Glossary of Sword Terms

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Glossary of Sword Terms

Term Explanation
Tang Portion of the blade covered by the handle
Temper Line A line in the blade adding strength to the blade
Pins Connecting point – secures the tang inside the handle
Blood Grove The wide, deep groove found along the length of the sword
English Name Traditional Name
Point Kisaki
Ridge Line Shinogi
Surface Ji
Top of Blade Mune
Temper Line Yaki-ba
Cutting Edge ha
Rivet Hole Mekugi-ana
Inscription Mei
Scabbard Sayu
Cord Knob Kurigata
Guard Tsuba
Ornament Menuki
Handle Tsuka

The Three Typical Samurai Sword Lengths

Tanto Wakizashi Katana
(TAHN-toe) (wah-kee-ZAH-shee) (kah-TAH-nah)
Short sword or dagger Medium sword length Long sword length

Some other types: Shoto; Kodachi, Choken

Full Tang: The tang extends the entire length of the handle and is secured by pins. It completely unites the blade and handle for ideal balance and weight

Half Tang: The tang extends half-way through the handle and is secured by pins. It effectively unites the blade and handle for ideal balance and weight

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