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Japanese Sword terminology & related glossary
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AGARI TACHI OR GITO Toy-like ceremonial imitation sword.
AHIOTORU Reheating the edge after a poor tempering job.
AIKUCHI Tanto up to 1 foot long mounted without tsuba (guard).
Same as Kusungobu (9.5 sun) tanto and yoroi-doshi sometimes mounted this way.
AITORI Mild heating to neutralize strains after hardening the edge.
AIZUCHI Hammer men-3 to each smith.
1. Tsuchigashira - head man
2. Nakazuchi - middle brother.
3. Otozuchi - younger brother.
AKIHAGI no TSUYU A dew-like spot on yakiba or hamon.
ALTO - MEI Mei was signed posthumously by his student.
AMAKUNIGARA Horimono carving of dragon wrapped around sword.
AMANURU KANE Steel by Nio Kiyotsuna of Suwo province appears weak and has dark or whitish patches on the surface.
AOBIE A short bamboo sword.
AOBUCHI ( blue pool) Dark blue steel with whirlpool grain, from Soshu.
AOI hollyhock, commonly used as a Mon
AOGOKORO Bizen blades having characteristics of Bitchu Aoe blades.
AOSAN no MITSUKE Straight temper lines by Bizen Sanenaga and Shogen Nagamitsu resembling those of Bitchu Aoe and Bingo Mihara smiths.
AOYAKI no KITAE A white gold line along dark ji portion of blade.
ARA-NIE coarse or large nie (Large nie crystals)
ARARE no MIDARE A hamon typical of old Hoki Yasutsuna or Sanemori schools . Small irregular lines mixed here and there in the hamon.
ARASHIAGE The rough finishing on a sword.
ARATOGI Roughly sharpening a sword by the smith before tempering.
ARATOMATSU Stone powder mixed with clay used in hardening.
ASAI-NOTARE A shallow undulating hamon.
ASAGIDO A grindstone formerly used for swords.
ASASHI Shallow as in shallow back angle or shallow nie appearance.
ASHI Leg or foot. Short lines extending from patterns of nie or nioi.
ASHI SADAMARU A steady hamon pattern either straight or wavy.
ASHI-NAGA Long ashi.
ASHIGITAE A method of folding steel in the forging process.
ASHINAGA CHOJI Choji ( clove seed pattern) with long legs.
(Ashinaga was a mythical person with very long legs.)
ASOBI KOKORO Mixed Yamashiro and Yoshioka Ichimonji choji patterns.
ASOBI TAMA Round gem-like hard spots along hamon of certain smiths.
ATOBI Grooves in a sword carved later by other than the original smith.
ATOBORI Horimono carvings added later to decorate or to hide defects.
ATO MEI signature added at a later date
AWASE HADA Joined lines seen on Bizen blades or on other blades that have been ground down to look like old blades.
AYASUGI A wavy grain made by gouging the steel with a round nose chisel, then hammering flat. Mostly by Gassan and Satsuma Naminohira smiths.
AZUKI MIDARE Temper line like a row of small beans.
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BAGAI-MONO Blades made by lower than middle class sub-groups.
BAKUFU Military government of the Shogun
BATTO Drawing a sword for action.
BIZEN Archaic province of Japan, modern day Okayama prefecture
BIZEN-TO Swords produced in Bizen
BIZEN-ZORI Deep curvature close to the tang area of the sword; also known as koshi-zori
BOHI Wide groove almost fitting shinogi surface.
BOHI SOYEBI Wide groove beside a narrow groove.
BOKKEN Wooden sword for practicing sword kata
BOKU-TO Imitation sword of wood carried by a doctor.
BONJI Priest characters. Sanscrit invocations to the Gods.
BOSHI Shape of temper line at the kissaki (point).
BOSHI AGARU Loss of boshi by broken point or other causes.
BOSHIGATA Very smooth small round boshi of Yamashiro style.
BOSHISAKI The very tip of the boshi temper line.
BOTAN BA A peony flower pattern in the hamon about 6 inches below the point in blades by Chikuzen Sa.
BOTAN-UTSURI Peony flower shape reflections appearing in Bizen blades around 1250 to 1330.
BO-UTSURI Stick-like faint rainbow reflections on surface.
BU Japanese measurement (approx 0.1 inch)
BUDACHI Common name for all army swords.
BUGEI Military arts use of sword, etc.
BUEITO Military sword. Mostly old ceremonial tachi types.
BU JIN "People of the Samurai Spirit." A philosophy of honor, respect, and contemplation of life's mysteries developed in both women and men, and the people who lived by the samurai code.
BUKE Military men, Samurai.
BUNDO-BA Scale weights pattern hamon.
BUNKACHO-CHOKAN-SHO The agency for Cultural Affairs Chairman Award given at the annual swordsmiths' exhibition
BUN no KITAE Back half of blade surface is faintly white. Appears on many shobu-zukuri daggers. Characteristic of Bingo smiths.
BUSHIDO A code of ethics and moral principles for Samurai. The first works were by Yamaga Soko (1622-85) in Bukyo (The Warrior Creed) and Shido (The Warrior's Way).
BUSHI Another term for samurai - the warrior class
BUWO TACHI Sword type of about 750 AD for a Chinese style dance.
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CHABANA MIDARE Choji with tops rounded like tea flower petals.
CHIBURI The act of slinging blood off the blade before re-scabbarding.
CHIGAU MIDARE Oblique hamon of Bitchu blades.
CHIGUSA Steel of .7 to .8% carbon. Produced in Harima.
CHIISA KATANA A general term for all swords shorter than the katana but also used to indicate a length between wakizashi and standard katana, but also used to indicate a length between wakizashi and standard katana.
CHIJI KOMASAME Undulating fine straight grain of Suwo Nio smiths.
CHIJI MIDARE Wrinkled irregular hamon by Miike & Kongobyoe groups.
CHIKEI A clear gray short thin curved line along the surface grain appearing to be below the surface. Similar to kinsuji or inazuma.
CHIKUTO A bamboo sword. Also, a bamboo fencing sword. In olden times a bamboo knife was used to cut the umbilical cord of new-born babies.
CHIRI The narrow surface on either side of a groove. Kata-chiri- one side surface; roy-chiri double edge surface.
CHIISA KATANA short katana
CHOJI Clove seed shape folds in hamon. Many varieties.
CHOJI-MIDARE Clove shapes mixed with irregular patterns in hamon.
CHOJI KAGE Clove pattern with shiny sports that seem like shadows.
CHOJI OIL Oil for the care of swords
CHOKUTO Prehistoric straight single edge sword found in burial mounds.
CHU-HANDACHI Medium length tachi.
CHU-KISSAKI medium sized point (kissaki)
CHU-SUGUBA Medium width straight hamon.( Follows curve of sword.)
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DABIRA-HIRO Wide broad-sword.
DABIRA-SEBA Narrow board-sword.
DAI great or large
DAI-MEI student smith signing his teacher's name
DAIJIRI Boshi turn-back that resembles a gun butt
DAIMYO feudal lord
DAISHO (Large-small) A matched pair of swords or fittings for same.
DAITO Long sword (over 24 inches)
DAI TSUKE Appraised values of swords.
In the Ashikaga period values were given in oban large gold pieces. In Tempo (1630) the books used koban- small gold pieces 1/10 oban. Later in yen worth from US $.50 to.35 just before the war. Post war values are in units of 10,000 yen worth $28.00 but these are set by dealers and are purely fictitious to help sell swords.
DAMBIRA or Danpira, or Dabira Very wide blade.
DANDANBA Alternate 3 lengths of komidare and large choji.
DATTO Not wearing a sword.
DE-AI-ZASHI A low rated sword for every day wear. (Tsunezashi)
DENAORI Re-tempered blades.
DENCHU-ZASHI Sword for palace wear.
DENGAKU YAKI Use of a large fan instead of bellows to burn the charcoal in tempering by Yokoyama Kozuke Daijo Sukesada.
DO The way.; The mid-section target in Kendo (stomach).
DOGANE A metal band around a sword handle.
DOKEN & HOKO Cooper swords and daggers of the bronze age.
DORAN or TORAN High wave patterns of hamon.
DOYO no JUKA Double choji patterns of varying size along sword.
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EBIRA KATANA Extra long sword carried on the back. (Seoi katana)
EBOSHIGATA Boshi pattern that looks like court head gear.
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FUCHI collar on hilt
FUCHI-KASHIRA set of hilt collar (fuchi) and butt cap (kashira)
FUHA Tiny cracks in yakiba characteristic of Awa Kaibu Group
FUKI-OROSHI A kind of smelted iron- same as Oroshi- tetsu.
FUKURA The cutting edge of the blade kissaki (point). Several shapes:
FUKURA-KAKU Sharply curved point.
FUKURA-KARERU Straight edge point.
FUKURA-SUGU Nearly straight edge point.
FUKURA-TSUKU Curved edge point.
FUKURA KOKORO Boshi line characteristic of Yamato smiths.
FUKURE wo FUSERU Smoothing small swellings on blade surface.
FUKURE Flaw; usually a blister in the steel
FUKURIN Rim cover of a tsuba
FUKURO CHOJI Bag shape choji similar to tadpole shape.
FUNAGATA Ship bottom shaped nakago (tang).
FUNBARI Blade becoming noticeably wider near the base notch.
FURISODE A tang shape with the end deeply curved toward the back side which resembles a kimono sleeve.
FURMICHI Irregular thickness of choji outline by Bizen Mitsutada.
FUSHIBA Pointed knot-like breaks in a straight hamon on Mino blades.
FUTAEBA Double hamon on Bitchu and Bingo blades or re-tempered.
FUTAE BOSHI Double hamon in point including turn-back. Appears only on blades by Sadamune, Higo Kuniyoshi & Fujishima Tomoshige.
FUTAMATA YARI A two pronged spear.
FUTASUJI BI Pair of identical grooves. Same as Nihon bi.
FUTAYE-BA Double line of nie and nioi.
FUTADOKORO Meaning two piece matching set usually associated with either kozuka with menuki or kozuka and kogai.
FUTATOKORO MONO Matched set of kozuka and kogai on a sword.
FUTATSU-BA Paired choji on blades of Katayama Ichimonji Group.
FUTOKORO KATANA Tanto worn inside clothing. No tsuba, round end.
