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Katana Sword Glossary

Katana sword glossary with all the words you need to know for those with an in-depth interest in Japanese swords and their special properties!

Letter A

AIKUCHI – A Japanese tanto without guard (tsuba), often used as a close-combat dagger.
AOI – Hollyhock, commonly used as a motif (Mon) on sword mounts.
ARA-NIE – Coarse or broad nie, crystals in hamon or ji.
ASHI – Legs, streaks of nioi pointing downwards towards the cutting edge.
ATOBORI – Horimono added at a later date, engravings on the blade.
ATO MEI – Signature added at a later date, later signature.
AYASUGI – Large wavy hada, wave-shaped steel bending pattern.

Letter B

BAKUFU – Shogun’s military government, military regime.
BO-HI – Large or wide groove, often present on blades to lighten the weight.
BOKKEN – Wooden sword for practicing sword kata.
BONJI – Sanskrit engravings, characters or symbols engraved on the blade.
BO-UTSURI – Weak Utsuri, slight reflection of the temper line.
BOSHI – Hardening line in the kissaki (tip), often with special patterns.
BU – Japanese measure (approx. 0.25 cm), unit of measurement.
BUKE – Military, samurai, warrior class.
BUSHIDO – The samurai code, a set of moral principles and conduct.

Letter C

CHIKEI – Dark lines that appear in ji, creating distinct patterns.
CHISA KATANA – Short katana, a shorter version of the Japanese sword.
CHOJI – Clove-shaped hamon, nail-shaped tempering pattern.
CHOJI OIL – Sword maintenance oil, used to prevent corrosion.
CHOJI-MIDARE – Irregular choji hamon, irregular clove pattern temper line.
CHOKUTO – Prehistoric straight swords, predating traditional curved swords.
CHU – Medium, used to indicate medium size or length.
CHU-KISSAKI – Medium-sized point (kissaki), blade tip shape.
CHU-SUGUHA – Straight, medium-width temper line, straight temper pattern.

Letter D

DAI – Large or wide, indicating size or length.
DAI-MEI – Student swordsmith signing his master’s name, often engraved on the blade.
DAIMYO – Feudal lord, a governor or feudal ruler of ancient Japan.
DAISHO – Pair of matching long and short swords, often carried by samurai.
DAITO – Long sword (over 24 inches), usually a katana.

Letter F

FUCHI – Collar on the handle, a decorative piece often made of metal.
FUCHI-KASHIRA – Set of handle neck (fuchi) and stock (kashira).
FUKURA – Curve of the ha or edge in the kissaki (tip), shape of the tip.
FUKURE – Defect, usually a blister in the steel, a forging defect.
FUKURIN – Tsuba rim cover, decorative border often in metal.
FUNAGATA – Nakago shaped like the bottom of a boat, saber tang shape.
FUNBARI / FUMBARI – Tapering of the machi blade in kissaki, sharpening of the blade.
FURISODE – Shape of saber tang resembling a kimono sleeve, distinctive design.

Letter G

GAKU-MEI – Original signature inlaid in cut silk (o-suriage), distinctive mark of the swordsmith.
GENDAITO – Sword blades traditionally forged by modern swordsmiths, contemporary swords.
GIMEI – False signature (mei), non-authentic signature often added for deception.
GIN – Silver, used to designate silver elements on the sword.
GOKADEN – The five schools of the Koto period, the main schools of Japanese forging.
GOMABASHI – Parallel grooves, a decorative motif often found on the blade.
GUNOME – Wavy hamon, wavy tempering pattern.
GUNOME-MIDARE – Irregularly corrugated shank, irregular tempering pattern.
GUNTO – Army saber mounts, military sabers.
GYAKU – Angular, inverted back, indicating an opposite or reversed characteristic.

