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By lyuesword | 19 February 2021 | 0 Comments

The Habaki: a Part of Japanese Swords

What is Habaki?

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 and ensures the symmetrical equivalence with the Fushi piece. Habaki is destined to receive some strikes from blades and therefore the material should be shock resistant and hardly altered.  The Katana Habaki  is made the way it is easy handled manually; important characteristic because it is the key piece for any restorative maneuvers to conduct on any piece mounted on the Katana.

Habaki is a piece of forged metal that has a rectangular shape seen from the side. The border tend to go down when approaching the Edge of the blade. Habaki has a particular region called shoulder; it is the region applied against the spine which is shorter than the sides It has the shape of the blade when it is seen from the front or the back. It has a triangular Beautiful Black Katanafront-back hole which is made to let through 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. It can be simply shaped with no ornaments and it can also carry several art works of illustrations and patterns. Its initial duty is to close the whole system after mounted the Katana pieces.
The origin of the Habaki is uncertain but it is supposed to be a Chinese creation that has evolved to be extensively used by the Japanese, because not only Katanas have the Habaki but also Ninja swords, strait swords, have that piece.

Habaki Materials

Blade Collar can be made of a many materials as may request the Katana holder. The material has to be soft because it is intended to slip over the blade without leaving scratches; this is important because Habaki is placed in last and the blade has to go through. In the beginning of the process, the Habaki is wider than the Blade; then it becomes tight. Moreover, the Blade Collar is to remove for every repair process conducted on any part of the Tsuba complex and the Tsuka complex.  

Generally, Habaki is made of Gold, Silver, Copper and some other alloy such Shibuichi, which is an alloy of Silver and Copper, and Shaduko, which is an alloy of Gold and Copper. Actually, copper is more common in Habaki making. The material to use must be easy to forge, because it will take strikes and hit from other blades and may lose the shape and become loose; the restoration and repair works should be easy. Even when it is deformed from the outside, the material of the Habaki is as soft as it does not alter the shape of the blade; it is always easy to remove and repair without altering the blade.

Habaki Making:

Habaki is the result of folding two pieces of the same metal to form the shape and create the hole. The main piece, the greater one, is treated in order to create a triangular shape with it by hammering it and induce it to bend. Then between the two meting borders forming the triangle top, another piece is inserted to close the ring like piece. The produced interstice is tested before closing the piece because it has to fit the blade. The sword smith may repeat the operation many times until the blade is tightly enclosed within the Habaki hole. It is important that the blade can move inside that hole because the goal is to close the whole set of pieces T10 Steel Katanamounted to form the Katana and keep the Habaki easy to remove. The process is therefore to conduct delicately and with extreme attention. There is no threat to scratch the blade because the material of which is made the Habaki is soft enough.

The Blade Collar is specific; because it is made up on a test of tightness, each piece is only applicable for the blade it was tested on. And since every hand forged blade is unique, every Habaki is absolutely unique. The uniqueness adds value to the piece.

Some works of polishing and cleaning are applied using sand and charcoal, but it is suitable to do them after Tsuka and Tsuba are in place to complete the overall design.

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