AIKUCHI Guardless mounted TANTO or dagger. Long sword, rarely.
AMATERASU The Divine Goddess of the Sun. Root of SHINTO religion.
See MURAKUMO-no-TSURUGI in YAMATO.
AMIDA-YASURI Radical file-marks on Tsuba.
ARAME-NIE ARA-NIE groups into a meshing, or NIE lacing.
ARA-NIE "Coarse NIE." Large NIE. Can be splotchy like.
ASAKI-NOTARE Slight or shallow NOTARE waves.
ASHI "Legs" or "feet." NEZUMI-ASHI is "rat's feet." Describes
NIOI that falls from the line or from valleys, toward
the edge. Notches in the line.
ASHINAGA Long ASHI. Very long "legs."
ATSUSHI "Thick." Thick NIE. Thick NIOI.
AYASUGI "Flowing Cedar." Large undulating wave grain pattern.
Often pronounced and decorative.
BAKUFU Government offices or operations. The army.
BAKUMATSU Late Edo period.
BITSU Also as HITSU, as in HITSU-ANA. See HITSU.
BO-HI Large or wide groove.
BOKKEN Wooden sword, often used to practice sword form.
BONJI Sanskrit carvings - spiritual evocation.
BOSHI "Hat." Temper line in KISSAKI. Also, portion of temper
line in KISSAKI closest to the point.
BOSHIGATA An interruption of the temper line in the BOSHI.
BUKE The family of the BUSHI. References a man or men of the
military. Fighting men.
BUSHU Musashi Province.
BUSHIDO The Way of the Warrior.
CAO Monogram trademark added to a signature. Also called KAO.
CHIJI-MEN Skein-like or bunched, fine thread. A unique HADA pattern
found in BITCHU AOE.
CHIKEI This term describes dark lines that appear in the JI.
CHIKEI can result from an abundance of bound carbon.
CHOJI BA "Clove Blossom" temper pattern.
CHOJI-ABURA CHOJI Oil. Oil for the care of swords.
CHOJI-MIDARE Uneven or mixed CHOJI temper line.
CHOSHU Nagato Province.
CHOKUTO Prehistoric straight sword.
CHU Middle or medium. Half, halfway.
CHU-HANDACHI Medium sized TACHI.
CHU-JO CHU-JO SAKU. See JAPANESE VALUE SYSTEM.
CHU-KISSAKI Medium sized KISSAKI or point area.
CHUMON-UCHI "Ordered" - Special-order sword. (See KAZUCHI)
CHU-SAKU See JAPANESE VALUE SYSTEM.
CHU-SUGUHA Straight temper line of medium width.
DAIBO-CHOJI High rising CHOJI-MIDARE, also called OBUSA.
DAIJIRI Style of BOSHI turnback with large butting end.
DAI-MEI Large signature. Also a student has honor in signing his
DAIMYO Feudal lord.
DAISAKU Signed by the top student.
DAI-SHO "Long and Short." Long sword and short sword, either
blades or fittings or both. NOTE: Pieces originally
produced as matched sets inflate "name" trading value
DAITO "Long Sword" (Goes with SHOTO for DAI-SHO).
DANNOURA The last battle of the Taira.
DENAORI Retemper. Usually SAIHA or YAKINAOSHI.
DOTTE-MIMI Metal band around the rim of Tsuba.
EBISU Aboriginal "Barbarians" - the AINU.
EDO TOKUGAWA Capital and former name of the present Tokyo.
FUCHI Fitting on a sword handle that rests against the guard.
Normally paired with the KASHIRA.
FUCHI-KASHIRA The FUCHI and KASHIRA as a pair. A boxed set.
FUKAi (FUKASHI) Also known by the older and rarely used FUKASHI. "Deep."
Deep NIOI or deep NIE. A widening of the HABUCHI. Deep
areas of YAKIBA that exhibit the appearance of
"splashing" can be FUKAi or FUKASHI.
Deep turnback: KAERI-FUKAi. FUKASHI or FUKAi bespeaks
of coordinated dynamics in specific figures. Also used
to describe the state of SORI.
FUKURA The curve of the HA or edge in the KISSAKI.
FUKURO-YARI Tangless Yari that fits outside the shaft.
FUMBARI Same as FUNBARI.
FUNAGATA Ship bottom shape to a NAKAGO or sword tang.
FUNBARI SUMO wrestler's "A" shaped stance is likened to a
widening at the base, one foot on the HA-MACHI and
one foot on the MUNE-MACHI, found or emulated of
HEIAN TACHI SUGATA, very old sword style. Any
noticeable tapering in blade width from the MACHIs
to KISSAKI is often mistakenly called FUNBARI for
short. Overt widening at the HABAKI-MOTO
FURISODE The shape of a NAKAGO or sword tang that resembles the
sleeve of a KIMONO.
