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Nakago (中心 or) - Tang shapes on Japanese Swords

The tang or the part of the Japanese blade that goes into the handle (tsuka) or pole is called a nakago. There are several shapes (gata) that vary in length, curvature, thickness. Many are indicative of a school, Den or smith. Below are examples of some of these.

Sakibari (先張り), kakubari (角張り) or shippari (尻張り)

Refers to a wide nakago with almost parallel edges. Seen mainly on Bizen blades.

      

Kijimomo-gata

      

Funagata (舟形)

Refers to a short and stubby nakago, in the shape of a ship bottom, that bulges strongly outward on the ha side, or edge. Seen commonly on Soshu style tanto.

      

Furisode-gata

      

Gohei-gata (幣形)

A nakago shape with paired steps on each side (mune & ha). This name refers to the strips of white paper hung at the enterance of Shintō shrines. Seen in the works of Ise no Kami Kuniteru.