FUTO YASURI Coarse file marks.
FUTSU MUNE Roof shape back ridge. Same as Ihorimune.
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GAKU-MEI Signature from original tang inserted in shortened (o-suriage) tang.
GASSAN HADA Grain made by gouging with round chisel then flatten.
GENDAITO Traditionally forged sword blades by modern smiths before WWII
GENNOBA TETSU Steel of .3 to .4% carbon. Same Jami tetsu.
GIJOTO Ceremonial court swords with various styles of mountings which indicate the rank of the wearer. See books on koshirae.
GINBI KEN Ken shape sword with grooves.
GINKEN Common iron sword with silver plated fittings used as a gift.
GIMEI A false signature on a blade. Usually a copy of a famous smith to increase the sword's value.
GIN no HA Silvery lines one to three inches long appearing along a straight temper line or on the surface of blades by Kagemitsu.
GINSUJI A slivery color kinsuji line in the yakiba.
GITO General term for ceremonial swords, mostly used to accompany money gifts. Same as agari-tachi, painted wood with gilt decorations.
GIO no KURIKARA Horimono of dragon twining around sword.
GISAKU HO Faked or forged blades.
GOBAN-KAJI 24 famous smiths selected to serve and instruct Emperor Gotoba, 1184-1210. Six more served him in exile on Oki Island.
GOKADEN The Five Schools of the Koto period
GOKENBA Peaked groups of 3 or 5 zigzags by Mino Seki no Magoroku.
GOMAE KITAE Five layer forging. Done by Bizen and Soshu schools.
GOMABASHI Chopstick grooves with claw underneath.
GOMEIKEN Five most famous swords . They are as follows:
1. Mikazuki Munechika by Sanjo kokaji Munechika
2. Onimaru Kunitsuna by Yamashiro Awataguchi Kunitsuna
3. Odenta by Miike Tenta Mitsuyo
4. Dojikiri Yasutsuna by Hoki no Yasutsuna
5. Juzumaru by Bitchu no Tsunetsugu
GOSHO-YAKI no TACHI Blades forged by Goban-kajis Tsuguiye and Tsugunobu, and tempered by Emperor Gotoba. Same as Kiku no Gosaku.
GONOME-MIDARE Irregularly undulating hamon
GUNOME undulating hamon
GUNTO army or military sword mountings
GUNTO Machine made blade in army or military sword mountings
GYAKU Reversed or angled back. ( In hamon patterns.)
GYAKU- ASHI Reversed slanted ashi in hamon.
GYAKU- CHOJI Slanted choji patterns in hamon.
GYAKU TAKANOHA Reversed takanoha file marks
GYOKEN OKIYO Position of Emperors sword on his left.
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HA Cutting edge of a sword.
HA AGARI KURIJIRI Irregular U shape tang end.
HABAKI Collar around blade above the tang to fit the blade securely into scabbard.
HABAKI-MOTO About 3 of blade adjacent to the habaki. ( Koshi) Also called temoto near the hand portion of blade.
HABAKI-SHITA Portion of blade covered by the habaki.
HABIKI An iron club used by a policeman. Same as Jite.
HA-BUCHI Border line between ji and yakiba.
HACHIWARA A short defensive rod called helmet breaker.
HADA Grain in steel, pattern of folding the steel
HADAKA TOMO TSURUGI General name for a thousand sword blades without mountings made in the time of Emperor Nintoku , 313 AD.
HAGARAMI A flaw.
HAGI no MIDARE A Soshu School temper line.
HAGI no TSUYU Nie crystals shining like dewdrops reflecting colors.
HAGIRE Edge cracks in the hamon (fatal flaw)
HAIKEN To wear sword. Same as HAITO
HAKAGE Reflection-like patterns among choji on blades of Nagamitsu.
HAKASE A sword being worn.
HAKE KOKORO Faded unclear boshi with nie like faint brush marks.
HAKI TACHI Tachi for everyday use. Length to suit the wearer.
HAKIZOE KODACHI - Short tachi worn with a long one.
HAKIZOE TACHI A second tachi when two are worn.
HAKKAKE or HAKIKAKE Effect like brushed lines along hamon.
HAKKAKERU Swept up effect on boshi lines. Same as Hakkake.
HAKO BA Box shape hamon. Bizen & Kaga schools.
HAKOGAKARITARU-MIDARE Very irregular hako, Mihara Group.
HAKO-MIDARE uneven box shaped hamon
HAKO MUNE Square back to sword.
HAKUJIN A naked blade.
HAMACHI Edge notch where blade joins tang. A stop for the habaki.
HAMIDASHI Tanto or dagger with a small guard (tsuba)
HAMAGURI Blade so thick as to resemble a clam shell outline.
HAMAGURI BA Thick all along the edge.
HAMIDASHI Tanto with small guard.
HAMIDASHI-MIDARE Irregular hamon tops extending into ji surface.
HAMADATSU Also called Kwaiken. A small woman's knife, usually fully tempered, used for protection and Jigai.
HAM-MITSU-KADO Junction of yokote and shinogi lines at point.
HAMON Temper pattern along blade edge
HANDACHI Tachi mountings used on a katana or wakizashi
HAN-GETSU Half-moon temper patterns in the yakiba surface.
HANKENSAKI Boshi line pointed like ken. Bitchu smiths.
HANABA Notches on hamon making irregular patterns.
HANAREBA Temper patterns on ji surface away from yakiba.
HANARURU NIE no FUJI no HANA Wisteria flower shapes of nie above or below the hamon.
HANA YAKIBA Irregular hamon patterns of Yamashiro Nobukuni blades.
HA no KAGE A darker shadow or reflection of a choji pattern.
HA no SORORI A Mino hamon of groups of large and of small patterns.
HANTACHI Semi-tachi mountings on a katana. Same as Handachi.
HANZASHI KOZUKA Small kozuka to fit a small tanto.
HARAKIRI Suicide by belly cutting. Same as seppuku.
HASU-YAKIBA Oblique hamon. Katayama Ichimonji Group.
HATARAKI activities or workings within the hamon or temperline
HA-TSUYA Edge luster, light color of yakiba- a stone for bringing out the proper color of the edge. (Paper thin finishing stones.)
HAZAKAI Boundary line between yakiba and ji.
HAZEYAKA Brightly shining surface nie crystals.
HAZURE Strays here and there along suguba hamon of Yamato blades.
HAZUYA Finger stones used to show the hamon and hada
HEIJO TACHI Military swords. Same as Buei-to.
HEI NAKAGO Straight tang with wide triangular end.
HESHI-TETSU HO A method of making sword steel from the lumps of iron produced smelting iron sand.
HEYAZASHI Sword carried in clothing.
HI or KESSO Grooves cut in a sword.
HIGAKI YASURIME Certain file marks on the tang.
HIKAGE Dark patterns on blade surface similar to choji utsuri.
HIJIKI HADA Dark sea-weed shape patterns on blade surface.
HIJIRI KATANA Short tanto with handle of reddish hard wood.
HIKI HADA Leather scabbard cover.
HIMO KATANA A short dagger. Same as Hishu and Himo kogatana.
HIMURA Unevenly chiseled groove caused by poor work or much polishing.
HI no KAKITOME Groove stopped near the base of a blade.
HIRA Flat surface of a blade.
HIRA no MITSUKE Wide thick blades of Awa Kaibu Group.
HIRA MUNE Flat back.
HIRA YAMAGATA Same as Kurijiri. Chestnut shape tang end.
HIRAZAYA TACHI A tachi not worn but placed in Imperial carriage.
HIRAZUKURI Flat surface blade without shinogi ridges.
HIRO SUGUBA Wide straight yakiba. ( Follows curvature of blade.)
HIRO-SUGUHA Wide, straight temper line (hamon)
HISAKI-AGARU Groove that reaches the point.
HISAKI-SAGARU Groove that does not reach the point.
HISHU Short dagger . Same as Tosa. Also called HISHU-GATANA.
HITATSURA Full temper pattern- scattered all over the blade.
HITOYE HABAKI One piece habaki, Nijuor wari 2 piece habaki.
HITSU or HITSU ANA One or two holes in a sword guard through which kozuka and / or kogai are inserted into pockets in the scabbard. Possibly hitsu may also mean the handle of a kozuka.
HIZUKURI - Final stage of forging in which the drawn out steel is shaped into the proper sword cross-section.
HO Kozuka blade.
HOCHO TETSU Soft steel of .1 to .3% carbon.
HOJI-MONO Blade re-tempered by a different smith at a later time.
HOKEN Ken shaped temple sword.
HOKKOKU HADA A faint whitish reflection covering the back surface of some blades by smiths of Echizen, Etchu, and Echigo provinces.
HOKKOKU-MIDARE A zigzag hamon mixed with pointed patterns.
HONAMI Name of the family of official appraisers.
HONAMI MEI Honami appraisal signatures in red or gold blades.
HONAMI TOGI Secret polishing method used by the Honami polishers.
HON KITAE or SEKI TETSU HO Initial forging for steel blocks to be combined into sword laminations.
HON-DZUKURI or SHINOGI-DZUKURI Normal blade with shinogi.
HONSANMAI GITAE A three blade lamination forging.
HORI DO SAKU Horimono was made by the same person that made the sword
HORIMONO Carving on blades.
HORIMONOSHI A professional carving artist.
HOSO KOGATANA - An ancient slim knife used by seal hunters. (Hososabi)
HOSOMI A slender blade. Also called HOSOMI ZUKURI no TACHI
HOSO SUGUBA Narrow straight yakiba. Same as Ito-suguba.
HOTSURE Strays along a hamon
HOTSURE HADA Disorderly mixture of straight & wood grain . Mino.
HOYAKEMONO Blade slightly damaged by fire. Characteristics:
HOSHI Stars. Bright nie crystals in yakiba or hamon. Bitchu smiths.
HOSHI no YUBASHIRI Yubashiri spots that look like stars.
HOSO-DACHI Slim decorative ceremonial tachi not for actual use.
HOSOJI A narrow pointed boshi tip. Bizen and Soshu schools.
HOSO SABI Slim dagger mentioned in ancient books.
HYOTAN BA Hamon of gourd shape irregular patterns.
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I or I-SAKU Hobby make.
IBUSE Big round boshi on tachi of northern Japan.