FUSHI Portions of a temperline that appear like the knots of a
wooden board or tree. This term has been applied to the
GUNOME form that appears much like individual SAKA-CHOJI,
perhaps evenly spaced from one another, with each nodule
having little NIOI YO marks within.
GAKU-MEI "Signature in a frame." An original signature inlaid in
an O-SURIAGE (greatly shortened) tang.
GENDAITO Blades of modern smiths. Traditionally forged.
GEMPEI The time of the Minamoto and Taira.
GIN no HA Long GINSUJI along the HAMON.
GINSUJI "Silver Line."
GIMEI "False Signature."
GOBAN KAJI "Swordsmiths to the Emperor."
GOKADEN "The Five Schools" of the KOTO period.
GOMAE KITAE Five laminate blade structure.
GOMABASHI Parallel grooves depicting chopsticks or HASHI.
GOMEIKEN "Five Great Swords"
- MIKAZUKI by MUNECHIKA
- ONIMARU by KUNITSUNA
- DOJIKIRI by YASUTSUNA
- JUZUMARU by TSUNETSUGU
- ODENTA by MITSUYO
GUCHI or KUCHI Opening. The mouth of the scabbard or handle.
GUNOME Partially round-shaped temper line patterns.
GUNOME-MIDARE Unevenly spaced or sized round-shaped HAMON.
GUNTO "Army Sword."
GYAKU Reversed or inverted. Term used to describe unique HAMON
GYO no MUNE Common or FUTSU-MUNE. IHORI-MUNE.
HA Sword edge. Cutting edge.
HA-AGARI JIRI of a NAKAGO. Like KURIJIRI but raised up higher on
the edge side. "Raised edges"
HABAKI Multi-purpose collet resting against the MACHIs that
allows an abutment for the SEPPA and TSUBA. It also
holds the sword blade securely in the scabbard (or SAYA).
HABAKI-MOTO Area of blade nearest the MACHIs (notches).
HABUCHI The line of HAMON.
HACHO Blade length.
HADA Grain lines. Folded steel. Folding pattern.
HAGI no TSUYU "Bushes of Dew." Abundant and brilliant NIE.
HAGIRE Flaws in the HA. Edge cracks.
HAITO Personal sword. "Wearing sword."
HAKIKAKE "Broom swept" portions in the HAMON.
HAKO BA Box shaped HAMON.
HAKO-GAKI Appraisal Kanji on Tsuba Box.
HAKO-MIDARE Uneven shaped or sized "Box" HAMON pattern.
HAKO-MUNE Square shaped backridge.
HA-MACHI The notch at the beginning of the HA or cutting edge.
HAMAGURI "Edge like a Clam." Thick along the HA. Having JI-NIKU
or "meat" near the HA.
HAMIDASHI TANTO or dagger with a small guard.
HAMIDASHI Pointed HAMON patterns.
HAMITSU KADO Also MITSU-GASHIRA. Point that joins KO-SHINOGI, SHINOGI
HAMON The line of the temper pattern. Signature of the HA.
HANABISHI Petal of flower. Single petal.
HANDACHI Mountings resembling that of a TACHI but for dressing a
HANTACHI Half TACHI mounts, same as HANDACHI.
HARAKIRI "To cut" is the meaning of KIRI. HARA is the lower
abdomen and is thought of as being "The Seat of the
Soul." HARAKIRI means to cut open the HARA and release
the soul. Also known as SEPPUKU (translit: "Resolve")
HASHI Chopsticks. HASHI carvings called GOMABASHI.
HA-SAKI Edge of the blade.
HATSUYA/HAZUYA Paper-thin finger stones used to bring out the YAKIBA
HAZURE HAMON like the edge of a forest.
HEIKE Taira family.
HESO Pin for Nakago-ana.
HI Grooves in the body of a sword.
HIGAKI Lattice pattern file marks.
HIRA Plane. Flat surface.
HIRA-MUNE Flat backridge.
HIRA-DZUKURI Sword without SHINOGI ridges.
HIRA-NIKU Convexity of surface.
HIRA-TSUKURI A blade without a SHINOGI line.
HIRO-SUGUHA Wide straight temper line.
HITATSURA "Full temper." SO-SHU HAMON.
HITSU KODZUKA handle, or short for HITSU-ANA. BITSU.
HITSU-ANA Sword guard holes that are placed so as to allow the
removal of a KODZUKA or utility knife.
HIZOKO-MIMI Bucket-rim shaped Tsuba rim. Taka-Dotte mimi.
HO Dagger or sword's point. Blade in KODZUKA.
