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 Nihonto Dictionary

The use of this glossary was kindly provided by the Kashima sisters from their Usagiya website. Please click on the links to go to information on their site and then use the Back key in your browser to return to Nihonto Australia, or save in your Favourites folder.

(words in capital letters are Japanese words)
About blades
CHIKEI = grains made of JINIE.
FUMBARI = conscious width and thickness that becomes larger at the base.
HADA = layer pattern. => steel
HADORI = 1. the modern polishing style of blades. 2. the white pattern that enhances hamon on the modern styled polishing. => TOGI
HAGIRE = one type of crack (flaw) on the hamon.
HAMON = tempered pattern
HANIKU = meat in the hamon area =>
HIRANIKU = meat of the cutting surface, => shaping
JIFU = 1. distinguished area made of dense CHIKEI. 2. spots of different steel on the blade surface.
JINIE = the particles on the steel. => CHIKEI, JIFU
KAGEUCHI = a shadow product blade for special order.
KANTEI = judging a blade quality or finding out a smith of the blade.
KISSAKI = tip part of the blade, => types of kissaki form, => shaping
KOSHIRAE = whole mount of a sword.
MADOAKE = a part polishing to see the quality of the blade.
MIZUKAGE = one kind of starting of UTSURI.
NAGINATA/ NAGAMAKI = a long-handled single-edged blade.
NAKAGO = tang
NASHIJI-HADA = one kind of steel, a view full of JINIE.
NIE and NIOI = particles that make hamon pattern.
OSHIGATA = a hand trace of blades.
polishing = a final work of TOGI , a modern style and a classical style.
SASHIKOMI = the classical polishing style of blades. => TOGI
SATSUMA-AGE = a special shaped blade filed out from broken blade.
shadow = UTSURI
shaping = a base work of TOGI
SHIRASAYA = plain wood scabbard and handle, for preservation.
SUN'NOBI = It means "longer than regular size". So it is used as "sun'nobi tanto", means a large tanto, usually longer than 30cm. Do not confuse with SUNOBE.
SUNOBE = 1.(=
SUNOBE blade) 2. the process of drawing out the steel block to the length of the blade.
SUNOBE blade = a blade made of the modern steel which was not made by fold welding.
TAMAHAGANE = material of Japanese swords, pure steel made by "TATARA".
TATARA = the traditional method to make pure steel from iron sand and charcoal.
TOGI = polishing, actually shaping and polishing. => process of the polishing work
UBUHA = virgin edge.
UCHIKO = fine powder for treatment of the blade, made from fine polishing stone.
URUSHI = traditional Japanese resin made from a kind of tree, it is used as lacquer or paste.
UTSURI = shadow of hamon. It is one result of tempering.
virgin edge = un-sharpened cutting edge near the tang on new swords. UBUHA.
YAKI-IRE = heat treatment to harden the cutting edge. Making hamon. Tempering.
YAKI-NAOSHI = re-tempering.
YAKI-OTOSHI = a hamon style that starts at a distance from the tang.
YAKI-WARE = tempering cracks.

About TSUBA & fittings

BASHIN = one kind of accessory knife, straight double-edged.
HABAKI = it settles the blade in the scabbard.
SHAKUDO = black colour alloy made of copper and gold.

TEKKOTSU = one kind of the appearance of steel tsuba, like ridges or lumps. The cores become visible by wearing.
TOSHO/KO-TOSHO = one kind of the tsuba style, a good steel with one point cut out design.
YAMAGANE = unrefined copper, dark brown bronze.

=> A very useful glossary by PhD. Richard Stein.

Copyright 2006