Please find below a list of tosogu terms that may be mentioned in some of my posts.

AIKUCHI – a dagger mounted without a tsuba
AKA KIN – gold mixed mainly with copper to lower gold impurity and enhance hardness
AKATSUCHI – red clay used in the patination process on iron tsuba
AMI – last two characters of an art name meaning ‘a man who is talented in the arts’
AMIDA YASURI – File marks radiating from the center of the tsuba plate that resemble he halo of the Amida (Buddha)
ANA – a hole. e.g. nakago ana, hitsu ana
AOI – design based on the hollyhock plant leaf, commonly used as a mon
AOI GATA – shape of tsuba resembling a leaf of the hollyhock plant
AO KIN – a greenish alloy of gold and silver to lower gold impurity and enhance hardness
AORI GATA – a tsuba of trapezoid shape, usually broader at the bottom than the top (saddlecloth shape)
ATO – Chinese term for tsuba on ancient swords
AWA ISHIME – ground design of ring-shaped punch marks used mainly on old Katchushi guards
AWASEGITAE – the forging of the plate to form either the single or double ‘final fold’ used by the swordsmith and armorsmith tsuba makers

BAKEMONO
– goblin, evil spirit, fantastical creature
BANCHA – coarse Japanese tea used in the patination process
BEKKEI – a branch family; usually working independently from the main family line
BISHAMONTEN – the God of treasures; Vais’ravana
BONJI – Sanscrit characters often used as design motifs
BORI – surface carving

CHIDORI – a plover, often used as a design motif.
CHIKABUSHIMA – No drama story, used as a design motif.
CHIRIGAMI ZOGAN – nunome inlay resembling ‘coarse paper’ in texture.
CHIRIMEN – a crape paper finish.
CHU NO YU – tea ceremony

DAEN – tsuba of ovoid shape
DAI – kanji used as a hot stamp design on later Tempo tsuba
DAIKON – large radish used to cleanse metal in the coloring process
DAI SHI KOKUIN – grain or veins suggesting a stone surface
DAI SHO – literally large and small; refers to the pair of swords worn predominately during the Edo period
DO – copper
DORO MIMI – “mud” enamel, opaque cloisonne enamel
DORO SHIPPO – grain or veins suggesting a stone surface
DOTE MIMI – a raised rim on the mimi, common on Katchushi tsuba

EDO KINKO – tsuba makers living in the area of the city who made mainly decorative pieces during the later Edo age.
ENSHO – gun powder used in patination formulas.

FUCHI – fitting/collar that sits on the lower end of the tsuka, close to the tsuba
FUKIYOSEZAKURA – design of ‘cherry blossoms gathered by the wind’ used mainly by the Tani school of Higo province.
FUKU KISE – Another name for the UTTORI style of inlay.
FUKURIN – A rim cover, usually of soft metal used mainly as a decorative addition to the tsuba plate.

GAISO – the complete mountings for a blade, including tsuka, saya, and all metal fittings
GATA – shape of tosogu, eg. maru gata is a round shape
GEN – the bonji for GEN refers to GENJI which is the MINAMOTO family
GE SHIBUICHI – the inferior grade of SHIBUICHI
GIN – silver
GINSHI – silversmith
GOISHI GATA – tsuba plate of convex cross section resembling the stone used in the game of GO
GOKU KOKO – very hard iron, 1.0% or less of carbon content
GOKU NANKO – very soft iron, 0.25% or less of carbon content
GOMI ZOGAN – ‘trash’ or ‘garbage’ inlay
GOMOKU ZOGAN – ‘stew made of five parts’, inlay style
GO SAN no KIRI MON – a kiri mon with five flower buds in the center and three on each side
GUNBAI UCHIWA – war fan of non-folding type
GURI BORI – a welding of layers of copper and shakudo which is then carved to give the impression of a carved laquer