HOCHO Kitchen knife. Also a famous MASAMUNE piece.
HOKO Halbert, spearhead.
HO-MYO Posthumous Buddhist title. Spirit name.
HOKO Early tangless spear that fit over the spewar shaft.
HONAMI Famous appraisal family.
HONAMI-MEI An affixial on the NAKAGO by the HONAMI attesting origin.
Gold inlay attribution with lacquer appraisers signature.
HONAMI TOGI A particular style of handling the sword blade for every
stone in the polishing process
HONO-TO "Devoted to or toward the Shrine" Gift to Shrine.
HONSANMAI Three piece laminate sword construction.
HORIMONO Carvings on sword blades.
HOSHI Stars. Can be bright NIE or little star-like groups of NIE.
HOSHI YUBASHIRI Star-shaped YUBASHIRI.
HOSO SUGUHA Thin straight temper line.
HOTSURE Strays from HAMON, into the JI or toward the HA.
HYAKKA RYORAN A "Gathering of Many Flowers."
HYOTAN "Bottle Gourd" temper line.
IBUSE Large round shape in certain BOSHI.
ICHI "One." "First." May refer to ICHIMONJI.
ICHIMAI One-piece sword construction.
ICHIMAI BOSHI Point area that is completely hardened.
ICHIMONJI Designation of the sword school associated with the
technical efforts of EMPEROR GOTOBA.
ICHIMONJI BOSHI BOSHI falls perpendicularly to the MUNE.
IHORI-MUNE "Roof-ridge" or single ridge MUNE.
IKUBI "Boar's Neck." Short but wide KISSAKI.
INAZUMA "Flashes of Lightning." Like KINSUJI but arcing in JI
from the YAKIBA. Also, "Violet Lightning."
ITAME "Wood-like." Grain pattern of wood.
ITO SUGU Thread-like HAMON.
JI Sword-body surface plane between the SHINOGI and the HA.
JI-BA A short-cut term in Japanese texts to refer to any
consideration or comparison of or concerning the JI and
HA or YAKIBA.
JI-DAI A reference of time. The time of a generation, or a
particualar generation. The historical body of a school
or of the teachings of its individuals. That group
associated by school or lineage.
JIGAI Suicide by cutting the throat.
JI-GANE Surface steel.
JI-HADA Surface pattern and texture.
JINDACHI Same as TACHI. Old TACHI style mounting.
JI-NIE Bound carbon holds heat at quenching and is left as NIE.
When the folding method of an individual smith permits,
NIE can be left in the JI area (outside the YAKIBA).
JITSUYA Paper-thin finger stones used to bring out the JI
(JI-HADA or grain)
JIZO BOSHI "Priest's Head." Head shaped BOSHI.
JO-JO JO-JO SAKU. See JAPANESE VALUE SYSTEM.
JOKOTO Non-curved sword, straight sword. Old straight swords.
JORIN Ring-shaped grain. JORIN MOKUME.
JO-SAKU See JAPANESE VALUE SYSTEM.
JUMONJI YARI "Crossed Arms" spear or ten plane scythe.
JUZU "Priest's Beads" temper line.
KAEN "Flame." Term refers to HAMON and BOSHI pattern.
KAERI Technical part of BOSHI: Turnback of temper line in the
KISSAKI toward or down the MUNE.
KAJI Smith. Swordsmith.
KAKIHAN Artist's or craftsman's monogram or CAO.
KAKI-TOSHI Groove runs into the NAKAGO.
KAKU-DOME Square termination to a groove.
KAKU-DOTTE MIMI Square-shaped Tsuba rim.
KAKU-MUNE Square back ridge.
KA-MON Family Crest
KANJI Written characters.
KAMASU Edge without curvature.
KAMASU-BOSHI Kamazu "Barracuda" Boshi - runs straight toward SAKI.
KAM-MIMI Full-shaped tsuba rim.
KANMURI-OTOSHI Backridge beveled like a NAGINATA.
KANTEI Sword appraisal.
KAO See CAO.
KASAGI Same as TORIIZORI.
KASANE Thickness of blade.
KASHIRA Sword pommel. End of sword handle. Usually paired with
KATA-JIRI The single plane that extends along the edge of a groove
on the SHINOGI-JI. RYO-JIRI (two) refers to the flat plane
on either side of a groove running down the SHINOGI-JI.
KATAKIRI Sword style with one side being HIRA. Usually parallel
planes with a bevel. Like a wood-plane.
KATANA Sword worn in the sash, cutting edge up.
KATANA KAKE Sword stand.
KATANA-MEI Sword with signature on the side of the NAKAGO that faces
out when worn cutting-edge up.
