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Habaki - On Japanese Swords


The Habaki has two important functions. 1) It is the anchor for the Tsuka (Hilt or Handle), seppa (washers) and Tsuba (guard). It is mounted over the nakago (tang) and stops at the munemachi (back notch) and the hamachi (cutting edge notch.) 2) It forms a tapered friction point to hold the blade in the saya (scabbard).

As a loose rule on blades with older habaki; gold habaki are usually found on koto (pre 1600) blades, and silver habaki are found on later blades.

They are either one or two piece.

Gold Foil Habaki

Silver Foil Habaki




Copper Habaki

Shakudo Habaki This example is a two piece habaki.

Carved Silver Habaki