HABAKI – metal sleeve around the blade of the sword just below the guard.  Used to secure the blade in the mouth of the scabbard
HACHIKAKU GATA – tsuba of octagon (8) shape
HAKOGAKI – an inscription sometimes with attribution applied to wooden fittings boxes
HANA – hot stamp of kanji “hana” (flower) used on the tsuba plate by Saotome and Tempo artisans.
HANAGIRI – design of kiri flowers and leaves.
HANA ISHIME – hot stamped surface with flower shaped punches.
HANA KAZE KOKUIN – hot stamped design of kanji “hana” and kanji “kaze” (wind) used on Saotome tsuba.
HANARE – term used by Akiyama to describe the “elegant signature” used by Nobuiye I.
HARI ISHIME – surface finish of punch marks.
HEIANJO ZOGAN – a form of brass inlay.
HIASHI YASURI – “sunbeam” style of file marks.
HIDO – copper with red patination.
HIGO KOSHIRAE – style of sword mounting peculiar to the province of Higo.
HIKONE BORI – the original style of carving of the Soten school. It is a combination of low relief, line carving, some shishiai, detailed iroe inlay and elaborate openwork.
HINERIKAESHI MIMI – an edge with a few (3 to 6) undulations
HIRA – flat part or surface of the tsuba contained within the rim
HIRA ZOGAN – inlay set into the plate, the surface being flush with that of the plate
HIRUMAKI TACHI – a tachi mounting bound with wide parallel bands of metal or rattan along the full length of the saya
HITOTSU BIKI, TATE FUTATSU BIKIRYO – design of central bar crossed at right angles by two thin parallel bars
HITSU ANA – hole in the guard to accomodate the Kozuka and Kogai. Looking from the front, the Kozuka hole is on the left side and the Kogai hole is on the right
HOJU TSUBA – primitive, rudimentary “jewel shaped” tsuba of the Dolmen period, of great archaeological interest but little aesthetic merit
HOKORI YOSHIRO – “dust covered” or “piled with dust” term to define type of inlay used on Yoshiro tsuba where groups of brass and/or copper wire constitute the decoration
HON ZOGAN – literally ‘true inlay’, in which the metal decoration is hammered into recesses in the plate
HOO – a mythological bird with feathers of five colors and very long tail plumes
HORIAGE – carving of low relief on surface of tsuba plate
HORI ISHIME – surface rough carved to give a “stone” textured surface
HORIKOMI ZOGAN – carving filled with inlay
HORISAGE – bas-relief carving on plate surface
HOSOZUKASHI – slender (thin) perforated carving
HYOGOGUSARI – the saya is bound top and bottom with parallel bands of metal
HYOTAN – a gourd, often used as a design motif

IBOTARO – Chinese wax (tree wax) made from natural sources. Lightly dusted on the tsuba surface as a protective coating for iron plate
IKI ZUKASHI – an all-encompassing term covering forms of positive sukashi
INAKAMONO – “country work” meaning objects made by artists independant of a school and of country origin. Their work is usually unsophisticated
INOME BORI SUKASHI – heart-shaped openings of very early origin, first used in the AOI tsuba
IN SUKASHI – negative silhouette perforations
IO – sulphur used in patination of metals
IPPON CHIKU – a famous design of “one bamboo stalk”
IROGANE KO TSUBA – refers to those old multi-colored metal tsuba made in the Muromachi and Momoyama ages
IROE – the method of inlaying metal used in pictorial designs, which is of a different colour to the jigane
IROE ROZUKE – soldered inlay of soft metals
IROE ZOGAN – colours like gold and silver pasted or burned onto the carved metal plates. “Colored picture inlay”
ISHIME JI – surface finish resembling the texture of stone made with various sized punches
ISHIZUKI – a metal piece placed at the end of the sheath of a tachi-goshirae
ISSHI SODEN – the one reliable student to whom the master passes his most important secrets
ITA TSUBA – a flat plate having the same thickness over the entire surface
ITO FUKURIN – a thin, narrow FUKURIN used mostly on tsuba of GOISHI-GATA shape
ITO SUKASHI – a style of negative perforation of thin thread-like lines used mostly by the Ito school and its followers

JI – the ground or surface of the tsuba plate
JIDAI GOTO – refers to the old Goto work made in the Muromachi age, usually by artists other than the main line Kyoto school
JIGANE – the basic metal or base metal of a tsuba
JI MON – a pattern of hammer marks on the surface of the tsuba to give variety and interest to the plate surface. Often seen on the work of the first and second Nobuiye
JINIKU – refers to the artistic quality of the surface of the plate. May also mean the richness of the ground of the plate
JI SUKASHI – an open work method in which most of the iron of the flat body is removed to create the outline of a shape or shapes
JO SHIBUICHI – the best grade and color of SHIBUICHI
JUJI MOKKO – tsuba of cross shape with four lobes of equal length
JUROJIN – the god of longevity, often used as a design motif
JUZU – a rosary, also refers to a type of tsuba designed in the shape of a rosary

KABUTO GANE – the pommel cap fixed at the end of a tachi-goshirae’s hilt
KAO – symbolic abbreviation of an artist’s signature; equivalent to a monogram
KARAKUSA – stylised scrolling Chinese vine
KASHIRA – fitting placed at the end of the tsuka
KATACHI BORI – carved with a full motif
KATAKIRI BORI – method of incising metal to produce a V-shaped groove, the angle of one side being far greater than the other, used to imitate ink painting
KE BORI – line engraving
KIBATA – the edge (on menuki, it refers to the edge where you might find a mei)
KIN – gold
KINKO – literally ‘gold worker’; an artist who predominantly made fittings in materials other than iron
KINZOGAN MEI – a gold mei or attribution, which is inlayed
KODOGU – literally small fittings
KOGAI – utility for cleaning ears, scratching the head or arranging the hair
KOSHIRAE – complete set of fittings for a Japanese sword, including the handle and scabbard
KO SUKASHI – pierced work in negative silhouette
KOZUKA – handle for a utility knife
KUCHIBENI – hammer marks around the nakago-ana, often a ‘signature’ of the maker

