Katana Kojiri Another important katana part on the saya

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Everything You Need To Know About Kojiri

Kojiri, or the end cap of the scabbard, is a small yet essential part of a Katana. It is one of the most significant elements that you should look into before buying a Katana. If you want to learn more about a Kojiri, then make sure to stick around till the end!

What Is Kojiri 鐺?

Katana Kojiri

Kojiri is the end cap of the scabbard in a Katana. It is the protective attachment that is located at the end of the scabbard of the sword. Generally, the Saya is made to fit the Kojiri and not the other way around as most people believe. 

Kojiri in Japanese is 鐺, or sometimes referred as 小尻. Kojiri is the term for Uchigatana (打刀) Koshirae, for Tachi (太刀) Koshirae, it's called Ishizuki Kanamono (石突金物)

Kojiri can come in different forms. It includes Kuwagata or a hoe-shaped Kojiri, Fukurogata or a bag-shaped Kojiri, and Nagakuwagata (long hoe shape) Kojiri. Similarly, there are mam or round Kojiri, which are covered with shark skin, Jidai-mono, Sewa-mono, and Wagoto. These Kojiri are uncommon and are used very rarely.

There is also a straight-cut Kojiri also known as Ichimonji. This cut is popularly known as the "Kiri" cut. Samurai of equal rank prefer using this Kojiri. So, in comparison, these Kojiri are found more commonly.

What’s The Usage Of Kojiri?

The primary purpose of Kojiri is to provide protection. It is generally used to protect the tip of the Saya (鞘尻) and the tip of the blade (Kissaki). It can prevent external damage to both the scabbard and the blade. At the same time, it works as a means of safeguarding the scabbard and the blade to prevent unexpected accidents.

Kojiri protects the Saya as well as the sword itself. They are usually oval in shape to correspond with genuine antique Japanese blades. There are other uses of a Kojiri outside of providing protection. Many Kojiri designs depict well-known, immortal gods from Japanese culture. They provide sentimental value as well as serve the aesthetic needs of the katana.  

What Are The Common Materials Of Kojiri?

The most common material for Katana Kojiri is buffalo horn. However, the metal Kojiri is also popular. It is easier for artisans to create intricate designs by using metals to make a Kojiri. Popular choices for making a Kojiri include silver, antique gold-plated metals, blackened steel, copper with the combination of ferric chloride for a traditional look, etc.

In high-end and aristocratic Katanas, the Kojiri are most often made of buffalo horn. Buffalo horn Kojiri are durable, fit for frequent usage, and the perfect option for swords. However, in modern-day Japanese swords, buffalo horns are not always a viable option. So, artisans choose antique silver or blackened copper to create Kojiri of various shapes, designs, and patterns.


Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What Are The Different Types Of Kojiri 

Ans: The most popular types of Kojiri are Kuwagata, Fukurogata, Nagakuwagata, Ichimonji, Mam or Round Kojiri, and so on. 


  1. What Is Kojiri Traditionally Made Of 

Ans: Traditionally, Kojiris are made of Buffalo horn. They are also made of metal, silver, copper, etc. materials. 


  1. What Does A Kojiri Symbolize 

Ans: Kojiri can symbolize the display of respect between samurai. When the Kojiri has the engravings of historic immortal gods, it can also embody the spiritual and sentimental influence of the gods from history and culture.


Conclusion

Knowing more about the different parts and devices of the Katana can enable us to understand its value more deeply. One of these important elements is the Kojiri. By learning about Kojiri we can appreciate a Katana on a higher level and eventually buy a custom katana for ourselves. So, choosing Kojiri carefully while buying a Katana is a must. Don't forget to check out other parts as well.

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