The last two steps are handed to different masters.
3) Togi / polishing
The sword is passed on to a specialist for polishing. This step of the construction serves a dual purpose: to sharpen the blade and reveal its inner beauty. Polishing is a laborious process made all the more difficult by the careful use of many different grades of polishing stones. Coarse stones are used first to shape the blade. Then, progressively finer stones are used to refine the blade’s surface.
4) Shiage / fittings
The basic function of a Japanese sword mounting is the protection of the blade. However, mounting styles, koshirae, differ according to era. The preparation of a mounting requires the handiwork of several different skilled craftsmen: the scabbard maker, lacquerer, handle wrapper, soft metal artisan, and habaki maker. The habaki is a metal collar wrapped around the blade close to the hilt, intended to keep the sword from falling out of its mounting.
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