ICHIMAE BOSHI The whole point tempered.
ICHI One or first
ICHIMAE GITAE Blades forged for one piece of steel . Higo Dotanuki.
ICHIMAI one-piece sword construction
ICHIMAI BOSHI point area (kissaki) that is fully tempered
ICHIMONJI Name of groups that signed just Ichi. (# 1 man!)
ICHIMONJI KAERI or ICHIMAI KAERI Horizontal return.
IHORI-MUNE Angle of back of sword low or high.
IKARI KISSAKI Large curve on point.
IKUBI Neck of wild boar . Almost no neck on kissaki.
IMONO TSURU Thick nie hamon line like sweet potato vine.
INAZUMA Lightening shape marks in yakiba or hada (a type of activity in the hamon).
IRO Color of hada and yakiba almost the same with hamon blurred. Bingo.
IROKOGATA Hamon like a row of fish scales.
IRO no OSHIE Clear sky-blue color of Yamashiro blades.
ISEKI BOSHI Boshi line stops at back edge or comes close to edge.
ISHIKE Stone-like impurities left in a blade.
ISSHAKU SANZUN Dagger 1 shaku 3 sun long.
ITAME wood grained hada
ITAME HADA NAGARU Ends of wood grain patterns stream out.
ITAME-TSUMU tight (otherwise dense) wood grained hada, see tsumu (詰), "dense"
ITO silk or cotton hilt wrapping
ITOCHIKAKI Dim nioi in suguba hamon.
ITOGOKORO Bitchu hamon like a twisted thread.
I-no-ME BA Wild boar eve design in hamon by Hiromitsu.
ITOKEBA Twisted thread hamon with shiny nie here and there.
ITOMAKI NO TACHI tachi with top of saya wrapped with ito
ITO no SADAME Narrow suguba with thread-like nioi.
ITO no WAKACHI Very narrow straight line on some Yamato blades.
ITO SUGU Thin, thread like hamon
ITO SUGUBA or HOSO SUGUBA Narrow straight yakiba.
ITO wo HIKU Nioi line kile shiny silk thread.
ITSUTSU no HADA The five steel grain patterns:
1. Matsukawa Pine tree bark grain.
2. Mokume wood burl grain.
3. Nogi hada small tips of millet grain.
4. Kumo clouds white cloud-like mixed with blue.
5. Nashiji hada sliced pear surface grain.
ITSUTSU no IRO Five colors in judging steel:
1. Black a dark muddy color.
2. Asagiiro darker than sky blue.
3. Sky blue.
4. Whitish blue color.
5. Crystal clear blue color.
ITSUTSU no KANE Five points in judging steel:
1. Soft steel most common.
2. Tenacious steel forged soft steel.
3. Well tempered steel number 2 well tempered.
4. Tough and hard steel good for cutting edge.
5. Well purified steel.
IZUHA Steel from Izuha .8 to 1% carbon content.
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JAMI Steel with .3 to .4% carbon.
JI sword surface between the shinogi and the hamon
JI-GANE - surface steel
JIARE Surface of a tired blade polished too many times.
JIBA Small tempered spots projecting into surface from hamon.
JIFU Small whitish grain shapes like letters c, o, s, in the surface of Bizen blades.
JIFU no MAKIKOMI Coiled whitish stripe-like hamon patterns.
JIGAI Suicide by cutting the throat.
JIGANE Sword steels:
1. Hocho tetsu impure soft iron.
2. Oroshi tetsu lumps of iron from the smelting process.
3. Sen oroshi tetsu cast iron, white or gray.
4. Hagane oroshi tetsu a lump melted from sand iron ore.
5. Mizuheshi tetsu melted lump chilled by cold water and forged some.
6. Namban tetsu imported iron. Sword steels were made by mixing these.
JIGOSHI Strong hada pattern.
JI-HADA Surface texture course or fine of various patterns of hada.
JI HAN - GETSU Half moon patterns in ji.
JI IRO Colors of blade surface.
JIJAKUSHI Faint pattern on ji.
JI KONETSUCHI A clay-like texture in Higo Enju blades.
JINDACHI Same as tachi a long slung sword.
JINGU Imperial Shrine
JI-NIE The frosty look of surface nie.
JI no TSUYU Gem-like spots shining like dew on Bizen Moriiye blades.
JIN TACHI A very long sword. Same as Jindachi.
JINTO A tachi for fighting. A war sword.
JIN WAKIZASHI Medium length sword worn with a tachi.
JISHO no HADA Fine grain like nashiji on early Bitchu blades.
JI-TSUYA Dark colors luster on ji surface.
JITTE Defensive rod with hook on the side carried by police.
JIYAKI Partially double hamon on Soshu blades.
JIZO BOSHI Boshi shaped like a priest's head
JIZO GASHIRA Boshi line resembling the shaven head of priest Jizo.
JIZOGATA Same as last. Most Mino blades have this.
JIZO HADA Fine grain with round clear dark spots. Bitchu blades.
JUKA Reheated or re-tempered blade.
JUKABA Large choji hamon of Kunisuke or Yoshimichi.
JUKA CHOJI Double choji pattern.
JUKA no SAKAASHI Ashi of juka choji slanting toward point.
JUMONJI no KITAE A cross-like pattern 6 below the point.
JUMONJI YARI a spear with doubled-edged cross blades
JUSAN no MITSUKE Thirteen points on blade appraisal:
1. Surface grains straight; burl; wood; plain.
2. Shapes long ; medium ; short, points large; medium; small.
3. Curvature even ; curved near base; curved near point.
4. Temper lines small, medium, large irregular; large, medium ,small waves; wide, medium, narrow straight yakiba.
5. Boshi shapes no turn-back; circle; flame; brushed; full temper.
6. Boshi turn-back deep, medium, short.
7. Shape of back roof shape; double; round.
8. Color of blade surface- blue; white; black.
9. Nie course ; medium; fine.
10. Nioi shallow ; deep; firm;
11. Color of tempered surface white, black.
12. Ridge ( shinogi) high ridge; wide shinogi surface; narrow surface.
13. Carvings deep; shallow.
JUTETSU The Ten Brilliant Pupils of Masamune: Rai Kunimitsu, Hasebe Kunishige, Kanemitsu, Shizu Kaneuji, Go Yoshihiro, Norishige, Naotsuna, Chogi (Nagayoshi), Sa and Kinju (Kaneshige).
JUTOE Officers in charge of Imperial Palace Guards in 760 AD.
JUYO KODOGU "important sword mountings"; a rank given by the N.B.T.H.K.
JUYO TOKEN highly important origami (certificate) for sword by N.B.T.H.K.
JUYO TOKEN TO ZUFU Annual publications of the N.B.T.H.K. in which a rubbing of the tang is printed and text is given for all blades and fittings which received Juyo ratings that year.
JUZU Hamon like rosary beads
JUZUBA Buddhist beads a form of gonome hamon.
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KABUTO-GANE tachi style pommel cap
KABUTO- WARI Helmet breaker square pointed rod 12 long with hook. Kusunoki Masashige had one made by Masamune, hence all modern copies are inscribed in honor of Masamune.
KADOBA Same as hako-midare, a box like hamon pattern.
KAEN Flame shape boshi pattern.
KAERI Boshi turn-back
KAERBUKO Polliwog shape almost the same as choji.
KAGEHI Small groove beside a regular groove on a blade.
KAI GUNTO Naval sword produced during WW II.
KAI MIHARA Blades of Bingo Mihara School with full temper pattern.
KAI SHINOGI Meaning not clear, perhaps clam shell shape point.
KAI SHINOGI TACHI Tachi with thick round point.
KAESHIZUNO A hook shaped fitting used to lock the scabbard to the obi while drawing
KAJI Swordsmith; NIHON KAJI Japanese swordsmith
KAJIBI Grooves cut by the same smith who made the blade.
KAKARI Part of hamon frayed and run up toward the back of the blade.
KAKIHADA Fake sword. Acid imitation of yakiba and surface grain.
KAKIHAN Swordsmiths or tsuba makers below signature.
KAKI NAGASHI End of groove pointed.
KAKI-TOSHI Groove continuing to end of tang.
KAKU-DOME Square end of groove.
KAKU-MUNE Square back ridge of sword.
KAMAKURA-MONO Kamakura things A general term for blades made by Shintogo Kunimitsu, Yukimitsu, Masamune, Sadamine Group in Sagami province.
KAMASU KADO or KAMASU-ZUKURI Large point with straight edge.
KAMIKAZE divine wind, the providential typhoons which destroyed the Mongol fleet when they tried to invade Japan.
KAMISHIMO-ZASHI Daisho swords in conservative black mountings.
KAMURI JIZO Boshi point slants toward edge and fades out.
KAMURI OTOSHI Narrowed back for most of the length of the sword.
KANASUJI Chikei lines near the cutting edge.
KANA TOKU Anvil.
KANJI Japanese characters
KAN no HA A straight hamon continues straight to a little above yokote before curving with point, almost touching edge at that place.
KANMURI-OTOSHI Back ridge beveled like a naginata
KANTEI Study and appraisal of swords.
KANSEI no HA An irregular temper line that looks stern and has nie crystals in yakiba as well as along hamon line.
KAO - carved monogram of swordsmith on tang (nakago)
KARAKAMI NAKAGO Faking by welding genuine tang on spurious sword.
KARASUGUCHI A beak shape flaw in a blade.
KARA TACHI Early Chinese decorative swords with ken shape point.
KARAYO TACHI Mountings copied from Chinese swords of about 730 AD.
KAREKI no MIDARE Irreg. zigzag hamon with gnarled branches. Sa.
KARIMATA KITAE Boshi with web-foot wild goose shaped nie.
KASAGI-ZORI Even curve on a blade. Same as torii-zori.
KASANE Thickness of blade.
KASANEME ATARU Awtaguchi blades thicker than usual at base.
KASHIRA Cap on the end of handle pommel. KASUMI no OSHIE A misty nioi in blades of Hizen Yoshikage.
KASURI KOKORO Nie along hamon and yakiba appear splashed. Mihara.
KASURI no OSHIE Splashed nie patterns rather coarse.
KATACHIRI Flat surface left by groove that extends to shinogi.
