Terminos Forja de Nihonto
conceptos y significados de la forja de espadas japonesas...
明 ・ 秋
当て鎚 粟 安土桃山
Litt. "fitting mouths"; A type of koshirae which is characterized by the absence of a guard. See Koshirae, Tsuba Litt. respectively "bright" and "autum". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei Charred straw; Usually rice straw, combusted in a charcoal making fashion that results in "straw charcoal". Used during tanren. See Tanren, Wara Litt. "heaven". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
The name of the place of origin of the natural binsui polishing stones, located in Nagasaki prefecture. Also used to refer to the binsui stones. See Binsui Litt. "blue powder"; A type of polishing compound mostly used in Manufacture the final stages of the polishing of grooves. Litt. "leg"; A feature seen in the hamon; Refers to stripes of nioi running down from the hamon, perpendicular or at an angle to Nomenclature the edge, sometimes all the way to it, most of the time not. See Nioi, Hamon Litt. "foot metal fitting"; A type of attachement fitting; Intended Nomenclature to secure fittings to the scabbard body, usually the Obi-tori on tachi scabbards. See Tachi, Obi-tori A type of set hammer (i.e. applied to the work and hit directly Manufacture on its butt-end). Mei
Litt. "millet". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
AD1573-1600 Period in japanese history. Also refered to more simply as Momoyama.
A type of polishing stone used in the shaping of a sword. Finer than kongo stone. Grit equiv. approx. #400-600. See Kongo
One of the five main traditions of sword making as popularized by the Kunzan-Kanzan school (NBTHK). Present-day Okayama. See Yamashiro, Yamato, Mino, Soshu-den(Sagami), NBTHK
帽子 ・ 鋩子Nomenclature The hamon specifically on the kissaki. See Kissaki
Nomenclature make 1 sun and 100 bu make 1 shaku. It is divided in 10 rin. See
近 ・ 親
Litt. "middle"; Average; M-size; Often used as a prefix to modify or precize a noun, such as in chu-kissaki (average size kissaki).
A type of polishing stone used in the fine shaping of a sword; Comes after koma-nagura. See Nagura, Koma-nagura
Litt. "cast iron"; Cast steel. See Tetsu, Sentetsu, Zuku
Warlord; Feudal lord; Refers to the leaders of the individual provinces or countries that constituted Japan until its various unifications made the archipelago a single country.
Nomenclature sword; Implies a katana and a wakizashi; Popularized from the
A traditional unit of length measurement. Equival. to 3mm. 10 bu Shaku, Sun, Rin
Litt. respectively "near" and "parent". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei Dark and short streaks of nie in the ji near the hamon. See Nie, Nomenclature Ji, Hamon Litt. "clove"; A type of hamon pattern. Refers to long sine curves in which each circle's opening towards the edge is narrower than Nomenclature its diameter (it is called gunome in the case it is not narrower). See Gunome, Hamon
Litt. "big-small"; Set of a long sword and its companion short Edo period (1600-1867). See Katana, Wakizashi, Edo Copper.
AD1600-1867 Period in Japanese history. Also called the Tokugawa period because of the uninterupted reign of the Tokugawa clan throughout this period. Saw the emergence of the arts and crafts, the absence of wars, the isolation of Japan from other countries and its unification.
Nomenclature usually matches the kashira in style. It is called Kabuto-gane on
Metal fitting inserted at the opened end of the tsuka on katana; It Tachi. See Tsuka, Kashira, Katana, Tachi, Kabuto-gane
Named Ācala in Vajrayana Buddhism (India), Fudō Myōō ("the enlightened king of immovability") is the most popularized of the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm. He is the destroyer of delusion and the protector of Buddhism. His immovability refers to his ability to remain unmoved by carnal temptations. Despite his fearsome appearance, his role is to aid all beings by showing them the teachings of the Buddha, leading them into self-control. Fudō Myōō is often used as a theme in horimono. See Horimono
Litt. "wisteria". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
鞴 / 吹子 藤 深い
Nomenclature of most kotō tachi and sometimes on other swords. See Kotō,
Deep; Used mainly to describe the curvature or sometimes other irrational impressions A place in ancient-days Bizen province; In sword making refers to a school called Fukuoka Ichimonji. Litt. "step on wood"; A wood implement used to hold a polishing stone with one's body weight while rubbing the work on it. Litt. "firm stand"; Refers to the trumpet-like tapering at the base
Tachi Counter for swords; One sword is pronounced "hito-furi", two Nomenclature swords are "futa-furi" and then the common way of counting (3>san; 4->yon;5->go; etc.).
