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Swords Glossary

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 Aikuchi

合口

“meeting mouth”, a sword without Tsuba

 Akagane

赤金

Suaka

 Banzashi-Daishô

番差大小

pair of swords worn during castle duty: Tojôzashi-Daishô

 Bokutô

木刀

swords made from carved wood

 Chiisagatana

小さ刀

Tantô with Tsuba and Tsukamaki

 Chokutô

直刀

early, straight Tachi

 Daishô

大小

paired swords, usually Katana and Wakizashi

 Daitô

大刀

sword over 2 Shaku in length

 Dashizame

出し鮫

Same-covered sword handle without wrapping

 Efu-Tachi

衛府太刀

used by Imperial Guards and high ranking officials of the Shôgunate Kenukigata-Tachi

 Fuchi

Fuchigashira

 Fuchigashira

縁頭

fittings at the tip (Kashira) and mouth (Fuchi) of the handle

 Gaisô

外装

Koshirae

 Gijô-Tachi

儀仗太刀

Kazari-Tachi

 Gin

silver

 Gyakute

逆手

reversed grip (Menuki)

 Haichimonji-Tsuka

刃一文字柄

type of handle shape

 Hamidashi

喰出し

Tantô with very small Tsuba

 Hamon

刃紋

pattern of the temper line of a blade

 Han-dachi

半太刀

“half Tachi”, a Katana mounted like a Tachi without the hangers, worn edge up

 Higo-Koshirae

肥後拵

Koshirae from the Higo province

 Hirazukuri

平造

blade with a triangular cross-section

 Hônoki

朴ノ木

magnolia wood

 Horimono

彫物

carvings on the blade of the sword

 Hoso-Tachi

細太刀

“narrow Tachi” Kara-yô-Tachi

 Hyôgo-Kusari-Tachi

兵庫鎖太刀

Tachi with chain-hangers

 Imogata-Tsuka

芋形柄

handle shape

 Itomaki no Tachi

糸巻太刀

Tachi with cord wrapping on the Tsuka and upper part of the Saya

 Jin-dachi

陣太刀

Tachi for combat

 Kaeri

返り

hook on the scabbard to prevent it from slipping upwards

 Kaeri-zuno

返り角

Kaeri made of horn

 Kagamishi

鏡師

mirror smith

 Kaiken

懐剣

Tantô for women

 Kakemaki

掛巻

Tsukaito crossed over the Kashira

 Kamishimozashi-Daishô

裃差大小

Banzashi-Daishô

 Kanagu

金具

metal fittings of the Koshirae; other terms are Tôsôgu or Kodôgu

 Kantô

韓刀

curved sword of Korean origin

 Kara-yô-Tachi

唐様太刀

“Chinese style Tachi,” early Tachi modeled after Chinese design

 Kashira

Fuchigashira

 Katakiriha

片切刃

chisel-edge blade

 Katana

long sword (over 2 Shaku) worn edge up Uchigatana

 Katate-Uchigatana

片手打刀

Katana for single-handed use

 Kawazutsumi-Tachi

皮包太刀

Tachi with a leather cover

 Kazari-Tachi

飾太刀

“decorative Tachi” Kara-Tachi

 Ken

double-edged blade

 Kenukigata-Tachi

毛抜形太刀

“hair tweezer Tachi”, named so after the cutout in the tang Eifu-Tachi

 Kin (Kane)

gold (/ metal in general)

 Kinkô

金工

soft / precious metal work

 Kodachi

小太刀

Tachi shorter than 2 Shaku

 Kodôgu

小道具

Kanagu

 Kôgai

skewer in a pocket of the Saya

 Kôgai-Hitsu

笄櫃

slot in the Tsuba for the Kôgai

 Kogatana

小刀

small knife for the Kozuka

 Koiguchi

鯉口

“carp mouth”, the opening of the scabbard

 Kojiri

fitting at the tip of the scabbard

 Koshigatana

腰刀

“hip sword,” Tantô

 Koshirae

mountings of the Japanese sword

 Kozuka

小柄

the handle of a small knife in a pocket of the Saya

 Kozuka-Hitsu

小柄櫃

slot in the Tsuba for the Kozuka

 Kurigata

栗形

“chestnut shape”, stopper on the side of the scabbard through which the Sageo goes