KATAKIRI Sword with one side flat (no shinogi)
KATAKIRI-BA Blades sharpened to one side only.
KATA MASSUGU Thin firm suguba on thick narrow blade by Yoshitsugu.
KATAMONO Thin steel sheet set on edge for test cutting by swords.
KATANA Long sword worn edge up in sash by samurai.
KATANA KAJI Swordsmith.
KATANA KAKE Sword stand
KATANA MEI Signature side that faces out when worn edge up
KATANA TOGISHI or TOGIMONOSHI Sword polisher ( and sharpener).
KATANA DAISHIYO Polite handing of sword to another person.
KATANAGARI Confiscation of swords ordered by Hideyoshi.
KATANA KAKE Sword stand for horizontal display.
KATANA KIZU A sword wound.
KATANA HAI False edge the back of a sword.
KATANA SHIN Blade or body of a sword.
KATANA HIRA Flat of the blade.
KATANA TSUTSU A papermachι lacquered sword case.
KATAOCHI GONOME Gonome leaning to one side like saw teeth.
KATASHINOGI KATAKIRIBA TSUKURI - Ridge on one side, other flat.
KATA UNOKUBI Blade with only on side thinned down along the back.
KATTE SAGARI File marks slanting down to left.
KATTE AGARI File marks slanting right. Or Katte uye
KAWADZUNOKO-CHOJI or KAWAZU-CHOJI Tadpole choji, a mushroom shape long neck choji.
KAWAGANE Surface or skin steel.
KAWAHIKEN Pictures in grooves filled over with tinted glass.
KAWAKAMIBE TSURUGI 1000 swords made at Kawakami Shrine.
KAWASE Patterns like sand banks within irregular hamon.
KAZU-UCHIMONO Fast mass-production of swords.
KEBORI Line carving done on sword mounts
KEIKI A sort of psychic feeling engendered by a blade.
Keiki iyashii A rude feeling.
Keiki jingjo A conservative appearance.
Keiki susudoi A stern or gloomy appearance.
KEIKO Practice battle
KEN Straight double edged sword
KEN BI Ken designs engraved in blade. Several styles...
KENBO-MIDARE Zigzag choji pattern done by Kenbo ( kanefusa).
KENGATA CHOJI Fist shape choji.
KENGIO Ken shape tang end.
KENGYO Triangular or pointed nakago-jiri
KENJO MUKI Too high complimentary values on swords to be presented.
KENSHI An expert swordsman.
KENSO Telling a mans fortune from patterns on his blade.
KEN TAKAHI Ancient term for sword hilt, or handle.
KEN-GATA TACHI Old tachi in one piece with pierced handle.
KESAN Hada like nashiji ( pear texture) surface.
KESHO YASURI- Decorative file marks tang.
KESSO Blood grooves in sword. Same as Hi.
KEZURIDAI Block or stand for clamping sword when using the draw-shave.
KIBAHA Oni tooth shape hamon. A sharp saw tooth pattern.
KIDACHI Wooden sword used in fencing. Like bokuto.
KIE no NIE Nioi that looks like nie in yakiba of Norimune blades.
KIJI MOMO Tang shaped like pheasant leg.
KIJINO-TACHI Ceremonial tachi worn during an emperors visit.
KIKUBA Chrysanthemum design in hamon a little below yokote line.
KIKU ICHIMONJI Chrysanthemums with ichi below it for signature.
Also 16 or 8 petal chrysanthemums in hamon of Bizen Norimune blades.
KIKU GYOSAKU Swords by Emperor Gotoba signed with kiku.
KIKUBA chrysanthemum temperline (hamon)
KIKUKA no MIDARE Row of kiku flowers in hamon by Hojoji Kunimitsu.
KIKUSHUI - BA Hamon with chrysanthemum blossoms floating on water.
KIKU-TSUKURI TACHI Same as kiku Gyosaku.
KINKO Soft metal sword fittings (not iron)
KIN MEI Gold inlay or lacquer signature added by appraiser.
KINSUJI Whitish golden line along or in hamon or yakiba.
KINTO Same as kintsukuri tachi.
KINZOGAN MEI Same as kin mei. Gold signature attribution.
KIO-ZORI An even curve. Same as Torii-zori.
KIRI-HA Flat sword with both sides beveled to the edge
KIRI -HA TACHI Long tachi with straight kissaki cutting edge.
KIRI-HA TSUKURI Old blades with parallel sides and edge slanted from both sides.
KIRIKAKE Kosori Group hamon with rows of small points like scratches.
KIRI KOMI Battle nick in blade. Polisher should not remove.
KIRIMONO Carving. Same as horimono.
KIRIMONO MEZURASHI Carvings on blades which rarely have them.
KIRIMONO TOGARI TATAZU Gracefully finished Soshu carvings.
KIRI NAKAGO Tang cut off square, usually in shortened blades.
KIRI SUJI-CHIGAI File marks.
KIRI TAMESHI or TAMESHI KIRI Blade cutting tests.
KISSAKI The point of a blade. Many shapes.
KITAE Forging. Many methods
KITAE KATA Forging methods.
KITAENOBE Heating and hammering.
KIZU Various flaws or defects in a blade.
KO Old or small
KOBUSE Blade constructed with hard steel around a soft core
KOBUSHIGATA CHOJI Fist shape choji patterns.
KOBUSE TSUKURI Soft steel center covered by hard steel.
KOCHOJI Small choji pattern.
KODACHI Short tachi blades 2 feet or less. used in Kamakura times.
KODOGU Collective term for fittings except tsuba. Except tachi.
KODOMO DAISHO A childs pair of swords.
KOFUDA Appraisal certificate issued by the Honami appraisers on blades worth less than five gold pieces.
KOGAI Hair arranger fitted in pocket opposite kozuka, on some swords.
KOGARASU TSUKURI A blade that is mostly shinogi shape but double edge toward the point.
KOGATANA Short knife with a hole or ring at the end of the handle so it can be used as a needle to draw a cord through the severed neck to mouth of an enemy head for carrying.
KOIGUCHI the mouth of the scabbard or its fitting
KOJIBO Tool for correcting a warped blade.
KOJIRI or SAYAJIRI Bottom end fitting on scabbard.
KOKADO Small pointed boshi.
KOKONOTSUKA TSURUGI 9 grips (long) sword. Ancient way of measuring.
KOKUHO national treasure class sword
KOMARU Small round boshi.
KOMASAME Small straight grain tang.
KO-MEI Small character signature on a tang.
KOMI Shapes of tang ends.
KO-MIDARE Small irregular hamon pattern or small irregularities in other hamon patterns.
KO-MOKUME Small burl grain hada. Same as nogihada.
KONASHIMONO Shinto blades with some faking to look like koto.
KONE-TSUCHI Extremely fine texture of Higo Enju blades.
KONGOSHA Emery stone used in polishing.
KO-NIE Tiny nie crystals along hamon.
KO-NIE DEKI composed of small nie
KONOHAGITAE Steel pieces piled like leaves for forging.
KONUKA HADA Very fine grain Hizen style hada.
KORE Kanji on tang meaning "This" for example Saku Kore "Made this".
KOSEKI Old blades by Mino, Seki smiths with no nie on hamon.
KOSHIATE Leather pads to which swords were fastened when worn.
KOSHI-BA Area a few inches above edge notch with fancy patterns.
KOSHIGATANA Short dagger. Same as koshizashi or koshinomono.
KOSHI HI Groove extending part way up a blade.
KOSHI HIRAKITARU-MIDARE Irregular open loops hamon.
KOSHI KOBATA Short dagger. Same as koshigatana.
KO-SHINOGI Continuation of shinogi on point.
KO-SHINGOI SAKI Intersection of small ridge and back lines.
KOSHI MITSUKE Swollen irregular lines near base of cutting edge.
KOSHIMONO Anciently- short blades; later- swords worn in the sash.
KOSHIRAE Sword mountings including scabbard, handle and fittings.
KOSHIZASHI Short dagger. Same askoshigatana.
KOSHIZORI Blade; curving more near the base. Mostly before 1335.
KOSUJI-CHIGAI YASUREME Slanted file marks. (Kattesagari)
KOTO Old Sword Period (prior to 1596)
KOTO no SUNSHAKU Old measurement records, mostly Chinese.
KO-UCHI KATANA Short fighting sword before wakizashi came in style.
KO-WAKIZASHI Short wakizashi of 1 foot to 1 foot 4 inches long.
KOZORI KOSORI General name of Bizen Osafune branch schools.
KOZUKA Spike for hair arranging carried sometimes as part of Katana-Koshirae in another 'pocket'
KUBIKAKI KATANA Short tanto used to finish cutting neck in seppuku.
KUBIKIRI Same as above . Also called kubitori (snatch neck).
KUBIKIRI Incurved short chisel edged knife.
KUBITORI Head cutter. Same as kubikiri.
KUDARI ASHI Irregular oblique hamon. Bizen Kanehira & Motoshige.
KUGE TACHI Imperial tachi.
KUI-CHIGAI Criss-cross straight lines of nie and nioi nibbled away.
KUMI-IRE Narrow portions of hamon have double lines.
KUMI-IRE YAKIBA Ashi on straight hamon criss-cross each other.
KUMO HADA A cloud bank appearance of the hada.
KUMOI TSURIAI Deep clear hamon with cloud-like swellings of nie.
KUMONO IHADA Spider web-like whitish grain lines in hada.
KUMORI GANE Somewhat cloudy hada surface of Suo Nio School.
KURI-JIRI Chestnut shape tang end.
KURIKARA dragon horimono (engraving/carving)
KURIKATA scabbard (saya) fitting for attaching the sageo
KURUMA TACHI Style of tachi to be carried in a carriage.
KUSUNGOBU 9.5 dagger. Same as yoroidoshi armor piercing tanto.
KUTSUROGU Crudely forged blade with coarse surface texture.
KUWAKO Silk worm head shape of boshi tip.
KUWANA UCHI Forgeries of Bizen blades by Kuwana and Ise smiths.
KUZURE crumbling or disintegrating
KWAI-KEN Short tanto carried hidden in clothing mostly by women.
KWAKI or KAKI Tang affected by getting too hot in tempering.
KWAKI ARUMONO Blade somewhat affected by being in a fire.
KYODEN A method of forging used in Kyoto. A formula for mixing steels.
