What is Hawatari in Japanese Katana terminology?

The term ""Hawatari"" (刃渡り, はわたり), also known as ""Hachou"" (刃長), refers to the length of a Japanese sword from the tip (Kissaki) to the Machi, the boundary between the blade and the tang (Nakago).

In the Jokoto era, the Hawatari was measured in ""Tsuba"" (束), the length from the index finger to the little finger when clenched. Therefore, the character for Tsuba could also be written as ""Nigiri"" or ""Ken"", among others.

In the case of Japanese swords, the Hawatari is recorded using units such as ""Shaku"" and ""Sun"".

For example, ""Musashibo Benkei"", who served ""Minamoto no Yoshitsune"", and ""Tomoe Gozen"", the mistress of ""Kiso Yoshinaka [Minamoto no Yoshinaka]"", used Naginata with a Hawatari of 3 Shaku 5 Sun (approximately 106.5 cm). In the world of Japanese swords, a Hawatari of 2 Shaku 2 Sun 5 Bu (approximately 68.2 cm) is considered the standard, and this is used as the benchmark for Japanese swords.

In the case of swords used in Kendo, it is often said that a Hawatari of 2 Shaku 3 Sun (approximately 69.7 cm) is considered the standard. In sword terminology, the process of modifying a long sword to the standard length is referred to as ""Mogiagerare to Teisun ni""."

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered