This antique nata is in the permanent collection at Soulsmithing and is a lovely example of original handcraft from Japan. This photo essay will reveal some of the beautiful details of this tool for study and appreciation.
Nata (屶, “mountain sword”, or 鉈) come in many sizes and shapes, but most fit the description of a light brush hatchet or heavy camp knife. Common characteristics include thick spines and heavy blades, often with single beveled edges similar to Japanese wood chisels. This type are used for medium duty camp tasks, carving hatchet work, roughing and shaping, green wood work, forestry, gardening, and bamboo splitting.
The blade is about 180mm long, 45-58mm wide, 7mm thick at the ferrule, 5.5mm thick at the tip, with a 90mm tang. The handle is 220mm long, 30mm round at the ferrule and 22mm by 57mm at the pommel, overall length 395mm.