Formulas Kyoto Bizen Soshu
Surface steel Hocho tetsu 50 momme 75 momme (between the two.)
Chigusa 100 150
Dewa 50 0
Sen 100 75
Edge steel Dewa tetsu 100 momme 100 momme
Jami " 100 " 100"
Sen " 100 " 100"
Center steel Mix as you please. Same
KYOGEN DAISHO Matched pair of swords for kabuki stage use.
KYO no GOKAJI The 5 shinto smiths of Kyoto.
1. Iga no Kami Kinmichi 2. Tamba no Kami Yoshimichi
3. Izumi no Kami Rai Kinmichi 4. Omi no Kami Hisamichi
5. Etchu no Kami Masatoshi
KYOZORI Kyoto style torii-zori.
KYUICHI Kyushu blades having white hair-like grain.
KYUHOKU no SADAME Resemblance between Kyushu & north Japan blades.
KYOWA no SADAME Similarities in Awataguchi and Yamato blades.
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MACHI Notches in blade to stop habaki. Edge hamachi; back munemachi.
MACHI OKURI Notches (hamachi and munemachi) moved up the blade.
MACHI TOGI Professional polishers who work for the general public.
MACHI SAYAMAKI Cheap, ready-made scabbards.
MADO AKI Open a window. Polish short section to check blade quality.
MAE SAGARI no JIZO Head shape boshi leaning toward edge.
MAGE SAKI To repair & retemper point. Hamon blurred 2 below point.
MAKI HADA Whirlpool grain in blades by Etchu Norishige. (Uzuhada)
MAKI ITO Braid for handle wrapping.
MAKURA-DASHI Pillow sword.
MAKURI-GITAE Roll-in forging. Same as kobuse-tsuki.
MAMORI KATANA Short tanto or aikuchi carried for protection. Also first sword for a boy under 5. Handle & scabbard covered in brocade.
MARU-DOME Round end of a groove.
MARU KITAE Blades made of one piece of steel. Many tanto made this way.
MARU MUNE Round back of blade.
MASAGO-MIDARE Nie like dusted sand along hamon.
MASAME HADA Straight grain hada. Large, medium, small styles.
MATAGI Boshi and turn-back like tree fork with small circle.
MATAGI KOKORO Forked tree shape boshi turn-back. Bitchu style.
MATSUBA Thin notches like pine-needles running into surface of blade.
MATSUBA SAKI Surface between back and small ridge above yokote.
MATSUKAWA HADA Pine tree bark surface grain on tired Bizen blades.
MEI Signature chiseled on a blade, mostly on the tang. Signature is away from body when worn - katana - edge up, tachi - edge down. A few exceptions.
MEIKIKI Sword judging persons in the Muromachi period 15th & 16th century.
MEIBUTSU famous sword
MEKUGI Bamboo peg or metal rivet holding the handle on a sword.
MEKUGI ANA Hole for mekugi. Katana 2.4 down ; wakizashi 1.8 down.
MEKURA KAERI A certain turn-back on late koto Bizen blades.
MEMPO Face guard or mask
MENUKI Ornaments under handle wrapping to improve grip.
MENUKIO Handle wrapping. Same as udenukio.
METEZASHI Any dagger worn in the right side waist.
METEZASHI Short daggers having reddish wood handles.
MI Body of a sword. Not including tang. The blade.
MIDAREBA Irregular hamon patterns. Many varieties.
MIDARE CHOJI Irregular clove seed shapes in hamon.
MIDARE GASHIRA Irregular tops of midare patterns some high, some low.
MIDARE KAGERO Slightly wavy suguba hamon by Bizen Kanemitsu.
MIDARE KOMI SUKOSHI KAERU A short boshi return.
MIDARE HOKKOKU GOKORO Small points in Bingo groups hamons.
MIDARE no AHSI HASAKI ni NUKERU Ashi touching edge.
MIDARE ITO Thin lines of nie like sunagoshi in Bingo hamon.
MIDARE SANJU Triples lines mixed in Bitchu midare patterns.
MIDARE UTSURI Irregular reflection spots in hada.
MIHABA Width of blade at the machi.
MIHAKASHI Common name for a sword worn by a Emperor.
MIIKE HI Shallow wide grooves on Miike blades.
MIKAZUKI GOKORO New moon shape boshi. Yamashiro
MIMIGATA Ear shape hamon pattern.
MINO KOSHIRA Gonome-choji hamon as made in mino province.
MISEZAYA Decorative scabbard cover for a short dagger.
MITOKORO-MONO Matching set of kozuka, kogai and menuki
MITORI JIBA Fine short lines strayed into ji in Chikushu blades.
MITSU KADO or MITSU KASHIRA Junction of yokote and shinogi lines.
MITSUMATA YARI Three pronged spear.
MITSU MUNE Three surface ridge back.
MITSURUGI Honorific term for the Emperors sword.
MITSUZURE CHOJI Triple choji in groups along hamon.
MIYOSHINO GOKORO Row of cherry blossoms hamon on Mino blades.
MIYOSHI SAMONJI Blades by the great Chikuzen Sa.
MIZUBUNE Water trough for hardening the edge of a blade.
MIZUHESHI Process of heating and chilling in water to harden the edge.
MIZUHIKI Mixture of straight grain and burl in hada of Bingo blades.
MIZUKAGE Hazy line in ji commonly due to re-tempering.
MIZUKIWA Bright clear burl grain on Bizen blades.
MIZU UCHI Pounding heated steel with wet hammer to give fine texture.
MOCHI TACHI Tachi of high rank official carried held up by servant beside his carriage.
MOE-TACHI Hamon by Bizen Sukesada looks delicate and somewhat swollen.
MOJI no KITAE Surface grain by Hiromitsu looks like characters.
MOKKO Four lobe shaped (a tsuba shape)
MOKUME HADA A burl wood grain hada.
MOKUTATSU Burl pattern standing out clearly.
MOKUTAN MATSU Powdered charcoal used in forging.
MOKU TO A two foot oak wood sword lacquered black.
MON Family crest
MON HABAKI Habaki with family crest on it.
MONOKIRI Edge of a sword.
MONO-UCHI Portion of blade 4 or 5 inches below the point. Striking point.
MOMME Unit of weight = 58 grains troy or .1325 ounce or 3.7565 grams.
MONO NOGU Arms and armor.
MORO BOSHI Sharp angle boshi with a long turn-back. Yamashiro.
MOROHA Double edged sword. Same as ryoba.
MOROHA TSUKURI Two edged sword mostly daggers.
MOTAGI Decorated menuki heads.
MOTOHABA Width at habaki.
MOTOKASANE Thickness of sword at machi.
MOYASHI NAKAGO Faking method of heating tang to make it look old.
MU empty or nothing
MUJI HADA No grain visible.
MUKADE SHINAE - Hundred legs. A kind of flaw.
MUKU KITAE No scale forging. Using almost pure
iron in forging.
MUMEI no signature (unsigned blade)
MUNE Back ridge of sword blade
MUNE-GANE Steel for the back portion of a blade.
MUNE MACHI Notch in the back of a blade to stop the habaki.
MUNESUJI Center ridge line down the back.
MUNE TETSU KITAEZUKURI Forging lamination process.
MUNE UCHI Striking with the back of the blade.
MUNEYAKI Temper pattern on the back of some blades.
MURAKUMO BOSHI Nie along boshi resembles rising clouds or vapor.
MUSEMONO Fire damaged blades. Blurred temper lines, cloudy surface.
MUSO TO Sword without mountings; a naked blade.
MUZORI Without curve- almost straight.
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N.B.T.H.K. Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kai (sword preservation group) in Tokyo in 1948 through the efforts of Dr. Homma and Dr. Sato.
N.T.H.K. Nihon Token Hozon Kai (sword appraisal group) established in Tokyo in 1910 as a noncommercial entity to foster preservation of the Japanese sword.
NABE-GANE Cast iron.
NABIKI Straight grain in hada follows curve in point to back of blade.
NADARE Avalanche of white spots.
NAGADACHI Same as nodachi and nagamaki. Long blade with long handle.
NAGADACHI Long slim tachi used by officers at a state banquet.
NAGAE KATANA Extra long sword with 4 handle. Like nagamaki.
NAGA-HAKAMA Sword worn with a hakama garment. Tanto or short wakizashi.
NAGAMAKI Long sword with a 4 handle. Same as Nodachi and nagadachi.
NAGASA blade length (from tip of kissaki to munemachi)
NAGINATA Short sword blade on a long shaft. A halberd.
NAKAGO Tang of a blade.
NAKAGO JIRI End of Nakago
NAKAGO MUNE Back of a tang . Several shapes; flat or rounded.
NAKAGO MUNE-MAKI Tip end of a tang. Many shapes.
NAKAGO no HIRA Surface of tang.
NAKAGO MUNEKADO Edges of the tang back. Sharply cut.
NAKAGO SAKI Tip of the tang.
NAKAGO SHINOGIJI Ridge surfaces on tang.
NAKAGO SHIRI Surface of the tip of the tang.
NAKAGO SHIRI no SHURUI Cross-sections of tang tips.
NAKA SUGUBA Medium width yakiba.
NANAKO raised dimpling (fish roe)
NAMAZU HADA Whitish patches in dark blue surface with dark spots.
NAMBAN TETSU Chinese or other imported iron.
NAMBOKU North-South dynasties. Nambokucho ( PERIOD)
NANKO Soft steel.
NANATSU SAYA KATANA A ken or hook shaped blade with three branch blades on each side. Very ancient about 260 AD.
NANONAKI MIDARE Full temper pattern of Kaibu Group blades.
NAOSHI Corrected or repaired.
NARA MONO A poorly made blade. Same as tsutsugitae.
NARA TACHI Tachi blades made by Yamato Tegai and Senjuin Groups.
NASHIJI Hada like pear skin
NATA Gardeners knife or hunting knife. Hana-nata flower knife.
NATSU no KA Choji pattern of deep nioi on Norimune blades.
NEJI HADA An artificially produced twisted burl grain appearance.
NENGO Japanese era
NETABA Sharp edge of sword or knife.
NEZUMI-ASHI Rats feet ashi marks.
NERI TSUBA TACHI Tachi with a leather guard.
NETABA Stropping or honing a blade just before using.
