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Detail Information of Japanese Sword---Hamon By Handmadesword.com PR Dept. www.handmadesword.

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Hamon: Temper line Nie and Nioi, these are basically crystals that are made up of either martensite or troostite. The temper line or Hamon, is made up of these 2 types of structures. Generally, Nie is the larger crystal formation and is easily seen by the naked eye. Nioi is much smaller, and appears misty, but still bright. The brighter the hamon, usually the better the sword. There are many types of known hamon patterns, but basically there are only 2 types, straight (suguha) and undulating (midare). All others are variations stemming from the 2 basic hamons. For example, what is most commonly known as choji is properly called choji-midare, gunome is called gunome midare, notare is called notare midare, and so on. Combinations of 2-3 types of hamon exist in one sword. Sometimes a sword will have what is known as gunome-choji midare, such as those from the famous Kamakura Bizen School. Straight temperlines with slight variations are often called sugu-ko midare, meaning a basically straight hamon with midare like activity within. Blades that are made up of mostly nie are called nie-deki, those that are made up of nioi are thus then called nioi deki. Smaller nie swords are often confused with nioi, but are actually called ko-nie, or what is known as small nie. More nie, however, isnt always better. Even sized, thick, bright nie is a good sign that a sword is in healthy condition and manufacture. A finely controlled hamon also shows quality of a well tempered blade, and the skill of the smith. When a well polished sword is pointed at the proper light, the hamon should pop out easily if the sword is both healthy and well made. The kesho, or whitening of the hamon in polishing should NOT be confused for the actual temperline.

By developing this method of forging, the Japanese sword smith showed his skill not only in the base design and manufacture, but in his artistry as well. Hamons such as 3 cedar zig zag, or Mount Fuji show the artistry with out losing the blades effectiveness as a weapon of choice. The Japanese sword, as well as Japanese swordsmanship have been often described as a type of violent beauty. Suguha (straight ) - Used from the beginning of Japanese sword manufacture to present day. Used by all five main schools (Gokaden) with different variations. Midare - Heian period to present day. Ko-midare, choji midare, notare midare, gunome midare, O midare, hako midare, sudare midare, doran gunome midare, yahazu midare, mimigata midare amd hitatsura midare. Choji (Clove Pattern) - Used from the late Heian period to present day. Many types were used and developed. Juka choji, kawazuku choji, saka choji are just some of the variations that were developed.d Gunome - Used from the Kamakura period, but different variations were developed from the original design during the Shinto period, especially the hamon known as gunome doran used by the Sukehiro School. Kanemoto made the sanbon sugi (3 cedar zig-zag) gunome hamon famous for its cutting ability during the Muromachi period. Notare (Billowing wave) - Used from the late Kamakura period to present day, but ko-notare was seen in earlier periods as part of some hamons. The Soshu School was well known for using this within their hamons. Hitatsura (Full) - Used from the late Kamakura period by the Soshu School, but became popular during the Muromachi period by most of the other main schools. Rarely seen in the late Shinto and Shinshinto period, even fewer during the gendaito periods. Sudare/Kikusui ba (Bamboo strip/ Chysanthemum in the river) - Developed in the Shinto period, and a small group kept this hamon style alive during the Shinshinto period. Kyoto or Osaka Schools. Fujiyama (Mount Fuji) - Developed from a notare midare with gunome within the hamon. Modified later in the Shinto period (1600s) to resemble Mount Fuji. Popular also during the ShinShinto period, but rarely seen during the 1900s. Is the hamon changed by re-polishing?

"Re-polishing" involves re-working the blade surfaces without serious loss of steel. Because of this , the hamon can never be changed by a repolish. However in the modern polishing style, the hamon-like, white pattern may appear different due to the individual polishers' aesthetic taste. The real hamon lies within the steel itself and therefore remains unchanged what ever the polishing style. However the colour of the hamon area, the brightness of the hamon particles or the width of the temper line can be changed by the polisher. Therefore the impression of hamon can be changed by how the polisher treats the hamon particles. Is the grain changed by re-polishing?

We often hear stories that the steel has been dramatically changed by repolishing. "Straight grain (masame) has been changed to small wood grain (ko-itame) by re-polishing!" "Small wood grain has become large burl grain (o-mokume)!" Firstly we have to recognize that by grain we do not mean the layer pattern. The layer pattern never be changed by re-polishing, but the grain may be changed by the individual polishers. On good quality blades, an array of steel particles also constitute grain. Therefore the grain can be changed by how the polisher treat these particles.