Furi ( -furi)
Nomenclature even all along the length of the sword, or rather centered. See
Nomenclature performed, the part with the mei was cut off and re-inserted in
Gatsu / Getsu
Litt. "moon"; Month. Thus the first moon, or month, "ichi-gatsu", would be January, and so forth. Used in the mei. See Mei, Ichi
AD1867-Present; Litt. "modern swords"; Period in japanese sword history. Also refers to the actual swords made during this period.
Nomenclature sword. Relatively common, depending on the period of
Five. Used in the mei. See Mei Litt. "village"; A character used in proper nouns. Used almost exclusively for the swordsmith Gō Yoshihiro 郷義弘. See Mei
Litt. "chamber". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Nomenclature The flap-valves installed on japanese bellows. See Fuigo
Litt. "regular curvature"; Describes a sword curvature which is Sori, Torii-zori, Wa-zori, Saki-zori, Koshi-zori Litt. "winter". A character used in poper nouns. See Mei
A process of mei-reinsertion. On a sword that has had o-suriage the newly formed tang. See Mei, O-suriage
Litt. "imitation inscription"; A fake signature on the tang of a manufacture. See Mei
Litt. "fifth avenue"; A school of the late Heian and early Kamakura period, usually linked to that of Sanjo; Refers to a famous "fifth avenue" in the old capital of Kyoto. See Sanjō Litt. "five traditions"; Refers to five famous traditions in japanese sword manufacture, i.e. (see each entry) Yamato, Yamashiro, Bizen, Sōshu and Mino. This approach was popularized in the 20th century. Litt. "eye between"; A type of hamon pattern. Refers to short sine curves in wich the opening of each circle towards the edge is not narrower than its diameter (it is called chōji in the case it is narrower). See Hamon, Chōji
Litt. "army sword"; 20th century army-issued sword. Usually not traditionally made. Some traditionally made swords were mounted in guntō mounts so as to be carried in service.
Nomenclature Actual cutting edge; Hardened section of a blade. See Ha-saki
羽口 箱鋏箸 刃区
刃文 ・ 刃紋
Litt. "plain". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Litt. "spring". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
原 春 刃先 鋏箸 刃艶
Nomenclature Groove; Usually running along the shinogi-ji. See Shinogi-ji
秀 ・ 英 火掻 平 平鋏箸
Nomenclature hira-niku" when the blade is profiled in the shape of a V; "Much
Haru Ha-saki Hashi
School; Clan; Group
Colar tapered lengthwise and inserted up the tang against the machi. Its function is to hold the sword in its scabbard. It is usually made of copper and decorated with gold. Some are made of silver or iron. See Machi Refers to the limit where the hamon starts; Delimitation between Nomenclature the ji and the hamon. See Ji, Hamon
Eight. Used in the mei. See Mei Steel. Hagane is the common usage. Originally thought to have come from ha-gane 刃金, litt. "edge-metal". Also called kōtetsu. See Tetsu, Sentetsu, Tamahagane Litt. "feather mouth"; The tuyère outlet into the forge. Usually made of clay or steel. Boxed tongs.
