Katana Kashira The little cap at the bottom of the Tsuka


All about Kashira

Each part of the Katana is essential and serves different purposes. Similarly, the Kashira, although small, is a crucial part of the sword. So, in this guide, I'll discuss everything you need to know about this component of the Japanese sword Katana.

What Is Kashira?

The Kashira is a tiny, spherical pommel that rests at the grip's end, the purpose of Kashira is to secure the tsuka, prevent Ito wrapping from getting loose, and maintaining the sword's balance. Swordsmiths may create these from various materials, like ivory, metals, and wood, and frequently intricately ornament them. Kashira usually parts with Fuchi as a set, Tsukaito starts from Fuchi, and ends in Kashira using a knot to tie them together. 

In the past, individuals employed Kashira pommels to secure the handle and balance the sword's weight. While cutting and practicing, the Kashira may become loose and separate from the handle. However, it's not a severe issue. You only need to get a little glue and apply a small amount to the Kashira to stop it from moving.

The History of Kashira?

The history of Kashira dates back to ancient Japan, when kashira with unique designs were made for swords such as 'Fern-Handled Swords' (Warabite-tō) and 'Ryūgozuka Swords' in the Kofun period. Subsequently, with the appearance of ceremonial Tachi swords, the trend became to decorate the tip of the Tsuka with gold or silver.

The Common Types of Kashira

The most common material for Kashira are metals, such as iron, copper, and brass, Horn is sometimes used, but it's rarely and mainly for decoration swords. In addition, there are leather kashira, which are covered in leather, and other kashira inserted with flint or magnets to enhance their decorative value.

When you wield the katana, when facing your enemy, kashira is the first thing they will notice. To show a samurai's majesty, many will meticulously decorate the kashira.

The decorations applied to the kashira and fuchi are varied, including plants and animals. For plants, 'millet', 'chrysanthemums', and 'arabesque patterns' are common.

In the case of animals, auspicious creatures like 'carp', 'dragonflies' (victory bugs), 'lions', 'cranes', and 'dragons' are often depicted alone, but it's also common for plants and animals to be depicted together on a single pommel or collar, the crest of the samurai who owns the sword are also commonly used in kashira. 

Some common types of Kashira: 
  • Higokago: This design possesses carved bamboo-style weaving.
  • Amikago: It looks like a braided basket motif.
  • Souryu: This design represents a spiritual legacy. Praying monks are the focus of the theme of it.
  • Tonbo: It is a typical design for many Katana parts. It portrays a dragonfly.
  • Ume: This design represents plum blossom.

In our custom katana section, Kashira and fuchi are pair with Tsuba.

Do not underestimate the importance of kashira and fuchi as part of the sword, as insignificant as they might seem. In ancient times, when a samurai wanted to purchase a katana, they would usually get a sword in plain wood mounting for storage (shirasaya), but such fittings just like the sword's pajamas, unfit for actual combat and doesn't look good.

Therefore, it was necessary to select desirable mounting such as the kashira and fuchi, Menuki, and Tsuba at the swordsmith's shop, then pay the sword fittings craftsman for a series of assembly work. During this process, the handle length and shape would be selected according to the school of swordsmanship or different uses, resulting in a weapon that not only has a dignified appearance, but is also suitable for actual combat.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kashira

What is Kashira made from in modern days?

Most manufacturers make Kashira from steel, brass, Iron, silver, or copper. However, the cheapest material for making this part is zinc alloy.

What are the common problems with Kashira?

The most common issue with the kashira is that it tends to become loose in time with use. But, it’s easily fixable with just a bit of glue. 

What is a good Kashira

A good kashira should be durable, won't easily break after absorbing the shock from the katana tang (Nakago). in terms of kashira fitting, it should be align with the tsukaito like a straight line, so when you hold the bottom part, you won't feel uncomfortable, 


Potential consumers must examine Kashira's functioning in addition to its aesthetic appeal. By now, you've got to know every necessary information about this part. Thanks for reading through. For more katana parts explained, please check our katana anatomy.

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