Tsuba are sword guards. Although they can protect the hand from an opponent's sword, the tsuba is used to balance the blade and to show a little about the taste of the owner.
Tsuba are either made of iron or soft metals such as copper. Iron tsuba can have soft metals added to them. Every tsuba has a centrally located triangular-shaped hole for the blade. Most tsuba have on the left side of the guard a hole (ana) for a kozuka. Some also have a hole on the right side of the guard for a kogai. Some blades do not have either of these holes. The central area around the triangular opening have a raised area where a seppa (washer) sits on both sides of the tsuba.
Iron Tsuba with two ana in addition Soft metal (shakudo ) with only the hole for the blade. Since this tsuba is for a tachi it would be displayed inverted.
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