegs

Mekugi are the pegs that secure the Tsuka to the Nakago of the Samurai sword. The Mekugi is inserted inside the Mekugi-ana or holes found on the tang. Mekugi plays an important role in holding the Samurai swords together.

Mekugi also acts as shock absorber. For this reasons choosing a sturdy material for Mekugi is important. we make bamboo and copper mekugi both sturdy and flexible.

Ito (Handle Wrap)

Ito is the cord wrap used on the handles of Japanese swords. The purpose of using Ito is both aesthetic and functional.

The Ito reinforces the Tsuka to prevent it from failing. and allows convenient and proper gripping of the Samurai sword. the wrap also help keep the fitting tight and secured.

We use Rayon, leather and syntethic leather with a variety of colors and two wrap styles which includes the Tsumamai Maki (Traditional Wrap) and Katate Maki (Battle Wrap).

Ray Skin Samegawa

Samegawa or Same-Kawa refers to ray skin that can be seen through the ito cord.

One of the main reasons for the use of rayskin Samegawa is because it’s provides with a non slip grip, even if the handle was soaked with blood.

The samegawa on our custom samurai swords are made from real rayskin and comes in different colors you can choose from, if you would like a synthetic rayskin, we can provide that as well.

Katana Scabbard


Saya means in Japanese scabbard. This can be for a sword or knife. The Saya is usually made of lightweight wood with a coat of lacquer on its exterior.

The Saya has a wooden or buffalo horn knob. Kurikata on one side attached to obi belt by the Sageo (braided cord). Saya protects the blade when not in use and allow for fast drawing of the sword.

We offer a large selection of Saya for your samurai swords, some are made from lacquer wood, wood or Ray skin, and some feature more quality materials and art work.


Sageo is the cord used to tie the Saya to the Japanese belt( Obi) when the sword is worn.

Sageo can be made of Rayon, silk, cotton or leather. This hanging cord passes through the hole in the Kurikata of the Saya.

There are actually several methods of tying the Sageo on the Saya for the purpose of displaying the sword. In some schools of Iaido, Sageo is tied to the Hakama as students practice their sword fight.


Kojiri is the end of the Saya that has the protective fitting. This is traditionally made of buffalo horn however, other materials like metal or black coloured steel can be used as well.

Traditionally made Kojiri have oval shape. This is best fitted during Saya construction to ensure it will fit the sword perfectly, it is highly recommended to have Kojiri and Koiguchi on your Saya.


Koiguchi refers to the mouth of the Saya and its fittings. The Koiguchi is traditionally made of buffalo horn. however can be made from brass, copper or other materials.

the Koiguchi strengthens the Saya and prevent it from splintering . it is also adapted to the Habaki to allow perfect fitting when sheathing the sword..


Kurikata is a knob found in the scabbard of Japanese swords. This can be made of wood, metal, steel or sterling silver. However, most of the Kurikata are made from water buffalo horn.


Shitodome is a small Japanese sword fitting found on the Samurai sword saya. Since Shitodome are designed to fit into a small opening. installing the Shitodome must be carefully made.

Samurai swords gives a sense of power to the owner. However, as a famous saying goes, “with great power comes greater responsibility”.

If there is one thing to be learned from Samurai ethics it would be the importance of being responsible for one actions. It can be said that these traditionally made Japanese swords symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Samurai spirit.

Be safe and let the Samurai spirit live on.