Letter H

HA – Edge, the part of the blade that cuts.
HABAKI – Blade collar, metal part that surrounds the base of the blade.
HABUCHI – The hamon line, the upper part of the hardening line.
HADA – Steel grain, steel bending pattern.
HAGANE – Steel, basic material used to manufacture the blade.
HAGIRE – Cracks on the hamon edge, a fatal defect in the blade.
HAKIKAKE – Broom swept parts of the boshi, decorative motifs in the tip.
HAKO BA – Box-shaped shank, box-shaped tempering pattern.
HAKO-MIDARE – Irregular box-shaped shank, irregular tempering pattern.
HAKO-MUNE – Square-shaped blade back, distinctive shape of blade back.
HAMACHI – Notch at the beginning of the cutting edge, often used as a marker.
HAMIDASHI – Tanto or dagger with a small guard (tsuba), distinctive style.
HAMON – Tempering pattern along the edge of the blade, a central element of a sword’s beauty.
HANDACHI – Tachi mount used on a katana or wakizashi, particular style of mount.
HATARAKI – Activities or work inside the hamon or quenching line, marking the finesse of the swordsmith’s work.
HAZUYA – Finger stones used to show the hamon and hada, a polishing tool.
HI – Grooves in the blade, decorative motifs often found on blades.
HIRA-MUNE – Flat blade back, without dorsal ridge.
HIRA-TSUKURI / HIRA-ZUKURI – Blade without shinogi, flat blade.
HIRO-SUGUHA – Wide, straight hardening line (hamon), straight hardening pattern.
HITATSURA – Fully tempered hamon, covering the entire blade.
HITSU / HITSU-ANA – Holes in the tsuba for kozuka or kogai, openings in the guard.
HO – Kozuka blade, a handle accessory.
HORIMONO – Engravings on sword blades, carved decorative motifs.
HOTSURE – Wandering hamon lines in the ji, distinctive patterns in the temper line.

Letter I

ICHI – One or first, indicating the number one or first of something.
ICHIMAI – One-piece construction of a sword, a single construction.
ICHIMAI BOSHI – Fully tempered area of the tip (kissaki), distinctive tempering pattern.
IHORI-MUNE – Pointed dorsal ridge, distinctive shape of the back of the blade.
IKUBI – Boar’s neck (a short, wide kissaki), distinctive tip design.
INAZUMA – Lightning bolt temper pattern.
ITAME – Hada in grained wood, wood-shaped steel bending pattern.
ITO – Silk or cotton handle wrap, material that surrounds the handle.
ITOMAKI NO TACHI – Tachi with the top of the saya wrapped in ito, a particular style of scabbard.
ITO SUGU – Fine, thread-like hamon, fine, straight tempering pattern.

Letter J

JI – Surface of the sword between the shinogi and the hamon, the central part of the blade.
JI-GANE – Steel surface, the part of the blade between the shinogi and the mune.
JI-HADA – Hada surface pattern, the texture of the steel on the blade surface.
JINDACHI – Tachi, a particular style of long sword.
JI-NIE – Islands of nie in the ji, distinct crystals in the surface of the sword.
JIZO BOSHI – Boshi in the shape of a priest’s head, distinctive pattern in the tip.
JUMONJI YARI – A yari with crossed pieces, decorative motif on the tip of the spear.
JUYO TOKEN – Very important sword origami by NBTHK, a prestigious certification.
JUZU – Hamon like rosary beads, pearl-like temper pattern.

