柄下地 Tsukashitaji / Handle Base
What is Tsukashitaji in Japanese Katana terminology?
This is the wooden base used to make the handle (Tsuka) of a Japanese sword. The material commonly used for this base is the wood of the Magnolia obovata tree, also known as ""Ho no Ki"" in Japanese. This wood is chosen because it is durable and has a fine grain, making it ideal for the detailed work required in sword handle crafting. After the base is formed, it is typically covered with ray skin (Samegawa) and then wrapped with silk or leather cord to create the final handle.