The tsuba (鍔, or 鐔) is usually a round or occasionally, square'ish, guard at the end of the grip of bladed Japanese weapons, like the katana and its various variations, tachi, wakizashi, tantō, naginata etc. They contribute to the balance of the weapon and to the protection of the hand. The tsuba was mostly meant to be used to prevent the hand from sliding onto the blade during thrusts as opposed to protecting from an opponent's blade. See "Tsuba". Wikipedia. Retrived 2015-11-28.