Letter K

KABUTO – Helmet, decorative motif often found on tsuba.
KABUTO-GANE – Tachi-style pommel cap, decoration on the upper part of the handle.
KABUTO-WARI – Helmet breaker, decorative motif indicating the ability to break a helmet.
KAEN – Flame-shaped boshi, distinctive motif in the tip.
KAERI – Turning, referring to the mune boshi, turning motif in the tip.
KAI GUNTO – Navy saber, model of saber used by the Japanese navy.
KAJI – Swordsman, an expert in swordsmanship or martial arts.
KAKIHAN – Sword or tsuba maker’s monogram, distinctive signature.
KAKU-MUNE – Square back edge, distinctive shape of the back of the blade.
KAMIKAZI – Divine wind, referring to a wind deity.
KANJI – Japanese characters, the symbols used in Japanese writing.
KANMURI-OTOSHI – Beveled dorsal edge like a naginata, distinctive shape of the back of the blade.
KANTEI – Sword evaluation, the ability to assess the quality and authenticity of a blade.
KAO – Swordsman’s monogram engraved on the tang (nakago), distinctive signature of the swordsman.
KASANE – Blade thickness, measurement of the thickness of the blade.
KASHIRA – Pommel or butt of the sword, terminal part of the handle.
KATAKIRI – Sword with one flat side (no shinogi), special blade style.
KATANA – Sword worn on the obi (belt), edge up, an emblematic samurai sword.
KATANA KAKE – Sword stand, a support for displaying and storing swords.
KATANA-MEI – The side of the signature that faces outward when the sword is carried with the edge up, signature on the exposed side.
KAWAGANE – Skin or surface steel, the outer material of the blade.
KAZU-UCHI MONO – Mass-produced swords, sabers made in large numbers.
KEBORI – Line engraving on sword mounts, carved motifs.
KEN – Double-edged straight sword, an ancient form of sword.
KENGYO – Triangular or pointed Nakago-jiri, distinctive shape of silk.
KESHO YASURIME – Decorative file marks on nakago, patterns carved into silk.
KIJIMATA – Nakago in the shape of a pheasant’s thigh, a distinctive silk shape.
KIJIMOMO – Nakago in the shape of a pheasant’s thigh, distinctive silk shape.
KIKU – Chrysanthemum, decorative motif often used as a Mon on frames.
KIKUBA – Chrysanthemum temper line (hamon), distinctive pattern in the temper line.
KIN – Gold, used to designate gold elements on the sword.
KINKO – Soft metal (not iron) sword frame, metal decoration on mounts.
KIN-MEI – Appraiser’s signature in gold or gold lacquer.
KINZOGAN MEI – A Kinzogan Mei refers to the gold-inlaid attribution on the nakago, adding a touch of elegance to the swordsman’s signature.
KINSUJI – A gold line in the hamon, a subtle activity that enriches the blade with luminous patterns.
KINZOGAN-MEI – Gold inlay on the nakago, a distinctive feature that lends artistic and precious value to the sword’s signature.
KINSUJI – A whitish line along the hamon, creating a unique visual contrast and enhancing the beauty of the temper.
KIRI – Paulownia, a motif often found in handle ornaments or on tsuba, symbolizing nobility and strength.
KIRI HA – A flat blade with both sides beveled to the edge, giving the sword a distinctive aesthetic and particular functionality.
KIRI KOMI – A cut or nick on the blade of another sword, reflecting the sword’s history and previous battles.
KISSAKI – The tip of the blade, which can vary in shape and style, adding a unique dimension to the sword’s appearance.
KITAE – The forging process, determining the physical characteristics and quality of the blade.
KIZU – A flaw on the blade, which can add character and authenticity to the sword.KO – The prefix “ko” means “old” or “small”, often used to describe traditional or small elements.
KOBUSE – A blade made of hard steel around a soft core, creating a unique structure and reinforcing the sword’s strength.
KO-CHOJI – A small choji hamon, featuring clove-shaped tempering patterns on the blade.
KODACHI – A small tachi, a sword shorter than the katana, offering increased portability while retaining the essence of sword art.
KODOGU – All parts of the sword, with the exception of the tsuba, each contributing to the overall functionality and aesthetics of the weapon.
KOGAI – An accessory for the hair pick, often richly decorated and an integral part of the sword mount.
KOIGUCHI – The mouth of the scabbard or its trim, an element that influences the fit and safety of the blade in the scabbard.
KOJIRI – The end of the scabbard, often decorated and a focal point for artistic expression.
KOKUHO – A sword of the national treasure class, signifying its recognition and exceptional value in cultural heritage.
KO-MARU – A small round boshi, adding a touch of delicacy to the tip of the blade.
KO-MIDARE – A small, irregular hamon, adding visual subtlety and complexity to the temper line.
KO-MOKUME – A small wood-grained hada, creating a distinctive texture on the blade surface.
KO-NIE – Small or fine shiny crystals in the hamon or ji, contributing to the aesthetic appearance of the temper.
KO-NIE DEKI – Composed of small nie, creating a refined texture in the temper of the sword.
KOSHIATE – Leather hangers (hooks) for a sword, providing a practical means of carrying the weapon.
KOSHIRAE – The sword mount or accessories, determining the overall appearance and functionality of the sword.
KOSHI-ZORI – The curve of the blade near the hilt, influencing the sword’s handling and balance.
KOTO – The early sword period (before about 1596), characterized by distinctive forging techniques and styles.
KOZUKA – The handle of an accessory knife, often decorated and inserted into the scabbard alongside the katana.
KUBIKIRI – A small tanto for cutting off necks or removing heads, associated with ritual ceremonies or acts of justice.
KUNI – Province, representing the geographical origin or provenance of the sword.
KURIJIRI – A rounded nakago jiri, the shape of the tang end adding a distinctive touch to the blade.
KURIKARA – A dragon horimono (engraving), symbolizing power and protection.
KURIKATA – A part of the scabbard used to attach the sageo, often artistically decorated.
KUZURE – Crumbling or disintegrating, a flaw that can give character and history to a blade.
KWAIKEN – A short knife worn by women, often elegantly designed for both practical and aesthetic use.

