Sword Glossary : table view
Glossary can also be browsed by category.
Literally 'legs', usually made of nioi, which extend from the hamon to the cutting edge.
There's been an opinion that ashi was developed consisting of softer steel within the yakiba to localize the breaks and prevent the blade to be broken in half. When stress is applied to a section of the blade, the blade would chip at the harder areas because the ashi around it would absorb the stress.
An example of ashi can be seen here: Hataraki @ NihontoCraft.com.
Types of ashiHataraki
Utsuri which is seen as a straight line, regardless of the shape of hamon.
Bo-utsuri is found of many of the Osafune smiths' works after Oei era. Also found on Sue-Aoe blades.
Also sometimes referred to as sugu-utsuri 直映り (lit. 'straight utsuri').
See utsuri for more information.Categories: Hataraki
Lit. 'Tea Flowers'
A distinctive hamon of Hojoji School which resembles tea flowers with rounded, double-petal heads.Categories: Hamon Types
Clove-shaped ashi.Categories: Hataraki
A hamon consisting of choji shapes. The upper part of the midare is roundish, and the lower part constricted and narrow.
The cutting edge of the kissaki. Also, the curvature of the kissaki. It can be described as rounded or not rounded.Categories: Blade Terminology
Goban Kaji are the smiths who were summoned by Emperor Gotoba for his personal instruction and the research and development for perfection to the Japanese Sword. See more details here.Categories: General Terms
Series of waves which look like semicircles of equal or similar size. Depending on its size, this pattern can be referred to as:Hamon Types
Imperial property. An item is referred to as Gyobutsu if it belongs to the Imperial Collection of objects which are either of aesthetic or historic value to Japan or to the Imperial family (supervised by the Imperial Household Agency). The most famous collections are the Shōsōin Gyobutsu (正倉院御物) in Nara and Higashiyama Gobunko Gyobutsu (東山御文庫御物) in Kyoto.
Also, from the Muromachi period onwards, the shoguns followed a similar system. Objects from their collections were also called Gyobutsu (e.g. objects once in the collection of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1435-90) are called Higashiyama Gyobutsu (東山御物). The term Ryuuei Gyobutsu 抑営御物 refers to the collections of the Tokugawa Shoguns.
This term is actively used in Kyōhō+Meibutsu+Chō to describe whereabouts of particular meitō.General Terms
A tempered cutting edge of a blade.Categories: Blade Terminology
See nagasa.Categories: Blade Terminology
Similar to sunagashi, but with thinner lines resembling brush strokes.
An example of hakikake can be seen here: Hataraki @ NihontoCraft.com.Categories: Hataraki
Box shaped hamon.Categories: Hamon Types
A notch on the blade side. See machi.Categories: Blade Terminology
See Hamon Types for more details.Categories: Blade Terminology
Hi is a groove engraved along the blade on the shinogi-ji or hira-ji area. Originally the main purpose of these grooves was to reduce the blade's weight and improve its cutting ability. Later grooves served as a decoration or even as a way to conceal flaws.
Grooves are classified according to shape and location with terms describing the top of the groove ending with -hi (樋, usually pronounced as -bi when preceded by other characters) or -tome (止め) for features at the bottom of the groove (known as tome).
Blade without a shinogi.Categories: General Terms
Gunome+midare or notare+midare with tobiyaki spread across the width of the blade. Originated by Soshu swordsmiths during the Nanbokucho period. Then it could be seen on blades forged throughout the country.Categories: Hamon Types
lit. 'cut from this point onwards'
If original signature
hizen ju harima daijō fujiwara tadakuni
was shortened to:
hizen ju harima daijō ...
then you may see the following description:
hizen ju harima daijō (ikakire)
An example of inazuma can be seen here.Categories: Hataraki
The Tokugawa Shogunate standardized the size of swords in Japan during the Edo period to what is commonly called jōsun length. For katana jōsun is 2 shaku 3 sun 5 bu (71.21cm), for tantō - 8 sun 5 bu (25.76cm).
Tantō longer than jōsun are called sunnobi-tantō 寸延び短刀, and less than jōsun sunzumari-tantō 寸詰まり短刀. There was no standard length for wakizashi, but those over 1 shaku 8 Sun (54.5 cm) are called ō-wakizashi 大脇指. Tachi 太刀 of more than 3 Shaku (90.9 cm) are referred to as ōdachi 大太刀, whereas tachi under 2 shaku (60.6 cm) are called Kodachi 小太刀.Blade Terminology
A small groove beside a regular groove of a blade. Yamanaka mentions that this was an old term for soe-bi.Categories: Blade Terminology
Rough polishing given by swordsmith to inspect for any flaws just after yaki-ire process.Categories: General Terms
Blades longer than 60 cm are called katana. They are worn thrust through the belt, with the cutting edge facing upward. The katana superseded tachi beginning in the Muromachi period. One distinctive style, produced in late Muromachi, is known as uchigatana. It as it's deeply curved in the upper part of the blade and is wielded with one hand.Categories: Types of Swords/Pole Arms
|kawazuko choji midare||
Choji midare pattern with the peaks which resemble tadpoles.
It can be seen in the works of Osafune Mitsutada.Categories: Hamon Types
Double-edged straight sword. Ken form is most commonly seen in tanto, but longer kens also exist.Categories: Types of Swords/Pole Arms
'Sword-shaped'. Shape of the nakagojiri with two straight lines coming to a point in the center at around 90 degree angle.
It is often seen among works of Masamune and his school, and Shinto swords made in Soshu tradition.Categories: Blade Terminology
Lit. "pheasant's leg". The shape of nakago which has the blade side of the nakago suddenly narrowing at some point and then remaining narrow to the tip. This style can be seen in Heian and Kamakura tachi.Categories: Nakago Types
Lit. 'Chrysanthemum in the water'. This peculiar type of hamon made in Shinto times by smiths like Kawachi no kami Kunisuke and his followers.Categories: Hamon Types
Lit. 'golden line'. A small straight whitish line of nie inside the hamon, similar to inazuma.
An example of kinsuji can be seen here.Categories: Hataraki
An example of ko-ashi can be seen here.Categories: Hataraki
Lines of hamon, which are not completely aligned, creating a gap or a break in hamon. It's common in Yamato-den blades.
An example of kuichigai ha can be seen here.Categories: Hataraki
Lit. 'Chestnut-shaped'. The rounded shape of nakagojiri.
It's the one of the most commonly seen shapes.Categories: Blade Terminology
The notches dividing the blade proper from the tang. The notch on the blade side is called hamachi; that on the mune side is known as the munemachi.Categories: Blade Terminology
Lit. 'Famous thing'. In relation to Nihonto, meibutsu is:
Irregular pattern of hamon. All hamon except [suguba] are midareba.
Sub-types of midareba:Hamon Types
A tempered spot or line found on the mune.Categories: Hataraki
Blade length, measured from the tip to the munemachi.Categories: Blade Terminology