Notch at the junction between the tang and the ha; Where the ha starts. See Machi, Ha, Mune-machi Litt. "edge decoration"; Refers to the cloud-like mark appearing Nomenclature near the edge and that is the result of differential quenchhardening. Nomenclature
Nomenclature Litt. "cutting edge tip"; Actual edge of the cutting edge. See Ha Manufacture Manufacture
Tongs. A type of polishing stone; Made from uchigumori stone. Used to polish the ha. See Uchigumori, Ha AD794-1185 Period in japanese history. Saw the emergence of the japanese sword as we know it today. Litt. "spatula"; In sword making refers to the spatulas used when applying the yakiba-tsuchi in preparation for quenching. See Tsuchi-oki, Yakiba-tsuchi Litt. "sun"; Day. Thus the 15th sun, or day, of the month, is pronounced "jū-go nichi". Also pronounced nichi. Used in the mei. See Mei, Jū, Go Respect. litt. "excellence" and "England". Characters used in proper nouns. See Mei
A forge rake. Used to push and pull the coals in the forge
Litt. "flat". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Flat tongs. Litt. "plane meat"; Refers to the roundness of the ji; "Not much hira-niku" when it is rather profiled in the shape of a U. See Ji
Litt. "plane drawknife"; A drawknife. Used to remove material on the surfaces of blades. See Sen A type of sword shape which doesn't display any ridgeline. Most Nomenclature are tantō or wakizashi. See Tantō, Wakizashi Respect. litt. "broad"(modern form in parenthesis) and "broad". Mei Characters used in proper nouns. See Mei Litt. "a long time". Also read ku. A character used in proper Mei nouns. See Mei Manufacture
A groove drawknife. See Hi, Sen
The actual shaping of the sunobe into the shape of a sword; Involves drawing out the ji, the shinogi-ji, the mune and the kissaki by hand forging. See Sunobe, Ji, Shinogi-ji, Mune, Kissaki
Litt. "kitchen knife iron"; The traditional japanese equivalent of wrought iron; A by-product of the kera-oshi process. Hōchōtetsu is used as a base material in knife and tool making for parts other than the edge. It has a relatively low carbon content and is characterized by a rough, uneven and heterogenous structure. Also called wa-tetsu. See Kera-oshi, Kera, Wa-tetsu
The actual forge where the fire is held.
Nomenclature decorated with engravings in bas-relief on buddhist, sanskrit or
One. Used in the mei. See Mei
Litt. "character 1"; A famous school of the Kamakura period in Bizen province, present-day Okayama prefecture. See Bizen-den
家 猪首鋒 庵棟 板目
Litt. "house". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Litt. "boar-neck point"; Describes a sword point which usually is as or less long than it is wide. See Kissaki
A pattern resembling wood grain. Used to describe jihada. See Jihada
Refers to the area between the hamon and the shinogi; Area where the jihada is appreciated. See Hamon, Shinogi, Jihada
地鉄 / 地金
地肌 地文 ・ 地紋Nomenclature See Ji Nomenclature Agglutinations of nie in the ji. See Nie, Ji 地沸 Normal; Refers to a characteristic that is common in a given Nomenclature 尋常 school or tradition, such as in "width is jinjo". Mei Litt. "real". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei 実 A type of polishing stone; Made from Narutaki stone. Used to Manufacture 地艶 polish the ji. See Narutaki, Ji Culture Ten. Used in the mei. See Mei 十
Nomenclature A type of hamon pattern; Overlapping chōji. See Chōji
Litt. "dwell person"; Resident; Dweller. Used in the mei in reference to the living place of the person mentioned (usually the maker). See Mei, Jū
十能 / 十納 純鉄
Fire shovel. Used to shovel the hot coals in and out of the forge.
Litt. "pure iron"; Pure iron. See Tetsu
Nomenclature tachi pommels. Those on most other types of swords are called
Litt. "carved thing"; Engraving. Japanese swords are often japanese themes. Slim; Narrow; Used to describe either a sword or its characteristics, such as its hamon. See Hamon
Ikubi-kissaki Iori-mune Itame
Nomenclature Two-faced mune. See Mune
Jimon Ji-nie Jinjō Jitsu Jizuya
Litt. "base metal"; Steel; Refers to the very stuff that the sword or other object is made of. Litt. "skin(texture) of base material"; Refers to the very texture of Nomenclature the steel made visible through proper polishing.
