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Learn Japanese Katana Sword Terms (Part 1)

If you just started your own sword collection and plan on getting a Japanese Katana sword,this article is definitely for you (another Katana enthusiast!). A sword truly worthy of respect (and worship by some),the Japanese Samurai sword is a fascinating combination of engineering and art to learn much about.This article is written with that task in mind focusing on the basic sword terminology.

The Japanese Katana developed in the 16th century is undoubtedly the best martial arts weapon ever created. It was broadcasted so in several international documentaries and certainly deserves this title with its technological perfect structure and fearsome cutting capability allegedly able to split a man from throat to groin in one swing.

The Katana’s physical body can be divided into 2 main sections – the blade and hilt. Let’s begin with the blade.

The blade point Kissaki is the most difficult part to be forged and polished making it one of the main determining factors to a sword’s value. There are 3 types of Kissaki categorized by their length – Ko-Kissaki (short), Chu-Kissaki (medium) and O-Kissaki (long). An interesting way to learn Japanese language Nihongo, isn’t it?

Let’s move on to the Shinogi, the ridge line along the length of the blade. You may have heard of the Ko-shinogi. If you remember the Nihongo tips above, you may have a good idea what it is. Ko relates to ‘short’ so Ko-shinogi is a Shinogi in the shape of a small sharp arc that stretches along the Kissaki (blade point).

Yokote is the dividing line separating the Kissaki (blade point) plane and blade plane.

Hi is the blade groove made to reduce the sword’s weight while giving it better strength. It’s not designed for the blood to flow along as hyped by many.

Next is Yakiba - the tempered line with a distinct design that stretches across the blade. It separates the hard blade edge as a result of differential heat treatment.

Boshi is the extended Yakiba tempered line stretching into the Kissaki (blade point).

Mune is the back ridge of the blade.

Ha is the sharp edge of the blade.

So there you have it, a short and simple glossary on Japanese Katana blade. It can help you to study and value a Katana before purchasing your next collection.

For a more visual-friendly description with labels for easy reference, you can visit this page :

And if you’re an avid sword collector or planning to be oneFree Articles, you can check out my blog for info and guides on movie sword replicas :


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Jason Liew is a blogger with a passion for movie sword replicas.Nicknamed SwordFinder,he's always searching for quality swords and information on the products available on the net.He also blogs on upcoming hot movies featuring stunning sword designs that will generate huge fan demand.

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