KAGE SUKASHI – negative silhouette used in the Ji-Sukashi method
KAGA ZOGAN – true inlay (HIRA ZOGAN) of sentoku or silver in the earliest works by artisans of Kaga province. Later examples utilized shakudo, shibuichi, or copper ground, in which metals of varying shades (IROE) were used in combination with KEBORI
KAGAMISHI – a maker of mirrors. The artists who design and cast bronze mirrors and bronze tsuba of mirror form
KAGOME – a woven pattern of wire, usually brass, such as is used on the KAGOME Shingen tsuba
KAKIHAN – a written seal or monogram. May also be applied to carved monograms. See KAO
KAKUMIMI – a square edge having a flat surface and sharp corners
KAKUMIMI KONIKU – a square edge with slightly rounded surface, the most common style of edge shape.
KAKUMIMI KONIKU HORISAGE – a rounded square edge with deep channel carvings as a design
KAKUMOKKO GATA – a four-lobed shape with square sides
KAKUSHI TAGANE – pocket-shaped marks at edges of central opening in tsuba made with a large punch. These marks in some instances identify the work of a school or individual artist, but the majority, of irregular shape and pattern, were added at a later date to make the central opening fit tightly on a particular blade
KAMAKURA TSUBA – thin Katchushi type sword guards dating from the late Muromachi period. The scenic motifs are created by shallow relief carving
KAMMIMI – thicker rounder raised rims. ( note; Thicker and rounder than Dote-mimi )
KANAGU – the metal fittings of the mounting for a sword blade
KARAKANE – bronze
KARAKURI – an inlay affixed to the surface of the plate by means of a pin or peg
KARAKUSA – a common design motif of arabesque vine stems, leaves, and flowers
KAREKI ZOGAN a design of broken, dead twigs, commonly used by the schools of Higo province and their followers
KASHIRA – the cap or head of the hilt of a sword
KASUMI CHIDORI – a design of small birds in the mist or haze. One of the design motifs used by the Yagyu school
KATAKIRI BORI – carving with lines of varying thickness and depth in imitation of the strokes of a painters brush
KATASHIROME – an alloy of tin and lead used as the base of the alloy NIGUROME
KATCHUSHI – an armorsmith. This term is also used for those tsuba made by armorers, or in KATCHUSHI style
KAWAGANE – “Skin metal”, a thin layer of specially prepared iron applied in the final forging process as the outside layer on some tsuba made by such schools as the Akasaka and the Oda
KAWARIGANE – soft metal tsuba, or other fittings. All pieces made of metal other than iron
KAWARI MOKKO – irregular four-lobed shape, or any variation on the standard mokko form
KAZE a kanji meaning “wind” used as a decorative hot stamp on the Saotome tsuba of the HANA-KAZE type
KEBORI – air-thin line carving of consistent depth and width. A chisel slightly rounded leaves a U-shaped line: maru ke-bori
KENJO – a presentation or gift tsuba
KENUKIGATA – a style of tachi mounting with AOI or SHITOGI tsuba, and with a metal handle in most cases
KERI BORI (kick carving) – this method uses a chisel with a flattened, thinner tip; a corner is allowed to rise and ‘kick up’, in contrast to ke-bori lines. The resulting marks are very delicate wedge-shaped triangular dots
KESHIIRE ZOGAN also KESHIKOME ZOGAN – an amalgam inlay on either iron or soft metal plate such as in KAGA ZOGAN work
KIKUJIDO – legend from the No drama used as a design motif.
KIKU GATA – a tsuba in the shape of a chrysanthemum flower.
KIKUSUI – design of chrysanthemum flowers floating in a stream.
KIKU SUKASHI – openwork tsuba in the shape of a chrysanthemum flower
KIKUTOMOE – design of TOMOE (comma shape) in chrysanthemum form. Sometimes used by Nobuiye
KIN – gold
KINKO – “Gold artist”. Means decorative tsuba maker as opposed to TSUBA-KO (“true” tsuba maker)
KIN SHIPPO – closonne, or enamel decoration with gold wire dividers between the areas of color.
KIRI – a plant, the leaves and flowers are often used as design motifs
KIRI MON – a crest of two common types, GO SAN no KIRI MON (three and five bud stalk kiri mon) and SHICHI GO no KIRI MON (five and seven bud stalk kiri mon)
KISAGE – a scraper used to even the surface of the plate after forging
KISE – plated silver (gingise) or other plated metals
KITTATE – term for the inside walls of the openwork area of Akasaka tsuba; meaning the walls are cut stiff straight as a cliff
KOBAN GATA – shape of SEPPA-DAI resembling the outline shape of an old gold coin. Characteristic of the work of several schools living in Kyoto area
KOBUSHI GATA – a tsuba shape resembling a closed hand (fist shaped)
KODOGU – the usual parts of a GAISO. Often used to refer to all metal fittings, except for the tsuba, but in some instances the tsuba may be included
KOGAI – a hair-arranging implement used by high ranking samurai and officials of court rank. The common form seems to date from the Nara age
KOGAI ANA (HITSU) – opening in the tsuba, on the front surface the opening is to the right of the central perforation (Nakago-ana)
KO GOTO – “Old Goto” usually referring to the work of the Goto school in the “classic style” made in the Muromachi and Momoyama ages by Goto workers of the main line and their subsidiary branches
KOHINERI MIMI – a type of UCHIKAESHI-MIMI that has a slight twist to the rolled over edge
KOHONE – plant design of spatterdock
KOJIRI – a cap or cover for the bottom of the scabbard, usually made of metal or horn
KO KINKO – “Old KINKO”, meaning those soft metal workers living in the Muromachi and Momoyama ages
KO KINKO KODOGU – fittings, other than the tsuba, made by the KO-KINKO
KOKO – hard iron with 0.5% to 1.0% carbon content
KOKUIN – a surface design of punch marks impressed onto the plate while the metal was still in a soft, pliable state. Used predominately by the Saotome and Tembo on iron plate and by TACHI-KANAGUSHI on soft metal plate
KONIKU KAKUMIMI – a slightly rounded square rim.
KOSHIRAE – ready made fittings, sometimes used to denote a mounting with en suite fittings
KO SUKASHI – small perforations, such as a single flower, or number of perforations of small size
KOSUKE TAGANE – wide channel carving often resembling worm eaten wood
KOZUKA – literally “small handle”, but has come to mean both the blade and the handle of the small utility knife carried in the scabbard of the sword
KOZUKA ANA (HITSU) – the opening to the left of the NAKAGO-ANA on the face of the tsuba
KUCHI BENI – literally “lipstick”, but refers to the copper plugs which may be seen at the top and bottom of the NAKAGO-ANA. Their function was to secure the tsuba firmly when mounted on a blade. These plugs are sometimes called SEKIGANE
KURO SHIBUICHI – “Black shibuichi”, very dark colored SHIBUICHI
KURUMA SUKASHI – tsuba in the shape of a carriage wheel
KUSARI BORI – “Decayed carving”, the correct term for this style of surface treatment is YAKITE KUSARASHI
KYO – common abbreviated version of Kyoto, used as a prefix for many schools and types of tsuba made in or around the Kyoto area