NEZAGITAE Twisting and pounding in forging to make a wood grain.
NIE Fine white crystals formed in the hamon or ji.
NIE ASASHI Thin nie along the hamon giving a shallow appearance.
NIE ATSUSHI Thick nie in hamon or surface that looks deep.
NIE-DEKI Hamon done in nie
NIE FUKASHI Dense nie of small crystals not coarse.
NIE IRO More nie existing in large portions of hamon. Yamashiro.
NIE ITOME-O WAKERU Nie along each side of hamon. Izumo smiths.
NIE KARRI TSUKAE Nie in boshi seeming to prevent turn-back.
NIE MASARU Nie existing all along hamon from base to point.
NIEME ATARU Dense nie on hamon and surface of Soshu blades.
NIE NODO Dense nie in the point of Izumo blades.
NIE OI Secondary nie line overhanging hamon in Kikuchi blades.
NIE SADAME Nie thick in places, lacking entirely in others.
NIE SUJI Nie lines about 2 inches long parallel to hamon, here and there.
NIE SUTE Nie temper patterns in the surface of Soshu blades.
NIE TORI-MIDASU Uneven disorderly nie along hamon.
NIHONBI Pair of identical grooves . Same as futasujibi.
NIJUBA Double hamon. A second line near the base of blade.
NIJUBA KUISAGARU Boshi line split one hanging down.
NIJU BOSHI A sort of double boshi line on Chikuzen Sa blades.
NIJU SAGEO Eight foot braided cord attached to scabbard.
NIKU meat (blade having lots of fullness)
NIKU OKI Degree of meat ( roundness ) on blade surface:
1. Hiraniku ari. A greater height of roundness; even curve.
2. Hiraniku sukunashi. A flatter curve, but still an even curvature.
3. Haniku ari . Applies to 1 or 2 but higher near the edge.
4. Haniku sukunashi. Same as 3 but high point near shinogi
NIOI Crystals like nie but much finer and darker. Hamon patterns may be made of nioi or a thread-like line of nioi may parallel or be mixed in with nie hamon (cloud like hamon). Presence of both is considered good.
NIOI-DEKI composed of nioi
NIOI-GIRI Loss of nioi. Considered a flaw.
NIOI NAMIAI Small swellings under nioi hamon on Bizen blades.
NIOI SHIMARU Narrow nioi line.
NIOI-NIE FUKASHI Wide area of nioi and nie.
NODACHI Field tachi worn by high officials
NODACHI NAOE Field sword of early times with straighter handle.
NOGIHADA Rice beard shape grains in hada.
NOKOGIRI or NOKOHA Saw tooth hamon.
NOMI IRE Upper part of habaki.
NORO Slag resulting from the smelting of iron.
NORAN BA Fluctuating hamon with crooked notches. Mino Kaneujis.
NOSHIBA No turn-back on boshi. Follows edge to tip.
NOTARE Wavy hamon. Large, medium, small, or irregular.
NOTARE-MIDARE irregular wave like hamon
NUNOME overlay metal-work
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OBI belt sash
O-CHOJI Hamon of large choji (clove seed) patterns.
O-DACHI very long sword (over 30 inches)
OGIBA Fan shape hamon mixed with hitatsura. Masamune and Sadamune.
O-GONOME Large gonome pattern hamon.
OINO-DACHI Large sword carried on the back. Same as seoi tachi.
OISUSUKI Irregular hamon becoming more irregular toward the point.
O-KATANA Early a large heavy dagger; later a long sword.
OKINA BUKA A term for the old look of blades by Kagemitsu.
OKINA GOKORO Old man atmosphere applied to Awataguchi blades.
OKINA HIGE Old man whiskers in boshi by Soshu Shintogo Kunimitsu.
OKINA MITSUKE Look like old men. Early ko-Bizen.
O-KISSAKI large kissaki
OKITE Marks made by scraping clay with a triangle of wire in tempering.
OKITSUCHI Additional mud supplied in tempering.
O-KOSHIGATANA Large silver mounted tanto, subject of a poem in 1200.
O-MIDARE Large irregular hamon pattern.
OMIHAKASHI Honorific name for a sword worn by an emperor.
OMOBA A double nioi hamon found on Bizen and Mino Seki blades.
OMOTE Side of sword away from body as it is worn. Signature side. The opposite side is called ura. Usually has the date, if any. Katana omote is opposite to tachi omote.
O-NIE Brilliant nie found on full tempered Soshu blades.
ON KEN Same as wakizashi. Originally a dagger hidden in the clothing.
ONNAMOCHI DAISHO Special daisho presented to a Lord by his bride.
O-NOTARE Large wave pattern hamon.
ORI AWASE NI-MAI Two plate folding and forging method.
ORI AWASE SAN-MAI Three plate folding and forging method.
ORIGAMI Certificate of appraisal.
ORIGAMI DAICHO Record books of origami certificates issued.
ORIKAESHI MEI Blade signature folded into opposite side when blade is shortened. Sometimes to make a fake signature look genuine.
ORIKAESHI SAN-MAI Special method of forging.
ORIKANE no HA Small rectangular temper pattern found slightly below hamon on blades by Soshu Hiromitsu.
ORI KARAMI Methods of wearing swords through the sash.
ORIKOGI KITAE Method of piling steel pieces for forging.
OROSHI Surface of the angles of the back of the blade.
OROSHI DAINI Deep curvature of ko-Bizen blades.
OROSHIGANE Specially processed steel for making swords
OROSHI TETSU Smelted iron poured on the ground to harden.
OSAME TACHI Tachi swords offered to shrines.
O-SEKI NIE Nie in the hamon and on the surface of Bingo blades.
O-SEPPA Large seppa (usually on tachi)
OSHIGATA Rubbing of tang with inscription.
OSHIGATA-ZUMI Ink cake for making rubbings of the tang inscriptions.
OSHI HADA or OSHIMONO Clear silvery surface grain.
O-SHINAE A flaw.
OSORAKU TSUKURI A light wakizashi with a very long point.
O-SUJI-CHIGAI Large diagonal file marks on tang.
O-SURIAGE A shortened tang with the signature removed
O-TACHI Very long tachi, some are 5 or 6 feet long.
OTO Same as tachi.
OTO RYO Material for a sword issued to a smith by the government.
OTOSHI-ZASHI Tachi worn almost vertical through sash.O-WAKIZASHI Longer wakizashi almost 2 feet long.
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RAKKA no SUYE Hamon starting large irregular at the base and becoming small to straight as it goes up the blade to the point.
RYOBA Double edge sword. Similar to moroha.
RYOGOSHI Fighting sword and short dagger worn on the hip.
RYOJIRI The 2 flat surface either side of a groove in the shinogi.
RYUNOME Large spots scattered here and there on a blade.
RYU Dragon horimono.RYUGO CHOJI Choji patterns that look like dragon heads
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SABAKI-GASHIRA Tips of boshi line fork out. Chikushu Sa and his son.
SABIDORO Clay coated on blade for hardening and tempering process.
SADABA Irregular patterns evenly distributed along the blade.
SAGE-FUDA Honami appraisal cards for blades worth less than 5 gold.
SAGE HO Old time forging when smith smelted his own ore.
SAGEO Cord or braid attached to kurikata on side of scabbard.
SAGE TACHI A way of carrying tachi when on guard duty.
SAGE-ZAYA Short dagger hanging at the waist of a priest.
SAGURI Catch-hook on saya
SAIDAN A cutting test. Same as kiri-tameshi.
SAIHA or SAIJIN A retempered edge.
SAITO Retempered blades. Same as saiba or denaori.
SAKA- ASHI Hamon with ashi pointing toward the point of blade.
SAKA-ASHI no SU Notch-like surface patterns running into yakiba.
SAKA-CHOJI Choji shapes slanting down toward base of blade.
SAKA-GONOME Slanted gonome.
SAKA-MIDARE Irregular patterns slanting down toward base of blade.
SAKA-TE Holding sword with point down.
SAKAZUNO Hook-like fitting on wakizashi or tanto scabbard.
SAKI Tang end of a sword blade.
SAKI-HABA Blade width at yokote
SAKI-ZORI Sword curve more pronounced toward the point.
SAKU Kanji on tang meaning "Made".
SAKU KORE Made this.
SAKU Rope carved as a symbol of Fudo, a Buddhist divinity.
SAME or SAME-KAWA Patch of skin from belly of giant ray, used on sword handles and sometimes on scabbards. Ara-same new raw same. Ai-same same colored blue for use by elders.
SAMONJI Left hand written characters (reversed) on tangs.
SAMURAI Warriors hired by feudal lords before 1870.
SANBONSUGI Three cedar trees pattern hamon. Kanemoto.
SANGEN-BA Pointed zigzag hamon by Mino Seki Kanemoto.
SANKO TSUKA KEN Ken sword with Buddhist vajra handle.
SANMAI-KITAE Three layer method of forging.
SASHI-GATANA- Medium length wakizashi.
SASHI-OMOTE One side of a sword. See omote. Haki-omote see ura.
SASHIRYO MUKI Appraisal values of blades worth 50 pieces of gold or more, to be worn by Lords on formal occasions.
SASHI-UTSUMUKU - Tanto with back curved toward cutting edge.
SASHIZOE A second blade worn.
SASUGA Short dagger, pocket sword. Same as sashi-gatana.
SAYA Scabbard. Many kinds, see books on koshirae.
SAYA-ATE Clashing scabbards - a challenge to fight.
SAYAGAKI An appraisal written on a shirasaya. Not reliable unless signature and kakihan of a recognized authority is added.
SAYAGUCHI Mouth of the scabbard (koi-guchi)
SAYAMAKI SASHIYO A way of inserting a dagger through the belt.
SAYASHI Scabbard maker.
SEKI BA Pointed irregular hamon of Mino Seki blades.
SEKI-GANE Soft metal plugs in the tsuka hitsu-ana
SEKI KEN HO Ancient stone knives.
SEMI HADA Grain like cicada wings. Possibly artificial.
SENA Ridge of a sword. The back ridge.
SENSUKI Scraping blade with a draw-shave before coating with clay.
SENTETSU Cast iron use in sword making.
SEOI TACHI Large heavy tachi carried over the back in the field.
SEPPA Washers to fill out space provided for tsuba on blade.
