NOTE: Current stocks have wire brushed hamon on the blade
What is a “handachi”? A handachi is similar to a tachi but without the “ashi” (hangers). Handachi translates to half-tachi. So it’s a half katana, half tachi hybrid in appearance. It is worn and displayed edge up. Unlike the tachi, which is worn and displayed edge down due to the hangers on the saya.
As the name of the sword suggests, Gin no Sakura (Silver Sakura) Handachi, the fittings of the sword is adorned with sakura. From the kojiri (end cap of the saya), semegane (metal ring on the saya), kurikata (knob on the saya), kuchi-gane (metal ring on the mouth of the saya), tsuba, fuchi (handle collar), up to the kabuto-gane (end cap on the handle).
In Japanese, the cherry blossom is called “sakura”, which is generally believed to be a corruption of the word “Sakuya” (blooming) from the name of Princess “Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime”, who is enshrined on the top of the mountain Fuji. This long name means “tree-flowers-blooming princess”, for the cherry was so well known in those early days in Japan that the flower meant nothing but cherry. The princess was so named because, it is said, she fell from heaven upon a cherry tree.
The sakura is the flower of flowers to the Japanese people. It symbolizes their national character. This is because the life of a samurai of feudal times was proverbially compared to the short-lived cherry blossoms that last “no more than three days”, for a samurai was always ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of his master. Another saying is that “what the cherry is among flowers is the samurai among men”.