Litt. "dwell"; Resides; Lives. Used in the mei in reference to the living place of the person mentioned (usually the maker). See Mei, Jū-nin
景 ・ 兼
Litt. "helmet metal"; Pommel. Used specifically in regards to Kashira. See Tachi, Kashira Litt. "gate". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Litt. "return horn"; A tiny piece of fitting made from horn usually in the shape of a water drop and placed on the side of the scabbard at about its center lengthwise. Its purpose is to prevent Nomenclature the scabbard from slipping out of the obi belt when the sword is unsheathed. Those made of metal are rather called origane. See Obi, Origane Respect. litt. "scenery" and "concurrently". Characters used in Mei proper nouns. See Mei The final stages of the swordsmith's work in shaping a sword. Manufacture Further work on the blade will then be performed by the polisher after the swordsmith has completed kaji-oshi. AD1185-1333 Period in japanese history. Saw the golden age of Culture japanese sword manufacture.
守 金敷 金床
Title, comparable to "sir" or "lord", used in combination with a name.
Anvil. Also called kanatoko (more common). See Kanatoko
Nomenclature to a half of the length in a curve from the tip to the mune. See
片落勝 和 ・ 一
Litt. "cosmetic filing"; Decorative filemarks; Usually applied on sword tangs and on one side of ko-gatana. See Ko-gatana
Litt. "lucky day"; An auspicious day. Used in the inscription of dates in the mei. See Mei
Litt. "gold". Also read kane. A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
吉日 金 金 金筋 金象嵌銘 鋒 / 切先 鍛える 清 小
Kami Kanashiki Kanatoko Kane
Kin Kin Kinsuji Kinzōgan mei Kissaki Kitaeru Kiyo
Most common appellation for an anvil. Also called kanashiki. See Kanashiki Litt. "gold". Also read kin. A character used in proper nouns. See Mei Litt. "wrap". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei A type of sword shape, which has a shinogi running only one third
Shinogi-zukuri, Shinogi Thickness of a sword at either the shinogi or the mune. See Shinogi, Mune Litt. "head"; Pommel. Used specically for katana, wakizashi and tantō, and usually matches the fuchi in style. It is called Kabutogane on tachi. See Fuchi, Kabuto-gane, Tachi Litt. "one-sided cutting edge"; A type of sword shape in which there is a ridgeline only on one side and it is nearer to the edge than to the back. Litt. "sword", "blade", knife", etc; A sword. Defined as any blade with a nagasa over two shaku (>60.6cm), and usually refering to those worn edge up and inserted in the obi belt. See Shaku, Nagasa Slenting on one side; Usually a prefix modifying the description of a hamon. See Hamon Litt. "win". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei Respect. litt. "harmony" and "one". Characters used in proper nouns. See Mei Sponge iron; The actual product of the kera-oshi process; A lump of a mixture of wrought iron, various grades of steel and cast steel. See Kera-oshi, Zuku, sentetsu, Zuku-oshi A type of archaic low-furnace iron smelting process which produces a lump of sponge iron, a mixture of wrought iron, various grades of steel, and cast steel. See Kera, Zuku, Sentetsu, Zuku-oshi
Nomenclature Litt. "gold strips"; Bright streaks in the hamon. See Hamon Nomenclature
A mei inlayed in gold; Usually performed by an appraiser long after the making of the sword, but not always. See Mei
Nomenclature Point. See Boshi Manufacture
Litt. "pure". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Small; Often used as a prefix to modify or precize a noun, such as in ko-kissaki (small kissaki). A type of sword construction involving the shaping in U of harder Manufacture steel and the inserting of softer steel in it. Implement inserted on the side of the scabbard and thought to be Nomenclature used in arranging the samurai hair knot and also for cleaning one's ears. Nomenclature
Litt. "small knife"; A pocket knife; A knife. Refers to a type of utilitarian pocket knife inserted on the side of japanese sword scabbards. They were usually of the kata-kiri-ha shape, thus Nomenclature having one side finely polished and the other left with keshoyasuri. Their hilt, called kozuka, were usually highly decorated. See Kata-kiri-ha, Kessho-yasuri, Kozuka
Nomenclature Butt-end fitting on scabbards. Also called saya-jiri. See Saya-jiri
A type of polishing stone used in the fine shaping of a sword, and more precisely to remove the marks of the chu-nagura stone. See Nagura, Chu-Nagura
A type of polishing stone used in the rough shaping of a sword. Grit equiv. approx. #120-220. The roughest stone in sword polishing.