KATATE-UCHI Katate-uchi means "One-handed Fighting sword." A style
specific to the Sengoku. Shinogi-Tsukuri swords, 21 1/2"
to 25 1/2" Nagasa, made between the Bunmei 1469 and the
Ten-Mon periods are Katate-uchi long swords.
KATCHUSHI Amorer or armorer-made Tsuba. Tsuba school.
KAWAGANE Skin or surface steel. As opposed to SHINGANE or heart
KAZUCHI "Manufactured" - Swords produced by mass-production.
KEBORI Finely engraved lines.
KEN Straight sword. Can be a style of HORIMONO.
KENDO Name of a sword discipline that has evolved into a sport
in modern Japan using SHINAI.
KENGYO Triangular or pointed NAKAGO JIRI.
KESHO Cosmetic or decorative style option of polish.
KESHO YASURIME Decorative file marks on NAKAGO.
KIJIMATA "Pheasant Thigh." A style of NAKAGO.
KIJIMOMO Pheasant leg NAKAGO.
KIKUBA Chrysanthemum temperline pattern.
KIKU GYOSAKU Swords signed by Emperor GOTOBA with 16 and 24 petal
chrysanthemum. 17 petal on OKI island.
KIKU ICHIMONJI Inscriptions of the ICHIMONJI school.
KINKO Gold smith or Gold enhanced soft-metal fittings and their makers.
KIN-MEI Gold inlay or gold lacquer appraiser's inscription.
KINSUJI "Golden Line." Lines of hardened-steel differentiated in
KINZOGAN-MEI Attribution in gold inlay on NAKAGO.
KIRIHA Flat surface sword (parallel planes) having both sides
beveled to the edge.
KIRI Paulownia. Kirimon crest.
KIRI KOMI Nick acquired from a parried blow.
KIRI NAKAGO JIRI is straight (often SURIAGE).
KIRI-TSUKURI "Cut Edge." Old style, usually straight, curveless blade
and point with one side beveled to the cutting edge.
KISSAKI Point section. Plane bounded by the KO-SHINOGI, YOKOTE
KITAE Forged, or forging.
KOBAN Gold coins.
KOBUSE Sword construction where soft core-steel is wrapped in
a blanket of hard.
KO-CHOJI Small CHOJI temper pattern.
KODACHI Small TACHI.
KODOGU Term for sword fittings other than TSUBA. Any antique item.
KOGAI Personal grooming utensil often paired with KODZUKA.
KOGARASU Blade having RYOBA double-edge (cutting edge on backridge)
in the MONOUCHI section.
KOGARASU-MARU One of three extant National Treasure swords. Originally
thought to have been awarded as symbols of Imperial
directive, confiring martial power. Emblems of Imperial
representation, or for national recognition.
KOI-GUCHI The mouth of the scabbard or its fitting.
KOJIRI The end of the scabbard or the piece at the end.
KO-KIASSKI Smal point.
KOKISSAKI NOBIRU Slightly elongated small point.
KOKU Rice bale. A value-unit of wealth.
KOKUHO National Treasure.
KO-MARU Small round BOSHI.
KO-MASA Small straight.
KO-MASAME Small or tight straight grain.
KO-MEI Small sized inscription.
KO-MEI Refers to an old signature that once existed on an
O-SURIAGE, or completely cut down NAKAGO.
KOMI "Completion." Referenced to the end of a tang.
KO-MIDARE Small uneven characteristics in the HAMON.
KO-MOKU Small burl.
KO-MOKUME Small or tightly knit burl grain.
KO-NIE Small or fine NIE (differentiated crystalline steel).
KO-NIE DEKI Dressed or made up of - KO-NIE.
KO-NUKA Small or fine texture "Rice Bran" grain. Associated with
KO-SEKI Old SEKI.
KOSHIBA Style of HAMON where a large figure to the pattern appears
in the YAKIBA near the NAKAGO.
KOSHI-HI Grooves carved in the lower (nearest NAKAGO).
KO-SHINOGI The SHINOGI ridgeline attendant to the KISSAKI.
KO-SHINOGI SAKI The point where the KO-SHINOGI ridgeline meets the
KOSHIRAE Sword mountings. Sword fittings.
KOSHIZORI Curve arc greatest near NAKAGO. BIZEN-ZORI.
KOZORI Sword making school - BIZEN.
KOTETSU Perhaps the most famous SHINTO swordsmith.
KOTO "Old Sword." Era to KEI-CHO 1596.
KO-WAKIZASHI Small or short WAKIZASHI (companion sword).
KOZUKA Handle of small knife in sword scabbards.
KOZUKA-HITSU Hole in Tsuba to pass through a Kozuka.
KUICHIGAI "Contrary." Appearance of HAMON line like that of
disintegrating embers. Usually small complex figures seen
as though fighting or collapsing in upon themselves.
