Tsuka-gashira (pommel) (柄頭)

"Tsuka-gashira" is the equipment attached to a sword. It is also known as Hato.

Tsuka-gashira is the equipment of a sword which is attached to the edge of a hilt. It is the metal part located opposite side of a sword head. In the Kofun period (tumulus period), it was made of gold or silver and used for the exterior of Kazari-tachi (decorated sword) for the guard. Specifically, Kazari-tachi is classified in Kanto-tachi (ring-headed sword) and Ento-tachi (round-headed sword) due to the form of tsuka-gashira.

Regarding Japanese swords, there are two types of tsuka-gashira: round head and cylindrical-shaped head, and some of them have a pattern. It depends of the sword which type of tsuka-gashira it has, and there are many cases it has no pattern.

By covering the knot of tsuka-ito (the cord wrapping on a sword hilt), tsuka-gashira prevents the knot from coming untied and helps to hide the visually not appealing knot. Together with Fuchi-gane (the other end of a hilt), it has an effect to connect the hilt which originally consists of two parts. Unlike Fuchi-gane, Tsuka-gashira cannot be removed by pulling Mekugi (peg) and taking a sword apart. It can remove only by undoing the Tsuka-ito or cut it.