This; As in "…made this". Used in the mei. See Mei
Litt. "right"(opp. of wrong). A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Usually a shorter sword worn edge up and simply inserted in the obi belt. Uchigatana and wakizashi are koshi-gatana, technically Nomenclature speaking. However, koshi-gatana were often in ai-guchi mounting. These differences seem to find their origins in popular use rather than actual proper definition. See Uchigatana, Wakizashi, Ai-guchi
Mountings of a sword, incl. the scabbard, the metal fittings, the hilt, etc. Litt. "hip curvature"; Describes a sword curvature which is Nomenclature strongest at the base of the sword. See Sori Litt. "steel iron"; Steel. More commonly refered to as hagane. Manufacture See Hagane, Tetsu, Sentetsu, Tamahagane
Litt. "marron shape"; Piece of fitting through which is inserted the sageo; Intended as a fixture to attach the sageo. See Sageo
Kyu / Ku
Nine. Used in the mei. See Mei
AD987-1596; Litt. "old swords"; Period in japanese sword history. Also refers to the actual swords made during this period. Litt. "small hilt"; Refers to the hilt of a ko-gatana. Usually highly decorated. See Ko-gatana Litt. "a long time". Also read hisa. A character used in proper nouns. See Mei Litt. "country" or "province" (modern form in parenthesis). A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
M Machi Maro Masa
Notch; Both notches at the junction between the tang and the
Nomenclature 区 sword itself. See Ha-machi, Mune-machi Mei A character used in classical male names. See Mei 麿 Respect. litt. "correct", "prosperous", "government" and "way". 正・昌・政・Mei Characters used in proper nouns. See Mei
A pattern characterized by relatively straight, parallel lines. Used to describe Jihada. See Jihada
柾目 舛 松葉角
Litt. "pine-needle edge"; Used to describe the shape of the mune at the kissaki. See Matsuba-saki Litt. "pine-needle tip"; Used to describe the shape of the mune at Nomenclature the kissaki. See Matsuba-kado
The signature of a sword; Usually engraved with a punch on the tang. May include the name of the maker, the date, the place, the name of the commissioner, a thought, a poem, a saying, results of cutting tests performed with the sword, etc.
The actual action of engraving a signature in the tang of a sword with the help of a hammer and a specialized chisel. See Tagane
目釘 目釘穴 目釘抜き
Peg used to hold the tsuka on the tang, and thus all fittings together.
Nomenclature placed under the hilt wrap in order to provide texture and thus
Nomenclature Refers to the section of the sword above the machi. See Ue
身 道 ・ 陸 ・
Midare / Midare-ba
Nomenclature In fact most hamon are midare since only a hanful actually follow
Nomenclature Litt. "body width"; In sword appreciation, the width of the sword.
Nomenclature Mei Nomenclature
Nomenclature Peg hole in the tang. Nomenclature Specialized hammer used to push the mekugi out.
Piece of fitting. Intricately decorated button-size bas-reliefs better grip. See Koshirae Mei
Litt. chaotic; Used as a modifyer in describing an irregular hamon. a book definition-like pattern. See Hamon A type of utsuri; A more or less exact reflection of the hamon in the ji. See Utsuri, Hamon, Ji
Litt. "origin"; A legendary family name in Japan. A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
峰 峰 ・ 峯 ・
光 三つ頭 宮
Mizu-heshi / Mizu-beshi
Litt. "Shintō shrine". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
A process involving the flattening of chunks of tamahagane into 3-5mm plates, which are then quenched and broke into pieces. These pieces are then sorted according to their quality (carbon content, purity, structure, etc) and used as raw material for tanren. See Tamahagane, Tanren
桃山 守 ・ 盛 師 元 ・ 基 向鎚 無銘 棟 宗 棟区
Momoyama Mori Moro Moto Mukō-zuchi Mumei Mune Mune
Litt. "light". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
Litt. "back ridge of a sword". More commonly called mune. See Mune One of the five main traditions according to the Kunzan-Kanzan school (NBTHK). Present-day Gifu. See Yamashiro, Yamato, Bizen, Soshu-den(Sagami)
Nomenclature See Mitsu-kado
用 ・ 持 杢目
Litt. "peak". A character used in proper nouns. See Mei
A pattern resembling wood burl. Used to describe jihada. See Jihada AD1573-1600 Period in japanese history. Full name is Azuchimomoyama (安土桃山).