Letter M

MACHI – The notches at the beginning of the ha and mune, providing markings for different parts of the blade.
MACHI-OKURI – A blade shortened by remounting the ha-machi and mune-machi, altering the traditional shape for aesthetic or functional reasons.
MARU – Round, used to describe elements such as boshi or mune.
MARU-DOME – The end of the round groove, adding a decorative element to the structure of the blade.
MARU-MUNE – A round mune, a shape on the back of the blade that influences the overall aesthetic.
MASAME – A straight grain in the hada, creating a smooth, even texture on the blade surface.
MEI – The swordsman’s signature, a crucial element in identifying the sword’s origin and history.
MEIBUTSU – A famous sword, recognized for its exceptional craftsmanship, history or previous owners.
MEKUGI – A sword peg, holding the tang in the tsuka and contributing to the sword’s stability.
MEKUGI-ANA – A hole for mekugi, allowing the tang to be fixed in the handle.
MEMPO – A face guard or mask, often worn by samurai for protection in battle.
MENUKI – Hilt ornaments, adding artistic and ergonomic detail to the sword hilt.
MIDARE – An irregular, uneven temper line in the hamon, giving the blade a dynamic appearance.
MIDARE-KOMI – An irregular pattern in the boshi, creating visual variations on the blade tip.
MIHABA – The width of the sword blade at the machi, influencing the overall appearance of the blade.
MIMIGATA – An ear-shaped hamon, adding a distinctive and expressive touch to the temper line.
MITOKOROMONO – A matching set of kozuka, kogai and menuki, often created for a consistent aesthetic.
MITSU KADO – The point where yokote, shinogi and ko-shinogi meet, creating a visual transition between different parts of the blade.
MITSU-MUNE – A three-sided mune, a feature of the back of the blade that influences its appearance.
MIZUKAGE – A blurred line in the ji, usually due to re-hardening, adding an artistic touch to the blade’s surface.
MOKKO – A four-lobed shape, used to describe certain tsuba, adding a decorative element.
MOKUME – A burl like hada, creating a unique, organic texture on the blade surface.
MON – A family crest, often found on tsuba, adding a personal dimension to the sword.
MONOUCHI – The main cutting part of the blade, the first six inches from kissaki, where the sword is designed for cutting.
MOROHA – A double-edged sword, designed to offer versatility in its use.
MOTO-HABA – The width of the blade near the habaki, influencing the overall appearance and balance of the sword.
MOTO-KASANE – The thickness of the blade, contributing to the sword’s strength and functionality.
MU – Void or nothing, a term used to describe parts of the blade with no distinct features.
MUJI – No visible grain, indicating a smooth blade surface with no apparent hada pattern.
MUMEI – No signature (unsigned blade), adding mystery to the sword’s origin and history.
MUNE – The rear edge of the sword blade, contributing to the overall structure of the blade.
MUNEMACHI – The notch at the beginning of the mune, a decorative detail adding an artistic touch to the back of the blade.
MUNEYAKI – The hardening areas along the mune, influencing the visual appearance of the back of the blade.
MU-SORI – No curvature, indicating a straight blade with no distinctive arch.