KUMO Grain appearing like cloud swirls.
KUNI Province or country. Also pronounced, "KOKU"
KURIJIRI Rounded or "Chestnut" shaped tang end.
KURIKARA Dragon HORIMONO.
KURIKATA "Chestnut Shaped." SAGE-O or cord fixture found on the
scabbard or SAYA.
KURO "Black." - Or dark. Used for steel color.
KUZURE Crumbling. Disintegrating. Term for HAMON descriptions.
KYO-DEN KYOTO School (SHINTO).
KYO GOKAJI "The Five Smiths" (SHINTO KYOTO)
KYO-ZORI Even curve - TORIIZORI. KYOTO style curve.
MACHI Notches in the HA and MUNE that act as a stop for the
HABAKI called HA-MACHI and MUNE-MACHI. Separation
between blade and tang. Also called SEKI.
MACHI-OKURI Length reduction where the notches are moved up. This
reduces trading value against an UBU piece.
MADO-AKE "Open a Window." The polishing of one section of the JI.
Can be bounded with TOGI-MEI.
MAGE-SAKI "Change the point." Blurred MONOUCHI seen in SAIHA.
MARU Round. Often used to describe BOSHI.
MARU-DOME Round groove termination.
MARU-DOTTE MIMI Round-shaped tsuba rim.
MARU-MUNE Round backridge, either blade or tang.
MASAME "Straight-like." Used to denote straight grain.
MASAMUNE Reputed to be the greatest swordsmith.
MATSUKAWA Pine-bark HADA.
MEI A signature.
MEIBUTSU "Especially Notable." A distinguished award.
MEIJI MEI-JI 1868. Emperor MEIJI.
MEKUGI Sword peg.
MEKUGI-ANA Hole for sword peg.
MEMPO Armor face mask.
MENUKI Stylized ornaments found in the handle wrapping.
MI Sword blade. Blade section, not tang.
MIDARE Uneven. Uneven or irregular HAMON pattern.
MIDARE-KOMI Uneven pattern in BOSHI area or turnback.
MI-HABA Width of sword blade.
MIMI Rim. Tsuba rim.
MIMIGATA "Ear Shaped." Description of temper pattern.
MITOKORO "Three Place." Term for KODZUKA, KOGAI, MENUKI.
MITSU KADO Convergence of YOKOTE, SHINOGI, and KO-SHINOGI.
MITSU-GASHIRA Point of convergence of YOKOTE, SHINOGI and KO-SHINOGI.
MITSU-MUNE Three-sided backridge.
MITSUZURE "In threes."
MIZUKAGE Mark from retempering.
MOKKO Four sided, flower-like Tsuba shape.
MOKUME "Burl-like." Burl grain.
MOKU SHURAI The Invasion of the Mongols.
MOMOYAMA Site of HIDEYOSHI's castle, from which the era was named.
The period prior to the TOKUGAWA.
MON Family crest.
MONOKIRI "The Part for Cutting." Cutting edge.
MONOUCHI "The Part for Stroking." The first six inches including
MOROHA Double-edged sword.
MOTO "Source" or beginning.
MOTO-HABA Width near HABAKI.
MOTO-KASANE "Beginning Thickness." Blade thickness.
MU-JI No grain. Little or no grain.
MU-MEI No signature.
MUNE Back. Backridge.
MUNE-GANE Lamination piece of the backridge.
MUNE-MACHI Notch resolving backridge.
MUNE-SUJI Backridge line.
MUNEYAKI Temper pattern seen on backridge.
MURA-NIE Profuse NIE. Mounded, piled "leaves of a bush."
MURASAKI Deep black, blue-black or purple-black Shakudo.
MUSO No mounts.
MU-SORI No curvature.
NAGAMAKI Halberd-like weapon having no YOKOTE and often used as
NAGASA "Length" of cutting-edge section from tip to Ha-Machi.
NAGINATA-NAOSHI Shortened Naginata to waer as a sword.
NAKAGO A tang.
NAKAGO-ANA Hole in Tsuba for sword.
NAKAGO-JIRI End of Tang, Shape of tang tip.
NAKA-ZORI Same as Torii-zori - even curve.
NAMBAN TETSU Foreign iron.
NAMBOKU North and South.
NAMBOKUCHO North and South Courts. YOSHINO Period.
NANAKO Raised dimpling (created by a punch) found as decorative
background on soft-metal fittings.
NENGO Japanese era or time-period names. Year names.
NEZUMI-ASHI "Rat's Feet." A particular pattern in YAKIBA.
NIE Differentiated crystallized steel in the HAMON or
elsewhere. Can appear sphere-like. NIE can be color-
rich crystalline nodules in the better work or appear
as pebbles, granulated or even splotchy and patch-
like particles in the lesser.