Mei Mei Mei Manufacture
Litt. "hammer across"; Sledge hammer.
Nomenclature Refers to an unsigned a sword; A sword without a mei. See Mei Nomenclature Back; Backridge Mei
Notch at the junction between the tang and the mune; Where the mune starts. See Machi; Ha-machi The very edge of the mune (the edge created by the two faces on a iori-mune; the top surface of a mitsu-mune, it is less clearly Nomenclature defined in the case of a maru-mune but should be obvious enough). Nomenclature
Nomenclature Litt. "bush nie"; Small agglutinations of nie. See Nie
長 ・ 永
AD1392-1573 Period in japanese history. Saw important wars and much trouble, including the Sengoku period when the various warlords were constantly struggling for power. Saw the birth of the uchi-gatana, which became the wakizashi and katana. See Sengoku, Uchigatana, Wakizashi, Katana
Litt. "long wrap"; A peculiar type of long sword with a disproportionately long hilt, or haft, which is wrapped in a way Nomenclature similar to tsuka-maki. Its overall length is in-between the long sword (tachi) and the naginata or yari. See Tsuka-maki, Tachi, Naginata, Yari Refers to a specific length measured in a straight line from the tip Nomenclature to the mune-machi. See Zen-nagasa Litt. "mow sword"; A polearm weapon similar the the european Nomenclature glaive and fauchard.
薙刀 名倉 茎 / 中心 茎尻 茎先
AD1333-1392 Period in japanese history. Saw the existence of two imperial courts, that of the North, and that of the South.
七 直 成
Seven; Also pronounced shichi. Used in the mei. See Mei, Shichi
Nagura Nakago Nakago-jiri
A type of polishing stone used in the fine shaping of a sword.
Nomenclature Tang Nomenclature
Tang butt; bottom-end of a tang, its shape being important in Nomenclature.
Nomenclature See Nakago-jiri
A type of polishing stone. Used to make Jizuya. See Jizuya
Small hachet in the shape of a sturdy kitchen knife.
Two. Used in the mei. See Mei
Day. See Hi (Culture)
Nomenclature enough to be visible to the eye individually, and usually appearing
Refers to martensite crystals, either in the hamon or in the ji, big
Nihontō Bunka Shinkō Kyōkai Nioi Nioi-deki
black. See nioi Litt. "made in nie"; Refers to a sword which hamon's main constituant is nie. See nie
Nomenclature A type of spot-like utsuri in the ji. See Utsuri, Ji
Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon 日本美術刀剣保存協会Culture Kyōkai
Nihon Tōken Hozon Kai
Acronym for "Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai". See related entry Litt. "clay soup"; Refers to the clay slurry used during tanren. Clay softened in water to a creamy consistency is applied on the steel during tanren in order to create a coating that permeates against oxydizing. See Tanren
Litt. "Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords"; Founded as a merging of several sword organizations after the war in the hope of preserving and promoting the japanese sword, its culture and crafts in the aftermaths of the war devastations.