Letter N

N.B.T.H.K. – Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kai, a sword preservation group, guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of swords.
NAGAMAKI – A halberd mounted like a sword, combined with specific fighting techniques.
NAGASA – The length of the blade, measured from the tip of the kissaki to the munemachi, influencing the appearance and use of the sword.
NAGINATA – A halberd, with a curved blade at the top, suitable for use at a distance.
NAKAGO – The tang of the sword, the non-edged part that fits into the hilt, often bearing the swordsman’s signature.
NAMBAN TETSU – Foreign steel, used in the forging of swords and adding a particular dimension to the quality of the blade.
NANAKO – A raised dimple, similar to fish eggs, often present in the decorative parts of the sword.
NAOSHI – Corrected or repaired, referring to alterations made to the sword over time.
NASHIJI – The hada-shaped pear skin, adding a unique visual texture to the blade’s surface.
NENGO – The Japanese era, indicating the period during which the sword was forged.
NIE – Brilliant crystals in the hamon or ji, adding a luminous, textured dimension to the blade.
NIE-DEKI – Composed of small nie, creating a fine, detailed texture in the temper.
NIKU – Meat, describing a blade with great thickness, often associated with cutting power.
NIOI – A cloud-shaped hamon, adding a delicate, flowing aesthetic to the blade.
NIOI-DEKI – Composed of nioi, contributing to the overall texture of the hamon.
NIOI-GIRE – A break in the shank, often due to tempering defects or alterations.
NODACHI – A large tachi worn by high-ranking officials, an imposing blade used for special occasions.
NOTARE – A hamon-like wave, adding a fluid dynamic to the temper line.
NOTARE-MIDARE – An irregular wave like the hamon, creating a visually complex appearance.
N.T.H.K. – Nihon Token Hozon Kai, a sword evaluation group, attesting to the quality and authenticity of swords.
NUNOME – Superimposed metalwork, adding raised patterns to the surface of the blade.

Letter O

O – Large, used as a prefix to describe items of great size or importance.
OBI – The belt
O-CHOJI – Nail-shaped hamon pattern, characterized by nail-like motifs.
O-DACHI – Very long sword, usually measuring over 30 inches.
O-KISSAKI – Large blade tip.
O-MIDARE – Large, irregular hamon pattern.
OMOTE – The side of the nakago where the signature is usually present.
O-NIE – Extensive presence of nie crystals in the hamon.
O-NOTARE – Hamon pattern with wavy motifs of great amplitude.
ORIGAMI – Official evaluation certificate for a blade.
ORIKAESHI MEI – Folded signature, a signature technique in which the smith’s name is folded on itself.
OROSHIGANE – Specially treated steel used in the manufacture of swords.
O-SEPPA – Large spacer washer, generally used on the tachi.
OSHIGATA – Rubbing of the signature on the nakago, often done to preserve signatures.
O-SURIAGE – Shortened silk of a blade from which the signature has been removed.