MARU BORI – carving metal ‘in the round’, giving a three-dimensional image
MEKUGI ANA – hole in the tang through which a peg (mekugi) secured the handle on the blade
MENUKI – small fittings placed under or on top of ito or same on a tsuka
MIGAKI JI
– polished surface (of a tsuba)
MIMI – the edge or rim of a tsuba
MIMIKAKI
– curved end of a kogai, designed to clean wax from the ear
MITOKOROMONO – literally, ‘things for three places’ (on a sword). A matching set of kozuka, kogai and menuki
MOKKO – square lobed form

NAKAGO – the tang of the sword blade
NAKAGO ANA – hole in the tsuba through which the tang of the sword was fitted
NANAKO – literally ‘fish roe; technique for texturing the surface of metal by repeated punching with a hollow-headed punch to produce a dotted effect
NERIKAWA – a very early style of tsuba, formed of leather and thin iron plates
NUMONE – overlaying of gold or silver on (usually) an iron ground prepared with cross-hatching; damascening

OBOROGIN – another term for SHIBUICHI, sometimes called “misty/havy silver”, in reality it is SHIBUICHI of a very pale color
ODAWARA FUKURIN – a style of rim cover with two or more rows of parallel raised dots, first used by the TACHI-KANAGU-SHI in the Muromachi age, and later by Hirata Hikozo
OKEZOKOGATA KAKU MIMI – an edge style raised above the plate surface and at right angles to it; “tub-bottom rim”
OKIGANE – inlay soldered to the plate surface without a channel or depression having been cut to hold the inlay. The direct application of inlay metals
OKINA YASURI – “old mans beard”, a style of file or chisel marks on the plate surface. They will be seen as incomplete concentric circles of varying width and depth
OMODAKA – a design of water plants; Water-plantain. Used extensively for crests and in design motifs
OMOTE – front of an object (e.g. tsuba)
ONIN SHINCHU SUEMON ZOGAN – the complete term for brass inlay, or sheet inlay of Onin style
ONIN SHINCHU TEN ZOGAN – the complete term for brass dot inlay of Onin style
ONIN TSUBA – a sword guard on which the base plate is decorated with dot and line brass inlay
OROSHI GANE – iron smelted by the smith at his own forge
ORYUGI TSUBA – refers to the later artists of a school who return to the designs and style of the original masters of the school. May also refer to a renaissance within a school
O SEPPA – large seppa that cover most of the web area, commonly used with TACHI TSUBA
OSHIGATA – a “rubbing” made of a tsuba or sword blade
OTAFUKU MOKKO – a tsuba shape resembling the silhouette of the Otafuku (plump-cheeked young woman) No mask