Litt. "Society for the Preservation of Japanese Swords". The oldest such society in Japan, founded in October 1912. Eventually split into two factions, now refered to as the NTHK and NTHK-NPO, 日本刀剣保存会 Culture both claiming to be the actual society. A court ruling recognized the NTHK. Litt. "Society for the Promotion of the Culture of the Japanese 日本刀文化振興協会Culture Sword". Founded on December 1st, 2008. Refers to martensite tiny martensite crystals forming a whitish Nomenclature cloud along the hamon, each crystal being usually too small to be seen by the naked eye. See nie Litt. "made in nioi"; Refers to a sword which hamon's main Nomenclature constituant is nioi. See nioi Abbreviation for 日本美術刀剣保存協会 "NIHon Bijutsu TŌken HOzon Culture Kyōkai". See Nihon Bijutsu Tōken Hozon Kyōkai
日刀保 延 ・ 信 ・ 法 ・ 則 ・
Slag found at the bottom of the forge after performing tanren. It is composed of melted clay and straw ash and contains scale and charcoal to a certain extent. A type of hamon pattern. Refers to long sinusoïd curves. See Nomenclature Hamon
Acronym for "Nihontō Bunka Shinkō Kyōkai". See related entry
Acronym for "Nihon Tōken Hozon Kai". See related entry An independent faction of the Nihon Tōken Hozon Kai. See related entry
Oil-based iron oxyde mixture used in the final stages of polishing.
Big; Often used as a prefix to modify or precize a noun, such as in o-kissaki (big/long kissaki).
Nomenclature gatana, koshi-gatana, katana, wakizashi and tantō are all inserted
Litt. "obi belt hanger"; Fittings installed on tachi koshirae to allow their hanging from the waist. See Tachi, Koshirae
Litt. "great sword"; Extravagantly grand swords, either for religious purposes or sometimes for actual use, although probably more for the visual effect on the battlefield than actual fencing. Some ō-dachi's lengths would measure in meters.
At; In; On, As for; On one's part. Used in the mei when describing a location such as in "…in Edo" --» "Edo (ni) oite…" (the "ni" is always pronounced although not inscribed). See Mei
The traditional belt used to hold the kimono together. Uchiin it. See Uchi-gatana, Koshi-gatana, Katana, Wakizashi, Tantō
Face, in opp. to ura, back. In relation to swords, it refers to the side of the sword that facing forward when worn, meaning tachi Nomenclature and katana have a different omote, explaining expressions such as "tachi-mei" and "katana-mei", the maker's name always being on the omote.
Litt. "juncture metal"; A tiny piece of metal fitting often made in the shape of a water drop and placed on the side of the scabbard at about its center lengthwise. Its purpose is to prevent the Nomenclature scabbard from slipping out of the obi belt when the sword is unsheathed. Those made of horn are rather called kaeri-tsuna. See Obi, Kaeri-tsuno
Nomenclature mei was bent and inlayed on the ura of the tang. See Mei, Ō-
Type of work involving the shortening of a sword by cutting off a section of its nakago. It is called ō-suriage (great suriage) when it has been shortened to the point that the mei has had to be removed or displaced. See Suriage
Litt. "refined steel"; Wrought steel. See Hagane
来 錬鋼 錬鉄
Litt. "refined iron"; Wrought iron. See Tetsu
Nomenclature rin make 1 bu, 100 rin make 1 sun and 1000 rin make 1 shaku.
