What is katana fuchi
A katana fuchi is the metal cap that covers the handle of a Japanese sword. It serves both as a decorative element and as protection for the handle. By protecting the katana's grip (tsuka), it helps to prevent the wood from splitting or cracking. In addition, the katana fuchi adds extra weight to the hilt, which helps to balance the blade and makes it easier to control during combat.
It is attached to the katana's hilt by two small pins (mekugi), which also secure the katana's handle (tsuka) in place.
The katana fuchi is usually made of brass, copper, or iron, and is often gilded or inlaid with precious metals.
The katana fuchi typically has a raised ridge or lip around its edge, which helps to secure the handle in place. The fuchi may also have a pattern embossed or engraved into its surface. These designs can be quite intricate and are often inspired by nature, such as flowers or leaves.
In addition to its practical function, the katana fuchi also serves as an important aesthetic element. It is often one of the most ornate and detailed parts of the sword, and can be used to show the status or wealth of its owner. The katana fuchi's intricate designs add an extra layer of beauty and decoration to the katana, making it truly a work of art.
The katana fuchi is also a good indicator of the period in which a sword was made, as different styles were popular at different times.