NIE-DEKI Outfitted or dressed in NIE.
NIJUBA "Two-fold HA." Double HAMON. Only called such, if
NIKU "Meat." The degree of convexity in the JI or KISSAKI
planes. Healthy skin-steel. Strength.
NIKU-OKI Thickness toward the rim of a Tsuba.
NIOI "Scent." Vapor or cloud-like constituent of the HAMON.
NIOI-DEKI Made up of NIOI.
NIE-KORI Extra strong NIE.
NOKO "Teeth of a Saw" temper pattern.
NOSHI No turnback.
NOTARE Waves pattern in the temper line.
NOTARE-MIDARE Uneven waves in temper line.
NUNOME Overlay metal-work. Metals affixed in cross-hatching.
OBUSA Rising or extended GUNOME or CHOJI patterns. Same as
O-CHOJI Large CHOJI temper pattern.
O-DACHI Extra long sword.
O-GUNOME Large GUNOME temper pattern.
O-KATANA Large KATANA.
O-KISSAKI Long or large KISSAKI. Origintes from the Nambokucho.
O-MIDARE Large uneven or irregular shapes of the HAMON pattern.
OMI-YARI Very long Yari blade.
OMOTE Signature side of the NAKAGO.
O-NIE Large NIE.
O-NOTARE Large wave patterns in HAMON.
ORIGAMI "Paper." Certificate of Appraisal.
ORIGANE Spiring KINSUJI.
ORIKAESHI MEI Folded signature. Signature folded around and inlaid in
a shortened NAKAGO.
O-SEPPA Large SEPPA. TACHI-ZEPPA.
OSHIGATA Sword rubbing. Tissue with impression of sword tang and
signature created by SUMI-ink rubbing.
OSORAKU WAKIZASHI or TANTO with YOKOTE nearly in the middle of
O-SURIAGE Shortened at both the MACHIs and the JIRI. Most of the
original tang missing. All of the original tang missing.
This condition reduces an otherwise applicable price by
half. With some traders, by half again.
O-TACHI Large TACHI. ODACHI.
O-WAKIZASHI Large or extra long WAKIZASHI.
OYOROI The great armor of Heian, Kamakura, Nambokucho periods.
RIN-ZORI "Ring-shaped" curve.
RYO Two, double or double sided.
RYOBA Double-edged. Cutting edge extends down the back some
RYO-HITSU Both Ana of a Tsuba.
RYO-JIRI The two SHINOGI-JI surfaces that border a groove. RYO
means "two", KATA means "one" and refers to a single
surface on the edge of a groove.
SADAHA Repeating patterns on a blade.
SAGE-O Cord used for tying the KIMONO sleeves or as a weapon,
normally found looped through the KURIKATA.
SAGURI Catch-hook on SAYA. Slips under the edge of the OBI,
securing the scabbard when worn.
SAIDAN "Cutting." Term to denotes cutting test.
SAIHATO Retempered sword. Sword with a retempered edge.
SAIJIN Retempered sword.
SAI-JO SAI-JO SAKU. See JAPANESE VALUE SYSTEM.
SAKA "Slanting." Term used with HAMON descriptions.
SAKI "Tip." Point.
SAKI-HABA Blade width at YOKOTE.
SAKIZORI Curve at the MONOUCHI or first third of blade.
SAKON SHOGEN The Imperial Guard has two wings, SAKON-E and UKON-E.
SHOGEN is officer rank.
SAKU "Made." "Made by - " Manufacture.
SAME Skin from the belly of a Manta Ray used for sword handles.
SAMONJI Reversed writing. Reversed signature. Also a name of O-SA
"Great SA" CHIKUZEN swordsmith of the "10 Students." SA
SAMURAI Warrior or warrior class. BUSHI or BUSHI class.
SANBONSUGI "Three-cedar" HAMON pattern.
SANKO TSUKA KEN HORIMONO carving of KEN sword with Vajra handle.
SAN-MAI Three-piece sword construction.
SASAHO-YARI Bamboo-leaf Yari. Leaf-shaped blade.
SAYA Sword scabbard.
SAYAGAKI Written attribution on a plain wood scabbard.
SAYAGUCHI Mouth of the scabbard.
SEIBATSU Armed siege.
SEKI Also called MACHI, notches at top of NAKAGO.
SEKI-GANE Soft metal plugs. Soft-metal plugs in Tsuba to fit sword.
SENGOKU Hundred Year War. Time of battles. 1490 to 1600.
SEPPA "Pressure wings." Washer-like separators found on either
side of the TSUBA.
SEPPA-DAI Area of Tsuba against which, Seppa rest. Seppa platform.
