Copyright Robert Cole 2014 - No copying or distributing - Note: Missing graphics

Shape and Measurement

One of the most important aspects in appraisal is blade shape or SUGATA (see APPRAISAL OF BLADES - KOTO). While actually taking measurements is not specifically necessary in private ownership, the following terms are always used in descriptions of swords.

KISSAKI are thought of as categorized into three sizes:

- Large or long KISSAKI
- Medium KISSAKI

The sweep of the FUKURA is then observed as being full, swelling or slender "Withering Fukura".

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        various KISSAKI

Another form of KISSAKI is known as IKUBI or "Boar's Neck." This type has a normal width at the YOKOTE but a relatively small distance from the YOKOTE to the point.

The length of the sword, NAGASA, is always measured from the point to the backridge notch MUNE-MACHI. The length of the NAKAGO - NAKAGO NAGASA is measured from the MUNE-MACHI to the JIRI.

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        - full sword measurements//////

The SORI, or curvature, is measured by noting the greatest distance to be found between the back of the blade and a straight line from the sword point to the MUNE-MACHI.

The type of SORI is noted by recognizing symmetry of curvature. An appraiser will fix the depth of curvature, in the manner mentioned above, as residing on either third or the center of the length.

- No curve
- Like a "TORII Gate" - even curvature
- Curve at the "Waist" - first third from NAKAGO
- "Point curve" - curve at point or upper third
- "Bamboo sprout" - inward MUNE, usually TANTO
- Inward curve (inverse curve)

The blade width (MI-HABA) is measured at the KISSAKI from the MUNE across the YOKOTE SAKI-HABA, and at the MACHI from the HA to the MUNE - MOTO-HABA. If only one figure is to be given, it would be MOTO-HABA.

The blade thickness, or KASANE, is measured at the YOKOTE and at the MACHIs - MOTO-KASANE.

The width of the SHINOGI-JI and the height of the SHINOGI ridge, or blade thickness at the SHINOGI, is noted. A raised SHINOGI, SHINOGI-TAKA, is an appraisal-point.

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      Ridge lines

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