Tag: saya geometry

  • Nagatsuki Tanto

    Nagatsuki Tanto

    Nagatsuki (長月, pronounced “nah-gah-tsoo-key”) translates literally as “long moon”. In the ancient calendar it is a poetic name for the time around late September, possibly abbreviated from yonagatsuki meaning “night of the long moon”, or “month of the long night” depending on the reading. The idea is associated with the time of Autumn, seasonal change […]

  • TLDW #24 – Making an Ireko (nesting) Saya

    TLDW #24 – Making an Ireko (nesting) Saya

    An ireko saya (入れ子鞘, nesting scabbard) is a lining inside the saya which protects the blade from the hardwood. Furusato (故郷) means home place or hometown and contains the ideas of being rooted or grounded wherever one may sojourn, and a confidence and longing for return. This tanto has a simple and elegant form with […]

  • Eyes on the Spine: say No to the kink, and Yes to the flow

    Eyes on the Spine: say No to the kink, and Yes to the flow

    One of the most common mistakes when attempting to recreate a Japanese classical style tanto is to caricature or over exaggerate certain design elements while entirely missing others. The Japanese aesthetic is subtle and nuanced, millimeter differences can make or break the lines of a blade or koshirae. A subtle curve is almost always more […]

  • Yoroidoshi in Shirasaya

    Yoroidoshi in Shirasaya

    This blade began as a segment of reclaimed horse-drawn carriage spring and was hand forged in a charcoal fire, smoothed with files and a sen scraper, hardened using traditional water quench yaki-ire, and polished by hand with natural Japanese water stones. Crafted and finished entirely with hand tools and traditional techniques, the slender blade profile […]

  • Inside look at a traditional kaiken mounting

    Inside look at a traditional kaiken mounting

    A look inside the carving of a small kaiken tanto mounting (futokoro-gatana) with additional examples from an Edo period tsuka and an even older shirasaya. The omote is the “public side” of a tanto or sword, the side that faces outwards both when being worn and when on display. The edge faces upwards and the […]

  • Classical Tanto Construction: Habaki の Machigane

    Classical Tanto Construction: Habaki の Machigane

    Habaki is a non-ferrous collar for the blade that strengthens the base of the tang and holds the blade tightly in the scabbard. Often made of copper, it is composed of a large jacket and a small wedge that are forged and filed to shape and then soldered together before polishing and patinating. The topic […]