SEPPUKU SETSU and FUKU together here become - "Resolve."
SESSHO Regent. A minister of affairs who governs.
SHAKU Japanese unit of measure similarly near, but not the same
as, one foot.
SHAKUDO Copper mixed with gold. Naturally formed ingots that
were originally found on the ground, have arsenic on
the surface. This, mixed with gold and copper allows
the famous patina of browns, blacks, greens and
purples used so effectively in soft metal fittings.
SHI Man or person. Used to denote teacher or master.
SHIBUICHI Copper and silver mixed. 4to1 ratio, copper to silver.
SHIKKEN Military Regency. Governmental ruler, as "HOJO Regency."
SHIKOMI-ZUE Sword cane.
SHINAI Bamboo multi-lath sword. KENDO Sword.
SHINnoMUNE Same as MITSU-MUNE - Three-sided.
SHINOGI Ridgelines on a "fighting sword."
SHINOGI-HIKUSHI Low SHINOGI.
SHINOGI-JI Plane between the MUNE and SHINOGI ridge.
SHINOGI-TAKA Also SHINOGI-TAKAKU, raised SHINOGI.
SHINOGI-TSUKURI Sword with SHINOGI ridges.
SHIN-SHINTO "New-New Sword." 1781 to 1868. The wearing of swords
outlawed in 1876.
SHINTO "New Sword." 1596 to 1781.
SHIRA or SHIRO "White." Can be used to describe steel color.
SHIRA-KERU "White cloak." Can be a specific steel color. Misty or
hazy white. Turbid-white.
SHIRA-SAYA Plain wood scabbard.
SHITODOME Small collets that fit into the KURIKATA.
SHOBU "Iris Leaf." A blade style where the SHINOGI flows
directly to the point with no YOKOTE.
SHOGEN GOBAN The ICHIMONJI group of 1208 (SHO-GEN 1207 time period).
SHO-GUN "Supreme Military Commander," or General.
SHO-SHIN Correct signature. Perfectly correct signature.
SHOTO "Short Sword" (Goes with DAITO for DAI-SHO).
SHO-WA SHO-WA period, 1926. Reign of Emperor HIROHITO. HEI-SEI
SHOWATO When so referred, a sword made during the reign of
Emperor HIROHITO. Modern sword.
SORI Curve of a sword.
SORI-ASAI Sori-Hikui - Shallow curve.
SORI-FUKAI Deep curve.
SOTOBA Buddhist prayer tablet or stupa-shaped NAKAGO.
SUDARE "Bamboo blind" HAMON pattern.
SUE The "end." A prefix meaning later.
SUGATA Style of the body of a sword. Sword shape.
SUGUHA Straight temper line.
SU-KEN Simple line carvings depicting a sword.
SU-YARI Double edged Yari.
SUMI Japanese ink or ink art.
SUMI-HADA Grain areas where carbon remains in the steel creating
small, some times circular black lines.
SUN Japanese measure, somewhat similar to an inch.
SUNAGASHI "Waves in the Sand." Parallel lines (usually NIE) in
and through the HAMON.
SUNNOBI-TSUKURI "Stretched" Tanto, Elongated tanto form from the Oei Period.
SURIAGE A shortened tang.
TACHI Long sword. Sword worn cutting-edge down.
TACHI-MEI Signature on NAKAGO facing away from the body when worn
TAGANE Chisel or chisel-marks.
TAI-SHO TAI-SHO period, 1912. Previous to SHO-WA 1926.
TAKA-DOTTE MIMI Raised Tsuba rim.
TAKANOHA "Falcon feathers." May be HAMON but most often a pattern
of YASURI (file marks).
TAKENOKO "Bamboo-sprout" SUGATA. Mostly TANTO.
TAMA Round "Crystal-ball" appearing next to HAMON.
TAMABA Ball YAKIBA patterns appearing on or within the HAMON.
"Pearls in an oyster."
TAMA-GAKI "String of beads" or "String of pearls" pattern.
TAMESHIGIRI Cutting test.
TAMESHI MEI Test inscription.
TANAGO Fish in SAGAMI Province used as model for the shape of
the SOSHU NAKAGO - the TANAGO-BARA.
TANAGO-BARA See above.
TANSU Chest. Chest of Drawers. Drawer-handles.
TANTO Dagger. Less than one SHAKU (12").
TATE "Standing." Standing HADA, standing UTSURI, etc.
TEKKOTSU Metal particles in Tsuba.
TENKA GOKEN "The Five Great Swords." See GOMEIKEN.
TOBI YAKIBA form seen as if jumping or darting up into the JI
from the HAMON. Island or spot-like shapes in the JI.
TOGARI Pointed. Pointed shapes.