RAIMON – a fretwork pattern covering all or part of the web area of the tsuba. “Thunderbolt” design
RINZU – a surface pattern of inlay resembling the designs found on figured silk
ROGIN – a nother term for a type of pale SHIBUICHI
ROHA – copperas, a green hydrated ferrous sulphate used in coloring formulas
ROKKEN RIMPO – openwork design with five sides
ROKUSHO – verdigris, copper acetate used in coloring formulas
ROKUYO – design of six leaves in shaped pattern
ROZUKE FUKURIN – the common style of rim cover that is a plain circle of metal fastened at one point
RUSUMOYO – part of a design that is missing and left to the imagination

SAHARI – an pewter like alloy of copper, tin, lead, and KATASHIROME used as inlay on Hazama style tsuba. Sometimes called SAWARE
SAIKUMONO – “metal handiwork”, ready made metal work of various types
SAKU – “work”, a production. Kanji that follows the name of the artist showing that the piece was his production
SAMBASO – a play actor in the garb of a silver-bearded old man who appears and dances on the stage as a kind of prelude before the opening of the play. Sometimes used as a design motif
SAME – the rough belly skin of a shark or giant ray used to cover the wooden core of a tsuka or sometime to cover the saya
SANDAIME – when following the name of an artist this means he is the third generation to use this name
SANGAI MATSU – a design of a pine tree with three groups of branches at different levels; commonly used as a design by the Higo schools
SAYA – scabbard for the sword blade
SEI – “to make”. Following an artists name this means made by
SEIDO – bronze
SEKIGANE – soft metal plugs inserted in the KOZUKA and KOGAI apertures on iron plate tsuba. Sometimes used instead of the term KUCHIBENI for the plugs at the top and bottom of the NAKAGO ANA
SENBIKIZARU – a design representing the “one thousand monkeys” theme commonly used by the Mitsushiro school of Hizen
SENTETSU – pig iron
SENTOKU DO – alloy of copper, tin, lead and zinc used to imitate Chinese bronze (has a golden hue)
SEN ZOGAN – brass inlay of wire strips, often used on Onin style tsuba
SEPPA – thin brass or copper washers, often gilded or gold and silver plated, that are used for packing and can also decorate the front and back of the tsuba
SEPPA DAI – a flat base around the NAKAGO-ANA which seats the Seppa ( washers ). Seppa are set on both sides of the tsuba
SHAKUDO – an alloy comprising of NIGUROME (copper) and small amount (1.5-10%) of gold. Polished, it is a rich blue-black to purplish-blue with a wonderful lustre
SHAKUDO FUKURIN – a rim cover made of the alloy SHAKUDO
SHI – a kanji stamp used as a design by the artists of the Tempo school
SHIBUICHI – an alloy of copper and silver with seven major grades and several minor grades. Patinates to a dark grey
SHIDARE SAKURA – a design of a long trailing cherry branch
SHIGURE YASURI – vertical broken file marks on the plate that resemble falling rain
SHIHO INOME SUKASHI – “four boar eyes” perforations atthe four indentations of a MOKKO-shaped tsuba
SHIIREMONO – literally means “received commodity” and stands for mass produced items with a “brand name”, In Tosogu it generally refers to tsuba and fittings made just after the Meiji Restoration ( 1867/68 ) and sold to tourists on the docks at Yokohama and Edo. These fittings are mostly low end but there are some better examples found
SHINCHU – brass (alloy of copper and lead or zinc). Another name is o-do (yellow copper)
SHINCHU SUEMON ZOGAN – large areas of brass inlay such as that used by the Jingo school
SHINCHU ZOGAN – brass inlay
SHINGEN – a term applied to tsuba plaited with brass and copper wire. The relationship of Takeda Shingen to this type of tsuba expressed in the past is false
SHINO YASURI – file marks on the plate running from upper right to lower left that resemble driving rain
SHIO – salt or brine often used in patination formulas
SHIPPO – when this term is used to describe the decoration on a tsuba plate it refers to cloisonne inlay
SHIROGANESHI – a smith working in gold, silver or soft metal alloys
SHIRO SHIBUICHI – white colored SHIBUICHI
SHISHI – a lion, often used as a design subject
SHISHIAI BORI – a relief carving below the level of the main ground of the piece
SHITA SHOKUNIN – the apprentices working under a sword or tsuba master
SHITOGI TSUBA – a shape of tsuba used on tachi resembling the elliptical cake made of rice flour (used as an offering to the Kami)
SHOKOKU TSUBA – a term devised by Dr. Torigoye to encompass the independent workers and small schools in various provinces. These artists are grouped according to their local residence
SHUMEI – a signature or attribution apllied with red lacquer
SOKENSHI – a maker of tachi ornaments. The same artist as the TACHI-KANAGUSHI
SUAKA – smelted copper (cf.yamagane or non-smelted copper)
SUEMON ZOGAN – large areas of inlaid metal covering a significant portion of the web area
SUHAMA – the shape of the opening in the tsuba for the insertion of the KOGAI; refers to the ridges of sand formed on a sea coast
SUIGETSU – a design of waves and the moon often seen in the work of the Yagyu school
SUKASHI (TSUBA) – a generic term covering all openwork on the web of the plate of a tsuba. There are two types. Mon-Sukashi and Ji-Sukashi
SUKASHIBORI – a sort of sculpturing in the round, generally applied to iron tsuba where the design is a positive silhouette
SUKIDASHI BORI (relief engraving) – this technique involves engraving along the outer edge of a metal design, to give lines depth. The decoration itself is left untouched as the entire background area is carved away, so the decoration stands out in relief
SUKINOKOSHI MIMI – the tsuba edge that is gently raised and hammered above the plate surface
SUKINOKOSHI KAKUMIMI – an edge of the above type that is squared
SUKINOKOSHI KAKUMIMI KONIKU – an edge of the preceding type that is slightly rounded
SUKINOKOSHI MARUMIMI – a round edge of the SUKINOKOSHI type
SUKINOKOSHI MARUMIMI-KAKIMI – a squared round edge of the SUKINOKOSHI type
SUKISAGE MARUMIMI – an edge shape favored by the Hirata cloisonne school
SUM E – ink paining
SUMIIRE – a beveled edge shape
SUMIIRE KAKU GATA – a square shape with a beveled edge
SURITSUKE – a style of gold and silver NUNOME inlay that has a rubbed or worn appearance. Resembling old brocade, it is a style favored by the schools of Hizen and the Kyo-Shoami
SURUGA KUCHI BENI – a style of copper plug at the top and bottom of the NAKAGO-ANA inserted by the artist who made the Suruga style of tsuba. Somewhat enlarged over the common type
SUZU SEIDO – a tin-bronze alloy