Letter S

SAGEO – Cord used to attach the saya to the obi, helping to secure the scabbard.
SAGURI – Hook on the saya to attach the sageo cord.
SAIHA/SAIJIN – Tempered sword, undergoing an additional tempering process.
SAKA – Inclined, often used to describe the curvature of the blade.
SAKI – Tip or point of the blade.
SAKI-HABA – Width of the blade at the yokote, near the tip.
SAKI ZORI – Curvature in the upper third of the blade, near the kissaki.
SAKU – Made, indicates the origin of the blade’s creation.
SAME – Stingray skin used to cover the tsuka (handle).
SAMURAI – Japanese warrior or member of the warrior class.
SANBONSUGI – “Three cedars”, hamon pattern with three repeated spikes.
SAN-MAI – Three-part sword construction, generally used for the blade core.
SAYA – Sword scabbard, usually made of lacquered or lacquer-coated wood.
SAYAGAKI – Label on a plain wooden scabbard, giving information about the sword.
SAYAGUCHI – Scabbard mouth (koi-guchi), the opening through which the blade is inserted.
SAYASHI – Scabbard maker, specialized in the creation of saya.
SEKI-GANE – Flexible metal plugs in the tsuka hitsu-ana, used to secure elements in the handle.
SEPPA – Washers or spacers, used to adjust the spacing of sword components.
SHAKU – Japanese unit of measurement, approximately one foot.
SHAKUDO – Copper-gold alloy used for sword armor.
SHIBUICHI – Copper-silver alloy used for sword reinforcement.
SHIKOMI-ZUE – Sword cane, a cane concealing a blade.
SHINAE – Ripples in steel caused by bending the blade.
SHINAI – Bamboo sword used in Kendo, a training weapon.
SHINGANE – Soft-core steel, generally used in the manufacture of blades.
SHINOGI – Blade crest line, defining the blade’s overall shape.
SHINOGI-JI – Flat surface between the mune (back of the blade) and the shinogi.
SHINOGI-ZUKURI – Blade style with shinogi, defining a distinct median edge.
SHIN-SHINTO – New sword period (1781 to 1868), characterized by innovations in swordmaking.
SHINTO – New sword period (1596 to 1781), marked by significant changes in sword design.
SHIRASAYA – Ordinary wooden storage sheath, often used to hold a blade.
SHITODOME – Small collars in kurikata and/or kashira, decorative elements.
SHOBU ZUKURI – Blade where the shinogi extends to the end of the kissaki, without a distinct yokote.
SHOGUN – Supreme military leader, often the ruler of a clan or of Japan.
SHOTO – Short sword, generally measuring between 12 and 24 inches.
SHOWATO – Saber made during the Showa era, generally referring to low-quality blades.
SHUMEI – Signature in red lacquer, often used to distinguish special blades.
SHURIKEN – Small throwing knife, throwing weapon used by warriors.
SORI – Blade curvature, describing the curved shape of the blade.
SUDARE-BA – Bamboo blind effects in the hamon, patterns resembling bamboo blinds.
SUE – Late or later, referring to a later period in the history of swords.
SUGATA – Shape of sword blade, defining its overall appearance.
SUGUHA – Straight line of temperament, straight tempering pattern.
SUKASHI – Cutout, patterns cut into the blade.
SUN – Japanese measure, approximately one inch.
SUNAGASHI – Activity in the shank like brushed sand, patterns resembling traces of sand.
SURIAGE – Shortened silk, indicating a blade whose tang has been shortened.

