The mere mention of the Katana conjures up images of fierce warriors slicing through the air with unwavering grace and deadly precision. But have you ever stopped to consider the unsung hero of the samurai sword?

The humble kashira – or butt cap, as it’s more colloquially known – is a small but significant piece of the sword’s anatomy, often overlooked in favor of the more glamorous blade or hilt. So, let’s do some justice to the kashira (or pommel), and delve into the curious world of this fascinating and underappreciated part of the samurai sword.

The Humble Kashira

Beginnings of the Kashira

The kashira is the unsung protagonist in the samurai sword. However, this sword pommel plays a crucial role in the sword’s overall construction.

The Fundamental Piece Kashira

Dating back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the kashira was originally developed to secure the tsuka, or handle, to the tang of the sword. This small but mighty component serves as the cherry on top of the complex samurai sword handle, holding everything in place and ensuring that the wielder’s grip remains firm and secure during battle.

Without this fundamental piece, the sword hilt wouldn’t be able to maintain all its components firmly fixated on the wooden core. In other words, it plays the role of a lock, keeping everything tightly in place.

The Art of the Kashira

But the kashira isn’t just a functional piece of the handle. Oh no, it’s so much more. Over time, the kashira evolved into a work of art, a canvas for skilled artisans to showcase their creativity and expertise. 

Crafted from materials such as brass, copper, silver, or even gold, the kashira can feature intricate carvings and designs, from fearsome dragons and mythical creatures to delicate cherry blossoms and serene landscapes.

Some kashira even boast a cheeky sense of humor, displaying whimsical scenes like frolicking animals or comical characters. I mean, who wouldn’t want a little levity to lighten the mood when you’re wielding a deadly weapon?

The Kashira

The kashira isn’t just a pretty face, though. It’s also a reflection of the sword’s owner – a statement of their tastes, beliefs, and aspirations. A kashira adorned with the image of a fierce tiger might represent the warrior’s strength and courage, while one featuring a delicate plum blossom could symbolize the fleeting nature of life and the importance of living honorably.

The Kashira's Extended Family

Now, before you think the kashira is hogging all the glory, it’s worth noting that it’s just one member of the samurai sword’s family of fittings. These other members, including the fuchi (collar), menuki (ornaments), and tsuba (handguard), work in harmony with the kashira to create a cohesive and beautiful whole.

Like a well-choreographed dance, each piece plays its part in the overall performance, providing both form and function to the sword. The kashira, as the head of this fittings family, sets the tone and style, ensuring that the sword remains a harmonious blend of elegance and lethality.

Kashira Collecting : A Niche Hobby

With their beauty, symbolism, and craftsmanship, kashira have spawned a niche collecting hobby all their own. Collectors scour the globe in search of rare and exquisite kashira, appreciating them as standalone works of art.

Collecting Kashira

Much like coin or stamp collecting, kashira collecting has its own unique set of criteria, with factors such as age, rarity, and the skill of the artisan influencing the value and desirability of a piece.

Some collectors even specialize in the works of specific artisans or schools of craftsmanship, building their collection around a central theme or style. For these experts, the thrill of the hunt and the joy of unearthing a hidden gem are what drive their passion for kashira.

The Secret Function of the Kashira

But the Kashira is not only a work of art — like the katana itself, it also doubles as a deadly tool. In the case of this sword pommel, many martial arts use it to deliver powerful flows either to the face or the stomach of their adversaries.

The Kashira is a metal piece that’s tightly held in place, so it’s capable of resistin all kind of blows, making it ideal for savage movements that seek to incapacitate the enemy rather than downright kill them. A single blow with the kashira is enough to break a nose, dislocate a jaw, or take the breath out of an opponent.

The Secret Function Of The Kashira

Where to Buy High Quality Kashira Pommels?

At, we take pride in offering one of the largest selection of Kashira pieces on the Internet. Here, you can find all kind of design, from dragons, to mythical beasts, to special symbols. You can also choose your material of preference, based on the effect that you want to obtain.

See it for yourself. Take a look at our collection of Kashira and find the one that resonates with you!