TACHI KANAGUSHI – the maker of the fittings (KANAGU) for a tachi
TACHI SHI – the preparer to the TACHI-KANAGUSHI. He usually made the tsuba plate or prepared the base metal
TACHI TSUBA – any tsuba for use on a tachi
TAGANE ATO – literally ‘punch marks’. These refer to the punch marks left around the tsuba’s Nakago ana to help facilitate at tighter fit of the tsuba on the sword
TAGANE BASHIRI – “a moving chisel”; a fluid style of carving showing force and beauty as seen in brush painting
TAIKO GATA – a tsuba in the shape of a drum
TAKABORI IROE – the design is modeled in high relief in a metal different from the tsuba’s main body and is decorated with the inlay of other metals. There are three methods: uchidashi, sukidashi, suemon
TAKARAZUKUSHI – the symbolical figures of the treasures of life
TAKASAGO – a design of thepine trees of TAKASAGO; a harbor in the province of Harima, at the mouth of the Kako-gawa river, famous for its picturesque scenery
TANBAN – blue copper vitrol, used in patination formulas
TATE YASURI – vertical file marks
TATSUNAMI – a design of waves with the crests in an upright or vertical position. This is the style used by Hirata Hikozo
TEKKOTSU – literally, bones. Mixture of different grades of iron which produce a distinctive texture of ‘lumps’ in tsuba, especially around the rim
TEN ZOGAN – “dot inlay”. Any number of styles such as seaspray dots, dewdrops, or ONIN TEN-ZOGAN style
TETSU – iron
TETSU KURI – a lacquer finish in imitation of the surface and color of patinated iron
TOBAN – “a plate to be used on a sword”. An old term for a tsuba
TOKEI – a clock. Also a style of tsuba made in the shape of the gears of a clock
TOKIN – a term for mercury gilding
TOMI no MATSU – “a pine tree in the distance”. A design favored by Hayashi Matashichi
TOMOE – a comma-shaped figure representing the male or female principle
TOMO FUKURIN – a rim cover made of the same material as the plate
TORANKEI – an ovoid shape as seen in the HOJU tsuba
TORII – the entrance gate to the grounds of a Shinto shrine; often used as a design on tsuba
TOSHO – swordsmith, or the style of tsuba made by swordsmiths
TOSOGU – sword fittings. Includes all forms of koshirae and fittings
TOSU – a style of dagger in use during the Nara age. Thought to be the origin of the KOZUKA
TSUBA – Japanese Sword Guard
TSUBAGATANA – a katana that was mounted with a tsuba
TSUBA KA – a person who appreciates tsuba, or a connoisseur of tsuba
TSUBA KO – a maker of tsuba, usually applied to the maker of iron tsuba as opposed to the KINKO, or the makers of decorative tsuba. The true tsuba artist
TSUCHIME JI – hammer marks on the surface of a tsuba. A surface that has a hammered appearance
TSUKA – the handle of a Japanese sword
TSUSHIME SHITATE – hammered surface showing the marks of the hammer as a surface finish. These hammer marks also show the ability of the smith
TSUKA – the handle or pommel of a sword
TSURUMARU – a tsuba in the shape of a crane with the wing tips touching over its head. “Round crane”