Letter T

TACHI – Long sword carried with the edge down, worn by samurai on horseback.
TACHI-MEI – Signature facing away from the body when the edge is down.
TAKABORI – High-relief carving, usually on tsuba or other decorative pieces.
TAKANOHA – Yasurime hawk feather style, file pattern resembling hawk feathers.
TAMAHAGANE – Raw steel used as a raw material in the manufacture of swords.
TAMESHIGIRI – Cutting test, test of a blade’s cutting ability.
TAMESHI-MEI – Cutting test inscription, mark or inscription specifying a successful cutting test.
TANAGO – Fish-belly-shaped Nakago, characteristic silk shape.
TANAGO-BARA – Nakago in the shape of a fish belly, evoking the shape of a fish belly.
TANTO – Dagger or knife with a blade measuring less than 30 cm, often carried by samurai as an auxiliary weapon.
TATARA – Foundry for sword steel, place where steel is produced.
TO – Sword, generic term for a Japanese sword.
TOBIYAKI – Hardening islands in ji, island-like patterns in hardening.
TOGARI – Pointed, describing a sharp blade tip.
TOGI – Sword polisher, person specialized in polishing blades.
TORAN – High wave hamon pattern, resembling waves.
TORII-ZORI – Sword curve in the middle of the blade, describing the curvature of the blade.
TSUBA – Sword guard, decorative metal plate between hilt and blade.
TSUCHI – Small hammer or bit for removing mekugi, used to disassemble the hilt.
TSUKA – Sword handle, part of the hilt held by the warrior.
TSUKA-GUCHI – Hilt mouth, the end where the blade exits the hilt.
TSUKA-ITO – Hilt wrap or tape, material surrounding the hilt.
TSUKAMAKI – The art of wrapping the hilt of a sword, a technique for decorating the hilt.
TSUKURI / ZUKURI – Sword style or construction, describing how the blade is made.
TSUKURU – Made by or produced by, indicating the origin of manufacture.
TSUNAGI – Wooden sword blade used to display fittings and scabbards.
TSURUGI – Double-edged straight sword, ancient Japanese weapon.

Letter U

UBU – Original, complete, unaltered silk (nakago), indicating the blade’s authenticity.
UCHIGATANA – Combat katana, used in close combat situations.
UCHIKO – Fine powder used to clean sword blades, often based on polishing powder.
UCHIZORI – Inwardly curved, describing an inwardly curved blade.
UMABARI – Horse needles, hamon pattern resembling horse needles.
UMA-HA – Horse tooth hamon, temper pattern resembling horse teeth.
UMEGANE – Plug used to repair kizu, often made of brass or metal.
URA – Side of the nakago facing the body, opposite omote.
URA-MEI – Signed on the ura (usually the date), often on the side opposite omote.
UTSURI – Reflection of the temperament line in the ji, reflection pattern in the blade.

Letter W

WAKIZASHI – Short sword, usually 12 to 24 inches long, carried by samurai as a complement to the katana.
WARE – Opening in the steel, often due to defects or imperfections in the blade.
WARI-BASHI / WARI-KOGAI – Chinese chopsticks, often used as decorations on the tsuka.

Letter Y

YAKI DASHI – Straight temper line near the hamachi, indicating a carefully executed temper.
YA-HAZU – Arrow-notch-shaped hamachi, tempering pattern resembling arrow-notches.
YAKIBA – Hardened and tempered sword edge, area of the blade affected by the tempering process.
YAKIDASHI – Hamon starting just above the ha-machi, starting point of the tempering pattern.
YAKIHABA – Yakiba width, measurement of the width of the hardened area of the blade.
YAKI-IRE – Rapid quenching of the sword (tempering), process of hardening the blade.
YAKIZUME – Hardening line in the boshi without turning, indicating continuous hardening of the blade tip.
YANONE – Arrowhead, often used as a hamon pattern.
YARI – Spear, halberd-type weapon used by Japanese warriors.
YASURIME – File marks on nakago, patterns engraved on the tang of the blade.
YOKOTE – Line between ji and kissaki, delimiting the transition between the cutting edge and the tip.
YOROIDOSHI – Armor-piercing tanto, dagger specially designed to pierce armor.

Letter Z

ZOGAN – Inlay, technique of inlaying metals into the blade or other parts of the sword.
ZUKURI – Sword style or construction, describing the way the blade is made.

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