錆 定 ・ 貞 相模
逆足 逆丁子 先
Nomenclature A type of hamon pattern; Slented ashi. See Ashi
On a sword that has had o-suriage performed, the part with the suriage Refers to what is commonly called tanren, the forge folding of steel. See Tanren Litt. "wholesale metal"; Recycle smelting of iron and steel. Refers to both the process and the type of steel created through it. It implies the re-smelting of pieces of iron and steel, such as old tetsubin, into a regular forge in order to either raise or lower their carbon content. See Tetsubin
P R Rai Renkō
A traditional unit of length measurement. Equival. to 0.03cm. 10 See Shaku, Sun, Bu Six. Used in the mei. See Mei
S Sabi Sada
Name of a province in ancient Japan; Present-day Kanagawa. See Soshu-den Litt. "the lowering of"; In sword making, refers to the decarburization of zuku-oshi pig iron, thus the lowering of its carbon content. See Zuku, Zuku-oshi, sentetsu Litt. "lowering cord"; Cord. Attached to the scabbard through its kurikata and used to prevent the entire sword from sliding off the obi, or to prevent only the scabbard from following the sword and sliding off the obi. See Kurikata, Obi
Nomenclature A type of hamon pattern; Slented chōji. See Chōji Mei
Litt. "first hand"; Assistant; Helper. Refers to the apprentice(s) working around their master at work, usually proving him with Manufacture forge fuel, tools, assisting him at work by pumping the bellows, holding the work or hammering it with the mukō-zuchi. See Mukō-zuchi Litt. tip-curvature; Describes a sword curvature which is strongest Nomenclature at towards the tip of the sword. See Sori
Litt. "make"; Made by-. Used in the mei. See Mei, Zō, Tsukuru
Three. Used in the mei. See Mei
A type of hamon pattern based on gunome. Originally found in the work of Mino smith Kanemoto. See Hamon, Gunome, Minō
実 ・ 真 ・
A school of the late Heian and early Kamakura period, often linked with that of Gojo; Refers to a famous "third avenue" in the old capital of Kyoto. See Gojo
鞘 鞘尻 青銅
Steel manufacture. Used generally in reference to the industrial process. The traditional process is refered to as tatara. See Tatara
Litt. "manufactured refined"; Steel smelting. Used generally in reference to the industrial process. The traditional process is refered to as tatara. See Tatara
Nomenclature Solid ink used on nakago in the making of oshigata.
Litt. "torture metal"; Metal collar applied mostly on tachi scabbards at a short distance from the butt-end. See Tachi
A drawknife. There are many types used. See Hi-sen, Hira-sen
Nomenclature Butt-end fitting on scabbards. Also called kojri. See Kojiri
Litt. "pig iron-iron"; Refers to all cast steels, including the product of the zuku-oshi tatara; the actual pig iron; also called zuku. sentetsu contains a very high rate of carbon which makes it brittle Manufacture and unusable as is in a forge. It must pass through a decarburizing process called sage. See Zuku, Zuku-oshi tatara, Kera, Kera-oshi tatara, Sage A traditional unit of length. Equival. to 30.3022cm. It is divided in Nomenclature 10 sun, 100 bu and 1000 rin. See Sun, Bu, Rin
尺 四 七 重 ・ 繁 鎬 鎬地
The surface between the shinogi and the mune on shinogi-zukuri swords. See Shinogi, Mune, Shinogi-zukuri Type of sword; Refers to those swords with a ridgeline running Nomenclature about one third of their width from the back.
Litt. "newly made swords"; Used to refer to newly made swords.
AD1781-1867; Litt. "new new swords"; Period in japanese sword history. Also refers to the actual swords made during this period.
AD1596-1781; Litt. "new swords"; Period in japanese sword history. Also refers to the actual swords made during this period.
Litt. white scabbard; Refers to an undecorated plain wooden storage scabbard. See Saya
A type of sword shape which is similar to shinogi-zukuri, but doesn't display a yokote, the shinogi simply runs directly to the tip. The name shobu was given after the name of a plant which leaves have a similar blade shape. See Shinogi-zukuri A mei calligraphied in urushi lacquer on the tang; Usually Nomenclature performed by an appraiser long after the making of the sword. See Mei Curvature; Its length is measured at the widest from the muneNomenclature saki to an imaginary straight line running from the very tip to the mune-machi. One of the five main traditions according to the Kunzan-Kanzan school (NBTHK). Present-day Kanagawa. Also refered by the Culture actual name of the province at that time, Sagami. See Sagami, Yamashiro, Yamato, Bizen, Mino Shape; Refers to all aspects of the shape and profile of a sword: Nomenclature its curvature, length, width, proportions, etc.
Suguha / Suguba
Nomenclature the edge. It can then be described as having all sorts of additional
Nomenclature Line; Streak, Vein; For reference the shinogi is a suji by definition.
Shi Shichi Shige Shinogi
Four; Also pronounced yon. Used in the mei. See Mei, Yon
Seven; Also pronounced nana. Used in the mei. See Mei, Nana
Mei Nomenclature Ridgeline Nomenclature
A type of hamon pattern. Refers to a straight hamon, parallel to characteristics, such as ashi. See Hamon, Ashi