Name of the components of Japanese sword

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Since you keep reading my blog, I presume that you are interest in the Japanese sword is very strong.

Even though we say “Japanese sword”, it has many components each with its own name.

If you talk in great detail, there are many terms to use in describing components, but for now

I will explain the most commonly used components’ names.



1, Toushin (the body of the sword, the blade and the tang)

  • Hamon

Wavy  pattern seen on the Toushin. One of the most attractive features of swords.

Hamon has a several different types, but, Suguha, Gunome, and Tyouji are three main types.


Suguha (Linear pattern) 


Gunome (Consecutive round pattern)


Tyouji (A Series of Clove pattern)


  • Kissaki

The tip of the Toushin

  • Shinogisuji

It is located in the center of the Toushin, the thickest part.

  • Mune

Back of the Toushin, (reverse side of the toushin), Japanese sword is single-edged,

thus the Mune is the blunt part without a cutting edge.

  • Nakago

The tang under the handle (grip), where the name, the residence of the maker,

and the date may be engraved. It is called “mei, sign”, but unmarked tangs are all too common.   


2, Koshirae

Koshirae is the general term of a Saya , Nakago, Tuska, and Tsuba .

See below explanation for each  Koshirae parts.

  • Saya

Scabbard to hold the Toushin.  To protect the sword from rain, dust, and such

when carried and to store it.

  • Tsuka

The grip which protects the tang, seats the Habaki on the Toushin, and is used to control the sword. 

  • Tsuba

It is the guard protecting the hand gripping the Tsuka, and to adjust the balance of a sword. 

When drawing a sword, press the Tsuba with the thumb of the left hand, which is wrapped

around the top of the Saya.

  • Kozuka

A utility knife or small dagger sheathed in the Saya.

Of course there are many more component parts with their own names on a Japanese sword,

but if you grasp the above points and names, the outline of a Japanese sword is understood

for the time being.

I will explain other names which are not listed here today, in following emails.

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