A rare opportunity to compare the inside and outside geometry of a finished handle core. Historically an old tsuka would be split open for repair or adjustment or even re-purposing for a new blade, however a newly crafted tsuka is always glued… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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 handle is on the left when displaying nihonto. The ura is the “private side” and faces away from the viewer when on display and towards the body when worn.
More on carving a tanto style tsuka.
Classical tanto geometry series archive.
The tang and handle of a classical tanto are constructed in a manner that requires only a single bamboo peg to hold the entire knife assembly together. In addition to the sense of beautiful simplicity, this design allows the knife to be… Continue reading
The geometry of the nakago (tang) is very important as the assembly of the knife hinges on the correct form and construction of the tang. Viewed from the spine, the thickest part of the blade is at the machi (notches) and there… Continue reading