 Kurourushi-Tachi

黒漆太刀

Black lacquered Tachi

 Mamorigatana

守り刀

Kaiken

 Mei

inscribed signature of the maker

 Mekugi

目釘

fastening pin for the sword handle

 Menuki

目貫

ornamental fittings on the handle

 Midokoromono

三所物

“things of 3 places”: Menuku, Kozuka and Kôgai

 Monouchi

物打

striking part, upper 1/3 of the blade

 Morozori-Tsuka

諸反り柄

handle shape

 Mune

spine of a blade

 Muzori

無反り

blade without curvature

 Nagadachi

長太刀

Nagamaki

 Nagamaki

長巻

a variety of the Naginata

 Nagamakinaoshi

長巻直し

Naginatanaoshi

 Naginata

薙刀

pole arm with curved blade

 Naginatanaoshi

薙刀直し

Naginata converted into a sword

 Nakago

tang of a sword blade

 Nanako

七子

fish roe pattern on fittings

 Nihontô

日本刀

Japanese, traditionally made sword

 Ninjatô

忍者刀

“Ninja sword,” a movie industry invention

 Nodachi

野太刀

originally “field Tachi”; very long Tachi Ôdachi

 Nurizaya

塗り鞘

lacquered scabbard

 Obitori

帯執

the hangers of the Tachi

 Ôdachi

大太刀

very long Tachi Nodachi

 Omote

front side

 Ô-Wakizashi

大脇差

very long Wakizashi

 Ryûgo-Tsuka

立鼓柄

handle shape

 Sageo

下緒

a (silk) band that goes through the kurigata

 Sakizori

先反り

curvature is deepest toward the tip of the blade

 Same

Samegawa

 Samegawa

鮫皮

ray skin

 Samenuri

鮫塗

polished Same with lacquered interstices

 Sasuga

刺刀

shortening the tip section of a blade

 Saya

scabbard

 Seidô

青銅

bronze

 Sentoku

宣徳

alloy of copper, lead and zinc

 Seoi-Nodachi

背負野太刀

Nodachi worn on the back

 Seppa

切羽

spacers / washers for the Tsuba

 Shaku

old unit of length, 30.3 cm

 Shakudô

赤銅

alloy of copper and gold

 Shibuichi

四分一

metal alloy of 25% silver and 75% copper

 Shikomizue

仕込杖

sword hidden in a walking stick

 Shinguntô

新軍刀

army sword of WWII

 Shinobi-gatana

忍刀

Ninjatô

 Shinogi-zukuri

鎬造

blade with a ridge on both sides

 Shippô

七宝

cloisonné

 Shirasya

白鞘

plain wooden storage scabbard

 Shiri-zaya

尻鞘

fur cover for the scabbard

 Shôbuzukuri

菖蒲造

“iris leaf shaped” sword blade

 Shôgun

将軍

supreme military commander

 Shôtô

小刀

sword length from 1 to 2 Shaku

 Suaka

素銅

vinegar red copper

 Sukashi-Tsuba

透し鍔

Tsuba with cut-out motifs

 Sun

old unit of length, 3.03 cm

 Sunnobi-Tantô

寸延短刀

Tantô a little longer than 1 Shaku

 Susudake

すす竹

smoked, seasoned bamboo

 Tachi

太刀

long sword (over 2 Shaku) worn edge down

 Tantô

短刀

dagger (less than 1 Shaku) worn edge up

 Tenshô-Koshirae

天正

Koshirae of the Tenshô period

 Tetsu

iron / steel

 Toppei-Koshirae

突兵拵

Koshirae worn with Western cloths and military uniform; Zubon-Koshirae

 Tojôzashi-Daishô

登城差大小

Banzashi-Daishô

 Tôshin

刀身

sword blade

 Tôsôgu

刀装具

Kanagu

 Tsuba

hand guard

 Tsuba-gatana

鍔刀

Chiisagatana

 Tsuka

handle

 Tsukaito

柄糸

lace used for hilt binding

 Tsukamaki

柄巻

hilt wrapping

 Tsurugi

different pronounciation for Ken

 Uchigatana

打刀

Katana

 Uchizori-Tsuka

内反り柄

type of handle shape

 Ura

back side

 Urushi

lacquer

 Wakizashi

脇差

short sword (from 1 to 2 Shaku) worn edge up

 Wantô

湾刀

curved blade

 Yagyû-Koshirae

柳生拵

a type of Koshirae named after the Yagyû family

 Yamagane

山金

“mountain metal”, unrefined copper

 Yari

polearm with straight, usually double-edged blade

 Yasume-zaya

休め鞘

Shirasaya

 Zubon-Koshirae

ズボン拵

“trouser Koshirae” Toppei-Koshirae

 
 

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