SEPPUKU The ritual act of taking one's own life by using a Hara-Kiri cut to slice one's stomach open from left to right, then finishing with an upward turn. Usually accompanied by a Kaishuken, or Second, who would behead the man after to relieve suffering or if he should falter, to save honor. Usually performed with a purified Wakizashi or Tanto in Shirasaya.
SETTO Tachi presented to a general by Emperor at start of a campaign.
SHAKU Measurement of length. 11.93 inches; 30.3 cm.
SHAKUDO Copper and gold alloy used for sword fittings
SHI Teacher, master artisan.
SHIAGE Various finishing processes in making a blade.
SHIBUICHI copper and silver alloy used for sword fittings
SHIHOZUME KITAE Method of lamination in forging.
SHIKOMI-ZUE Sword cane.
SHIMABA Islands of temper outside hamon.
SHIMARU Tightly packed hamon.
SHIMOTSU TACHI Gift swords for New Year and wedding ceremonies.
SHINAE Small cracks cross-ways in a blade.
SHINAI Bamboo sword used in Kendo
SHINAHI OSHIE Temper line along top 5 same as boshi.
SHINAI-UCHI Fencing with bamboo sword.
SHIN-GANE Soft center steel.
SHINOGI Ridges on each side of a blade.
SHINOGI HIKUSHI Flat shinogi surface.
SHINOGI JI Sword flat between the mune and shinogi.
SHINOGI SUJI - Ridge line continuing on tang.
SHINOGI TAKASHI Raised ridge line. Same as Shinogi takaku.
SHINOGI ZUKURI Sword with shinogi
SHIN no KURIKARA Horimono of dragon twined around sword.
SHINTO New Sword Period (1596 to 1781)
SHINSAKUTO Japanese swords made between the end of WWII and present time
SHIN-SHINTO New-New Sword Period (1781 to 1868)
SHINZA Where a team of judges (performs kantei) of a Japanese Sword, Toso or Tosugu
SHINOTSUKURI or SASA TSUKURI a form of tachi.
SHIRAKAMI HADA Fine white hair lines in hada by Awa smiths.
SHIRAKERU Whitish steel.
SHIRAKE UTSURI Faint whitish spots or reflections.
SHIRA-SAYA Plain wood storage scabbard
SHIRUSHI no TSURUGI Same as setto.
SHITA KAJI A smith who specialized in smelting ores.
SHITA KITAE The heating-forging-folding process of making steel.
SHITANJI KEN A ceremonial sword with rosewood mountings.
SHITODOME Small collars in the kurikata and/or kashira
SHO - The matched small (sho) sword with large sword (Dai) of a pair of swords or fittings for same.
SHOBU-OSHIE Iris leaf shape swords of Bingo Province.
SHOBU-ORI A flaw caused by overheating to melting point.
SHOBU TSUKURI Shobu shape with ridge lines to point without yokote.
SHOGUN supreme military leader
SHOSEI KEN Mountings made according to old Chinese rules.
SHOTO Short sword (between 12 and 24 inches)
SHOWA TO Swords made by hand in Showa time 1926 on. Not gunto.
SHUGO Tachi handed to a general at start of an expedition.
SHUMEI Red lacquer signature
SHUMOKU KITAE - Stacking of various kinds of steel at start of forging.
SHURI KEN A knife made for throwing.
SHUSSE DOGU Up grading a blade by Honami family appraisal.
SOE YAKIBA A second hamon on blades by Nobukuni of Yamashiro.
SOMENBA Numerous sunagashi lines along hamon look like noodles.
SO no HA Old term for swollen irregular hamon.
SO no KURIKARA Highly stylized dragon horimono.
SO MUNE Round back.
SORIBUSE Reduction of curve by hammering.
SORI FUKASHI Deep curve.
SORI-MONO Set of matched fittings for a sword, or pair of swords.
SORI no NAOSHI KATA Methods of changing blade curvature.
SORI TSUKE Method of curving blade in original forging.
SUDARE-BA Bamboo blinds effects in hamon
SU KEN Simple ken engraved on sword.
SUE Late or later
SUGABA Straight (parallels edge curve) hamon.
SUGATA Shape of sword blade
SUGUBA ASHI-IRI Straight with vertical legs or notches.
SUGUBA GYAKU ASHI Straight with slanted ashi.
SUGUBA ni HA CHU NIOI KUZURE Irregular nioi in hamon.
SUGUHA Straight temper line
SUGU-KUDZURE-HA Straight but crumbling hamon.
SUGU-KUICHIGAI-HA Straight but nibbled hamon.
SUGA-MAKI or SUGEMAKI Grain resembling vein of sedge leaf. Yamashiro.
SUGUBA HOTSURE Straight hamon somewhat frayed in places.
SUGUNI KOMIDAREBA Straight mixed with small irregularities.
SUGUNI NEZUMI ASHI Straight with rats feet ashi. Bitchu Aoe.
SUGU UTSURI Straight soft whitish line that appears to reflect hamon.
SUGI SAKI Boshi line forks out like distant cedar tree tops.
SUHAMA Small half-oval patterns in yakiba or full temper pattern.
SUJIGANE Golden temper lines in Bizen Nagamitsu blades.
SUKASHI Cut out
SUKI - Draw-shave for rough shaping of blade after hammering.
SUMI HADA Smooth blackish patches on the surface of Bitchu blades.
SUMI GOMORI A kind of flaw.
SUN Japanese measure, approx. one inch
SUNAGASHI Activity in hamon like brushed sand
SUNOBE Drawing out the laminated steel block into a sword.
SUN-NOBI Longer than average tanto or wakizashi.
SU no SADAME Irregular boshi, thick and deep with sand-bar tip.
SURIAGE Shortened blade. All or part of tang cut off.
SURIAGE MONO A shortened blade. Sometimes this was done to reshape tang like some famous smith whose name was added to increase the value.
SURIAGE NAKAGO Tang of a shortened blade.
SURUME GITAE Squid forging. Folding like a cooked squid. A quick way.
SUYAKI KITAE Faint whitish line running down center of surface.
SUYE HA A method of forging.
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TABANE Repeated folding and forging steel to purify and add carbon.
TABANE MONO A cheap forging method. Also called Nara mono.
TACHI Long sword worn with cutting-edge down
TACHI BUKURO or KEN BUKURO Sword bag.
TACHI HAGI Palace guards who wore tachi.
TACHI no HAKIYO How to wear a tachi sword ; how to put it on.
TACHI KAKE Sword rack or stand for a tachi.
TACHI KAKI Simulated cutting with tachi in a sword dance.
TACHI MEI Signature facing away from body when worn edge down
TACHI no SUNSHAKU Measurements of tachi scabbard and handle.
TACHIO Tie cord holding sword in place when worn.
TACHIRYO List of materials and labor to make a sword and fittings.
TADARE HADA Rough coarse blade surface.
TAGANE MAKURA Tiny burrs along signature chisel strokes.
TAIFU KOGAI or WARI-KOGAI Split kogai to use for chopsticks.
TAIKAN Large reference book about Japanese Swords.
TAIKEN Carrying a sword in the belt.
TAKABORI High relief carving.
TAKANOHA Hawk feather style of yasurime
TAKA no TSUMEBA Hawk talons oblique lines in hamon.
TAKA YAMAGATA Small U-shape tang end.
TAKE no KOHADA Grain like surface texture of bamboo sprout.
TAKENOKOZORI Back of a dagger slightly curved toward cutting edge.
TAKE no OSHIE Paper-like spots in yakiba and along hamon. Also fine straight grain resembling the grain of bamboo.
TAKIOCHI Long turn-back in boshi resembling a waterfall.
TAKENO-GATANA Bamboo fencing sword.
TAMABA Jewel like temper spots outside main hamon, or in full temper.
TAMAGAKI MIDARE Hamon of row of beads connected by swept marks.
TAMAHAGANE Raw steel for making swords
TAMA no UCHI no TAMA Dark beads within white beads on hamon.
TAMESHIGIRI Cutting test of a sword. Same as kiritameshi.
TAMESHI MEI Gold inscription on tang describing test and by whom.
TAME TOGIBORI Signature cut with round chisel and grooves polished.
TANAGO-HARA Fish belly shaped nakago
TANJAKUBA Tiny rectangular patterns mixed in full temper patterns.
TANTO Dagger or knife less than one foot long.
TANZAKU KITAE Forging together various pieces of different kinds of steel and iron to get the required qualities for sword steels.
TATARA Smith's smelter for making sword steel
TATE A row of nie along hamon as seen Izumo blades.
TATEWARE A kind of flaw.
TATSUTA Place name describing a certain hamon pattern.
TEGUSE ARUMONO Blades with conspicuous characteristics altered or attributed to great masters having the same characteristics.
TEKONE Iron handle attached to sword material for forging.
TENUKIO Same as udenukio. Scabbard cord.
TOBI-ASHI Patches of nie resembling foot prints.
TOBIDAMA Beads shapes scattered here and there on surface.
TOBIYAKI Islands of temper pattern in the ji.
TOGARI Pointed hamon patterns; saw teeth.
TOGI Sharpening blades (sword polish or polisher). Final polishing was not started until 1625.
TOGI MEI Polishers signature inscribed with needle at base of blade.
TOGIYA A sword sharpener.
TOKO Sword work.
TORAN Billowing high waves hamon pattern.
TORA no KAERI Boshi turn-back is long like a tigers tail.
TORII-ZORI sword curve in the middle of the blade.
TOSHO Sword artisan.
TOSO Sword-furniture, I.E.: Fittings, Fuchi-Kashira; Kozuka; Menuki and Tsuba
TOSOGU Parts of the mounting in general.
TOSU An ancient short dagger worn on court dress.
TSUBA Sword guard.
TSUBA BUKURO Guard cover bag of purple leather.
TSUBA KATANA Sword with a guard for fighting.
TSUBO KASA MENUKI Screw type metal rivet to hold handle on tang.
TSUBOMI CHOJI CHOJI design by Hojoji Kunimitsu of Tajima.
TSUBUDOKORO Large grains in center of same skin.
TSUCHI Hammer for removing or replacing mekugi pin in handle.
TSUCHI NURI BERA Special shaped tools for scraping the clay off to form various hamon patterns in tempering. Made of wood , metal, or wire.