UBUZUKASHI – see MARUBORI
UCHIGATANA – classical Japanese fighting sword worn thrust through the sash with cutting edge up
UCHIKAESHI MIMI – the edge of a tsuba rolled and beaten onto the plate surface. One of the typical features of Ko-Katchushi guards
UCHIKAESHI KAKUMIMI KONIKU – an UCHIKAESHI of rounded square shape
UCHIKAESHI MARUMIMI – a round shape UCHIKAESHI edge
UCHIKAESHI-SUKINOKOSHI MIMI – a combination of these two styles of edge on a single piece
UCHIKOMI – a design of hammered seals, sometimes used by the first Nobuiye
UDENUKI ANA – two small round holes in the web of the plate, one slightly larger than the other (said to represent the sun and the moon) used for the passage of the Udenuki, a cord slipped over the wrist to prevent the sword from dropping to the ground during battle
UMBARI – literally, horse needle ; small skewer, mounted in the saya as a kozuka would be
UME – a metal plug placed in the Kozuka and/or Kogai-ana. (Ategane)
UNRYU – a design of dragon and clouds
UTTORI ZOGAN – “riveted inlay”. A method of attaching gold ornaments to sword mountings much used by the earlier Goto. The outline of the piece is cut as a dovetailed groove in the piece to be decorated. The edges of the ornament are bent down and placed in the groove, and the latter set up against it with a blunt punch or chisel to hold it in place. If the ornament is not of gold but one of the cheaper metals a recess the size and shape of the ornament is cut in the base and the ornament is set in and secured as before
UWABAMI GANE – a plate surface finish that resembles snake skin
URA – reverse of an objective (e.g. tsuba)
UZU – a design of water currents or swirls

WACHIGAI – a design or crest of two interlocking circles.
WAKI – “branch”, meaning a branch line from the main family, such as Waki Goto.
WARIIRE ZOGAN – another name for WARIKOMI ZOGAN
WARIKOMI FUKURIN – a rim cover inlaid into the edge of the plate of the tsuba.
WARIKOMI ZOGAN – inlay that does not cover as large an area of the plate as does SUEMON ZOGAN

YAKI KIN – pure gold
YAKITE – a method of finishing iron sword guards. A guard is heated to high temperature and then allowed to cool gradually. This method reveals the iron bones ( Tekkotsu ). Note: Yakite is also known as Yakinamashi
YAKITE KUSARASHI – a surface design or finish that is made by acid treatment
YAKITE SHITATE – a surface finish that resembles the glaze on pottery. It is produced by putting the finished plate back into the furnace and allowing the surface to slightly melt.
YAKITSUKE (‘burned-on’) – a gilding technique which was generally accepted in the late 16th c. and became the mainstream of IROE in the Edo period. Thin chips like gold and silver are tied with wire to the surface and attached by heat
YAMAGANE – unrefined Copper. This copper was made in times when the refining process was not as good as it is now. Other impurities are mixed in. The colur is deeper than modern Copper
YAMAKICHI YASURIME – a style offile marks favored by the Yamakichibei school. They are radiating file marks that have several indulations
YAMANASHI – a mountain pear; a design motif used by the Umetada school on its soft metal tsuba
YAREOGI – a design motif of broken fans
YASURI – a file or rasp
YASURIME – file marks on the surface of the plate
YATSU HASHI – a design of a bridge with eight sections
YATSUKANAWA – a design of one diamond shape inside another
YO SUKASHI – positive silhouette decoration used in the Ji-Sukashi method
YODO no MIZUGURUMA – the water wheel on the Yodo river, a design used by the Daigoro school and others. The Yodo river is formed by the junction of the Uji and the Katsura rivers. It passes Osaka and flows into the sea by many outlets
YOSHINO GAWA – a design of the Yoshino river used by the Hazama school. The Yoshino river which rises in Tosa province, passes through Awa province and enters the Pacific Ocean at Tokushima

ZOGAN – zo = ‘form’ and gan = ‘inlay’; ‘zogan’ means inlaying one metal into the surface of another. A generic term covering all types of inlay
ZU – figure or theme

