Katana Shitodome Everything you need to know about this little metal ring

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Everything You Need To Know About Shitodome

Shitodome is an important component of the Kurigata & Kashira of a Katana. It is a special part designed to fit inside the holes of Kashira & Kurigata. The right Shitodome can make all the difference in your Katana. Make sure you learn about them more before getting your swords.

What Is A Shitodome 鵐目?

Shitodome of katana

A Shitodome is a small metal fitting used to decorate or reinforce the hole of the Kurigata or Kashira on a Japanese sword. Shitodome in Japanese is "鵐目", means "eyes of the bird", because the shape of Shitodome resembles the eyes of 'shito / 鵐', an old name generally referring to sparrows like the buntings and larks in Japanese. 

What’s The Usage Of A shitodome?

When Shitodome is mounted inside the Kurigata / Kashira. The main use of a Shitodome is to limit the friction that the Sageo / Ito may undergo when it passes through the Kurigata / Kashira. In a sense, it is a preventive measure that safeguards the Sageo / Ito from fraying. This is especially necessary when the sword is going to be in use for a long time.

Additionally, a shitodome also serves decorative purposes. It is a small part of the Katana but can manage to make a heavy influence. Most shitodomes are shiny in color like- gold, silver, copper, and so on. So, it adds a catchy and glittery factor to the dark-colored part of the Katana Saya. In more aristocratic Japanese swords, the shitodome would shine brightly to reflect its value. 

What Are The Common Materials Of Shitodome?

Shitodomes are usually made with materials that can have a natural shine. This includes gold-plated metals, silver gilt, brass, copper, and so on. In most cases, the Shitodome is made of gold plating metals so that it can have a shiny outlook. In traditional Katanas, the Shitodome comes with additional decorations and inlays with it. These can be made of gold, brass, etc.

Since shitodome safeguards the Sageo / Ito from friction-related damage, it can often bend easily. So, artisans prefer using metals, and metal alloys that can withstand friction over a long time. In many cases, iron, steel, etc. Shitodomes are gold-plated to create the final product. Thus, it can have the qualities of withstanding friction and provide a beautiful shine at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Common Sizes Of A Shitodome

The size of a Shitodome will depend on the Kurigata. Usually, the approximate size of a Shitodome is about 20 mm.

Why Do Katans Have Shitodome

A Shitodome prevents the Sageo / Ito from damaging due to friction when it passes through the Kurigata. Shitodomes are also used for decorative purposes in the Katana.

Conclusion

A shitodome is a small yet influential part of the Katana. It serves both protective as well as decorative purposes in the Katana. So, make sure you go through the details of a shitodome before you get your sword. We appreciate you stopping by! Don't forget to check our katana anatomy blog post!

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