TSUCHI NURI DAI Block to hold blade while coating with clay.
TSUCHI TORI Clay mud applied to blade before hardening to prevent the body of the sword from getting too hot. Scraped thin along edge.
TSUGI NAKAGO A faking method. Same as gisaku no ho.
TSUJIGIRI A killing in the street to test a sword.
TSUKA Sword handle.
TSUKA BUKURO Sword handle cover.
TSUKA-GASHIRA Pommel at the end of a sword handle.
TSUKA GUCHI Hole in handle to insert tang of sword.
TSUKA ITO Braid for wrapping handle.
TSUKA-MAKI art of wrapping the handle of a sword
TSUKKAKE HABAKI Long narrow habaki.
TSUKA MAKI Handle winding.
TSUKAI TACHI Cheaply made tachi for gift purposes.
TSUKEO Cords attached to handle or guard.
TSUKI no WA New moon shape crack in the point of a blade.
TSUKUSHI NAGINATA Naginata blade with side socket for shaft.
TSUKURU or ZŌ Worked or made (by).
TSUKURI-ZORI Strongly curved blade.
TSUKURI-SUGU Slightly curved blade.
TSUMI WAKIZASHI First stage of making steel from pieces of iron.
TSUMU (詰), dense, See Itame-tsumu
TSUNAGI Wooden sword blade to display fittings
TSUNAGI TAMA A Naoe Shizu Group style of bead pattern hamon.
TSUNE-ZASHI Low rated swords for everyday wear.
TSUNI-WAKASHI Piling iron and steel pieces on spatula for forging.
TSURUGI Ancient name for ken type sword.
TSUKURI Shapes of blades.
TSURARA Icicle. Hamon looks thick with cohesive nie.
TSURARABA Double or second hamon of nie along main hamon.
TSURUMAKI Bag for bow-string fastened by same cord that secures tachi.
TSUTSUGAESHI Same as Tsutsu-gitae forging method.
TSUTSU-GITAE Cheap forging method by which an iron piece of sword length is covered by a sheet of steel then finished in usual manner.
TSUYGANE Steel quality of Chikuzen Sa School. Deep lustrous color.
TSUYO-GITAE Crushed-ice grain in some Mino blades from too much heat.
TSUYU FROST In Yamashiro blades some hard and soft steels are mixed. In Mino blades it is seen as suguba with knots here and there. In Bizen blades frost exists between midare patterns.TSUYU no SADAME Dew drops smaller than gem spots in Bizen blades.
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UBUHA Faint pattern or light thin lines on retempered blades.
UBU NAKAGO Original unaltered tang of blade.
UCHIAI HADA Color along hamon is dull. Chikuzen Sa School.
UCHIBI Groove hammered in instead of carved in. Chikushū blades.
UCHIGATANA Long fighting sword with tsuba.
UCHIKO Powder for cleaning swords.
UCHIKOMI Cutting scar or nick in sword or deep rusted spots.
UCHIKOMI HADA Artificial imitation of grain on koto swords.
UCHIMAKI Cheap forging similar to tsutsu-gitae.
UCHIMONO Old term for most longer forged and tempered weapons.
UCHINOKE Small new moon shape nie lines on blades of master smiths.
UCHIZORI Curved toward cutting edge.
UDENUKI Cord on sword scabbard.
UKIKEN Raised carved of ken in groove. Mostly on Chikuzen blades.
UKIKUMO HADA Whitish floating cloud spots in Suwō blades.
UKI MENUKI Menuki outside the wrappings. Same as hari menuki.
UKI WAKI Silver spots inside kaeruko choji shapes in hamon. Moriiye.
UKYO TSUKA Handle made of hard wood copying ancient fashion.
UMA-HA Horse teeth hamon
UMANO HAMIDARE Same as last but more irregular. Masamune, Sadamune.
UMARE SHITA Low rated blades.
UMEGANE Small holes in blade surface plugged with same kind of steel.
UNOKUBI-ZUKURI Shinogi surface thinned for a third of blade length.
URA Side of sword next to body when worn. Katana opposite to tachi.
URA HA Secondary hamon lines sometimes intermittent.
URA no NAMI Hamon effect like waves rolling on a beach.
URA-MEI signed on the ura (usually the date)
URIZANE Oval mekugi-ana. Rivet holes not round. Sometimes gourd shape.
UROKOGATA Fish scale shapes of nie with irregular legs.
URUMI-GOKORO Watery looking yakiba with blurred lines.
URUMU Poor condition of blade dirty, unsharp.
UTSUMUKU Curving toward cutting edge. Mostly daggers and wakizashi.
UTSURI Reflection of temperline in ji
UTSUSHI-MONO / UTSUSHIMONO Copies or recreations of past masterpieces (not to be confused with forgeries)
UZU HADA Whirpool grain.
UZUMAKI HADA Small whirlpool grain in ji and yakiba.
UZUMOKU Burl grain that looks like a whirlpool.
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WAKASHI NAKAGO Faking age in a tang by heating almost to melting.
WAKASHINOBE An intermediate step in forging.
WAKE no MOKUYAKI Burl patterns here and there close to hamon.
WAKI Boundary between ji and yakiba.
WAKI-KUZURE Boiling disintegration of hamon or boshi line.
WAKIZASHI Medium length sword from 1 shaku to 2 shaku (12 and 24 inches)
WAKIZASHI no TACHI Old term for wakizashi.
WARE Opening in the steel
WARIHA-GITAE Cutting edge steel inserted in body steel.
WARI-BASHI / WARI-KOGAI Kogai split to form chopsticks.
WARIKOMI KITAE Same as wariha-gitae. A quick forging method.
WATASHI no FUNE Thin nie swept marks and gold color spots. Bizen.
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YAGEN-DOSHI A short heavy armor smashing sword.
YAHAZU MIDARE Arrow notch pattern; a sort of dove-tail hamon.
YAKEMONO Swords burned in fire. Ji color glassy, hamon blurred.
YAKIBA Hardened, tempered surface along edge. Many shapes.
YAKIBA no HO Applying clay before hardening and tempering edge. To keep body of sword from getting to hot. Scraped thin along edge to allow edge to get hot enough to harden. Patterns formed by scraping.
YAKIBA MODOSHI After blade is heated and plunged in water to harden, the edge is reheated slightly to reduce brittleness (tempering) , and again plunged in water to stop the annealing at the exact point required.
YAKIBA no TOKUSHU naru SHO Hamon strays that touch edge.
YAKIBA TSUCHI Clay for coating blade. Charcoal & stone added.
YAKIBA WATASHI Hardening and tempering process.
YAKIDASHI Is the beginning of the hamon, usually below the machi on shinto swords, and includes the suguba area preceding a midare hamon.
YAKIHABA HIROSHI Wide yakiba surface.
YAKIHABA SEMASHI Narrow yakiba surface.
YAKIGASHIRA Head or ji side of a hamon.
YAKI-IRE Fast quenching of sword (tempering)
YAKIOTOSHI Is the hamon starting above the machi.
YAKIUZURI Flaws consisting of scattered islands of temper pattern.
YAKIMURA Disorderly texture patches on newly made blade.
YAKINOSHI Retempered blades.
YAKINAOSHI UTSURI In retempering the tang is kept cool by wet cloth wrapped around it. Where cloth stops a faint line is formed.
YAKIOTOSHI Temper line stops above the base of cutting edge.
YAKIZUME temperline in boshi with no turn-back
YAMAGATNA Mountain knife. A hunting dagger.
YAMAJI no HA Mixed wide and narrow lines in wavy hamon.
YAMATOJI Cracked patterns in yakiba of Kaibu Group smiths.
YAMATO KAERI Boshi resembles butt end of gun. Yamato blades.
YAMATO NAMI Short swollen lines along main swollen hamon lines.
YAMAZAKURA Small clove pattern resembling wild cherry blossoms.
YAMAZAKURA no MIDARE Choji pattern like cherry blossoms.
YAME Scar caused by arrow point on blade surface.
YAN no TACHI Sword worn by Emperor at enthronement ceremony.
YANONE Arrow head.
YARI Spear. Futamoto yari 2 pronged; Mitsumoto yari 3 pronged.
YARI KATANA Same as yari.
YASURI or YASURI MEI File marks on tang. Many styles.
YASURI KIRI Tangs having file marks rather than hammer or shave marks.
YATSUKANO TSURUGI Early sword measuring eight hand-grasps.
YAWARA ASOBI Long blades by Kunimitsu of Tajima. Slender shapes.
YAWARAKATA Mellow looking blades of Bizen Hatakeda Moriiye.
YO Leaves. Small patterns or lines in yakiba disconnected from hamon.
YOKOTE Line between ji and kissaki
YOKOTE SHITA Small surface just below yokote.
YOKOTE UYE Small portion of surface just above yokote line.
YOKOME no KITAE Reflection-like surface patterns of Bizen Kanemitsu.
YOKOME UTSURI Same as above.
YOKOTEGIRI Sweeping horizontal cut with a sword.
YOKOYASURI Surface grain looking like horizontal file marks.
YORI ITO Suguba hamon like a ply thread. Bizen and Bitchu blades.
YOROIDOSHI Armor cutting tanto. Also called metazashi.
YOSENAMIBA Hamon like waves lapping a beach. Swollen irregular.
YOSHINO-GAWA Design of cherry blossoms floating on Yoshino River.
YOTSUME YUI Four groups of four spots each by Bizen Moriiye.
YUAI The effect produced by heating and cooling in tempering process.
YUAI GOKORO Firm appearing nie on Yamato blades.
YUAI HADA A dark blue strip appearing above hamon of Sa blades.
YUBASHIRI Weak temper spots or bright bands of hard metal showing.
YUCHIGAIMONO Second tempering not completely erasing the first.
YUKAGEN Secret temperature of water for cooling to tempering.
YUGAWARIMONO A second tempering when first failed. Results in a porous surface and sand floating lines on the surface.
YUKICHIGAI NIE Nie lines along hamon with overlapping ends.
YUKON Faint gem-like patterns on blades of Sanemori of Hoki.
YUZURI DOGU Swords or other objects handed down for generations.
Z A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
ZAI MEI Having makers name inscribed.
ZANGURI Rather coarse texture of nashiji hada.
ZŌTŌ-HŌ Forging methods.
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