Katana Habaki

Published: 03/09/2021 Comments: 0

The Habaki (鎺, Blade Collar) is a piece of metal encircling the base of the blade of a Japanese sword. It has sometimes been called the 'HEART of a Japanese sword. The Habaki plays two important roles:  locking the tsuba (guard) in place and maintaining the blade in its Saya (scabbard).

What is Habaki?

The Tsuba complex is a very particular group of pieces that are put together to support the tightness of the mounted pieces, to ensure the balance of the Katana, and fulfill an esthetic end. Habaki, known as Blade Collar, is placed over the Tsuba as the piece of ring that closes the complex; it has a particular shape that embraces the blade.

Habaki is a piece of forged metal that has a rectangular shape seen from the side. The border tends to go down when approaching the Edge of the blade. It is made to tightly embrace the blade base where the tang meets the Tsuka, but it is only in direct contact with the Tsuba. Most of the time the most eye-catching designs are those that are handmade and fit the blade perfectly. It can be simply shaped with no ornaments and it can also carry several artworks of illustrations and patterns.

This Katana part also forms the tapered friction point where it holds the blade in the scabbard (Saya). The Habaki forms a tight holding of the blade when inserted inside the scabbard. Samurai during battles had to move a lot, and Whether he is riding on top of his horse or walking, there is a need to secure the sword in place. 

Making Habaki

Habaki is destined to receive some strikes from blades and therefore the material should be shock resistant and hardly altered.

Most of our Habaki collections are made of brass. since those materials are soft and can easily adapt to the shape of the blade without scratching the steel surface.

When it comes to manufacturing a traditionally made part like this, the craftsman bends a flat piece of copper/brass around the blade and secured where the two ends meet at the cutting edge area. Choose the design that will compliment your sword and it will add a lot to the overall appearance.

Maintaining Habaki

Often uses katana, The habaki will cause normal wear and tear inside the scabbard, and either a shim or a total replacement of the  may be needed to remedy the issue as it will become too loose over time. Removing the habaki and oiling it after cutting or once every few months is recommended.

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