MAKI no TACHI – bound tachi, usually mounted with a SHITOGI TSUBA for ceremonial occasions
MARUBORI – “round carving”. This term is not used in Japan and seems to be a literal invention of Western authors. The proper term for this style of carving is UBUZUKASHI
MARU GITAE – simple forging of sheets of plate metal at opposite angles. This style of folding will produce MOKUME grain on the plate
MARU KAKUMIMI – rounded square edge
MARUMIMI – a round edge used by such schools as the Akasaka and others
MARUMIMI KAKUMIMI – round edge slightly squared
MARUMIMI KONIKU – round edge with slightly pointed or protruding surface
MARUMIMI TOGARIGOKORO – round edge of pointed heart shapes
MARUMIMI UCHIKAESHI – round edge slightly hammered over the plate surface by folding
MARUSHI TEN ZOGAN – a design consisting of rows of brass dots arranged in a concentric circular pattern used on Onin tsuba
MEI – the tsuba smith’s signature carved into the surface of the guard, usually beside the nakago-ana
MEKKI (TOKIN) – Mercury gilding. Thin layers of gold or silver cover the surface of another kind of metal through the medium of mercury. The gold or silver will peel off with rubbing
MENAMI – a design of waves with the crests turned downward. This style was used by Nishigaki first and second
MENUKI – metal ornaments placed under the wrapping of the TSUKA, or directly on the surface if the hilt is unwrapped
MEN WO TORU – this means that the edges of the SUKASHI openings have been slightly rounded, as seen in the work of the Hayashi school rather than the sharp edges of the Akasaka school tsuba
MIDARE GURUMA SUKASHI – wheel shaped tsuba with irregularly shaped perforations
MIGAKI JI – polished plate surface, either of iron or soft metal
MIMI – the rim of the tsuba, includes the flat of the web at the outer border area
MIMI no HIRA – the thickness, or width, at the edge of the tsuba
MITSUDOME – design of three comma shapes, head to tail, forming a circle. A common design and crest motif
MITSU UROKU – a triangular shape formed by a pyramid of three triangles. “Three fish scales”, a crest motif
MIZUGURUMA – a water wheel, a design common to Daigoro tsuba
MOKKO GATA – essentially an oval, quadrilobed form of tsuba shape resembling the cross-section of a melon. There are many variations as to the depth of the lobes, their number, etc. Four lobes with indented corners is the most common
MOKUME JITATE – surface of a forged plate treated with acid to produce a wood grain surface
MON SUKASHI – an openwork method mainly used in Ko-Tosho and Ko-Katchushi sword gaurds. Shapes are pierced in negative silhouette into the flat body of the guard. The image is defined by the removal of the iron from the base. In Yoshiro work the Mon are inlaid openwork brass medallions
MUKADE – a design of wire inlay that resembles a centipede. Used mostly as decoration on Meiji era export tsuba
MURASAKI SABI – the patina of iron that has a grey-purplish colour.
MUSO no TAGANE – “Mystery marks”, the secret chisel marks of a master that are intended as identification of his work whether signed, unsigned, or attributed, (particularly in the work of the main line Goto)

NADEKAKU GATA – tsuba of rounded square shape or square shape with rounded corners
NADAMARU – oval shapped
NADEMOKKO GATA – lobed shapped on an oval base
NADESHIKO – design motif utilizing the flower “pink”
NAGAMARU GATA – a tsuba plate of oval shape
NAKAGO – that part of the sword that is inserted into the Tsuka. The tang of the blade
NAKAGO ANA – the central opening in the plate of the tsuba that passes over the NAKAGO of the sword
NAMAZU – the “thunderfish” (catfish)
NAMBAN JI – the Christian church.
NAMI no TAKABORI – waves cut in the ground and with undercut areas in the style of Omori Teruhide
NAMI SHIBUICHI – the common grade of SHIBUICHI
NANAKO JI – literally “fish roe”; parallel rows of raised dome-shaped dots produced with a hollow nosed punch as a surface treatmentmainly on KINKO tsuba, but in rare instances is found on iron plate as well
NANKO – soft iron with a carbon content of 0.25% to 0.50%
NARA SAN SAKU – “the three Nara artists”, Toshinaga I, Joi I, and Yasuchika I. These three artists are considered to be the greatest masters of the Nara school, and are collectively known under this title
NATAMAME – a kind of bean with a sword-shaped pod, used as a design motif
NAWA – design motif of twisted form resembling rope
NAWAME FUKURIN – rim cover of rope shape sometimes used by the first Hikozo
NAWA MIMI – roped edge
NERIKAWA TSUBA – a tsuba made from sheets of leather fastened together
NEZUMI no FUN – “rat dung” used in the coloring formula for iron tsuba
NIGUROME (NIGUROMI) – an alloy made from copper and the alloy KATASHIROME
NIJU KARAKUSA – an inlay design of two parallel lines of scroll work resembling vine stems, often used by the Higo school and their imitators
NIKUBORI – carving in relief on the plate surface, this style of carving will be called HORIAGE in some cases
NIKUDORI – a feeling for the plate surface, its richness and the quality of its appearance. A good plate surface will be richin NIKUDORI
NIKU OKI – the variations on the surface of the plate. A plate surface having interest and variety by being well forged and hammered
NISE MEI – a signature that is a deliberate forgery
NOSHI – a thin strip of dried sea-ear folded up in paper of a certain shape; a Shinto religious symbol
NUNOME ZOGAN – inlay of thin sheets of metal fastened to the plate surface by means of a serrated ground. The design or pattern of these serrations will help to identify the work of certain masters, schools, and styles of NUNOME inlay