TOGI Polish or polishing.
TOGI-MEI Polishers' signature (found in the SHINOGI-JI just above
the MACHI and on the point).
TORAN "High Waves" HAMON pattern.
TORIIZORI Sword curve like a TORII Gate - even curve. Also called
KYOZORI - a reference to KYOTO and the Emperor which has
its roots with AMATERASU and the TORII Gate.
TSUBA Sword guard.
TSUCHI Sword tool.
TSUCHIME Hammer-marks, Pattern of hammer, hammered pattern.
TSUKA Sword handle.
TSUKA-BUKURO Cover for sword handle.
TSUKA-GUCHI Mouth of handle.
TSUKA-ITO Handle wrapping or tape.
TSUKURI Shape or body-style of a sword.
TSUKURU Made by or produced by.
TSUNAGI Wooden or bamboo sword meant as a manikin for mountings.
TSURUGI KEN sword. Old double edged, straight sword.
TSUYO "Strong." Strongly done, strongly phrased.
TSUYU "Dew-drops." A term of beauty for abundant or fine NIE.
UBU "Original." Usually applied to the condition of the NAKAGO.
UBU allows maximum trade value.
UBU NAKAGO Sword tang in original condition (not altered).
UCHIGATANA Long sword mounted with TSUBA (guard).
UCHIKAESHI-MIMI Beveled or alternating, waverly pattern Tsuba rim.
UCHIKO Finely filtered whetstone powder gathered in a dauber. For
use in sword care.
UCHIKOMI A cut injury to the steel from a sword strike.
UCHINOKE "Thrown in the Air." Specific curved HAMON figures.
Shapes likened to the new moon.
UCHIZORI Inward curve. Curved toward the HA. MUNE curved toward the
UMABARI Horse needle.
UMA-HA Horse teeth HAMON pattern.
UMA-MIDARE Uneven or irregular horse teeth HAMON pattern.
UMEGANE Plugged or otherwise repaired KIZU.
U-no-KUBI U-no-KUBI-TSUKURI. Cormorant's head - SUGATA.
URA Side of the NAKAGO facing toward the body when worn.
Reverse side from that of the OMOTE.
URA-MEI "Signed on the URA." URA is usually the date.
UTSURI "Reflections." Sometimes called "ghost temper" or
reflections of the HAMON. Temper-mark caused by
temperature differentials at the quench.
UZU Whirlpool grain. Excited grain.
UZUMAKI Whirlpool HADA. Swirling grain.
WAKIZASHI Companion Sword. Blade length between one and two
SHAKU (12 and 24 inches).
WARE Crack. Used to describe "open grain" or "tired steel."
WARI-BARI Chop-sticks for sword mountings.
YA-HAZU "Of an arrow." Description of HAMON.Shapes of an arrow.
Feathers of an arrow.
YAKIBA "Fired edge." Area of hardened steel on the cutting edge.
The YAKIBA is outlined by HAMON.
YAKIDASHI "Beginning YAKIBA." Area of YAKIBA just above the HA-MACHI.
Shape of the HAMON just above the HA-MACHI. Often used to
refer to the shape of a SUGU YAKIDASHI when appraising
YAKIHABA Width of YAKIBA.
YAKIOTOSHI Hamon drops off the edge a sort distance from the HA-MACHI.
The cause is said to be the result of where a sword was not
pushed into the coals and was therefore not hot during the
quench. It is an expected and normal feature on many of the
YAKITE-KUSARASHI Coloring metals.
YA-no-NE "Arrow end." Arrow-head HAMON. Forged arrows.
YARI Spear. Various shapes. Usually straight, double-edged with
YASURI File marks.
YASURIME Signature of the files marks - the style of file marks.
YO "Leaves." Dot-shaped NIOI pattern in YAKIBA.
YOKOTE "At the Side." Line separating the JI from the KISSAKI.
YOROIDOSHI Armor piercer (TANTO).
YOSHINO YOSHINO Mountains in YAMATO.
YOSHINO Period GODAIGO-SAMA fled to the YOSHINO Mountains from where he
conducted his rebellion against the HOJO and later, the
ASHIKAGA. Short name for the Southern Court. Period
between 1336 and 1393. See "GODAIGO's Dream"
YUBASHIRI This term has been used to describe small YAKIBA shapes
in the JI. The translation is, "running or boiling water."
These forms may appear as swirling, drawn out, or
island-like cloud wisps. YUBASHIRI also refers to a
running or swirling form of HADA.
ZAI-MEI Inscription - the opposite of MU-MEI.
ZOKUMYO The character-group of a first or personal name within a
signature. A signifier of superior quality in SUE-BIZEN.
A sword with a personal name in the MEI.