Copyright Robert Cole 2014 - No copying or distributing - Note: Missing graphics

Temper Pattern

The line of the famous temper pattern of the Japanese Sword is called the HAMON. The whole of the hardened edge portion, for which the HAMON is the outline, is the YAKIBA or "fired-edge."

The line of HAMON in the KISSAKI area is the BOSHI or "hat."

The area of YAKIBA rising from the HA-MACHI, just above the NAKAGO) is called YAKIDASHI. YAKIDASHI means "beginning YAKIBA" and, especially in pieces of the SHINTO period, can be an area where the HAMON starts out rather devoid of pattern.

Technical descriptions use YAKIBA, while on the plane of the JI, to be considered for itself, separate from the JI. The term JI-HADA is often used to describe the grain pattern of the JI, either as a whole or specifically outside the YAKIBA.

If there is hardening or temper pattern on the back of the blade, it is referred to as MUNE-YAKI.

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The intricacies of HAMON an YAKIBA were not created by accident, nor are they the product of one genius. The original inspiration is debatable but every smith learned sword making from the industry contemporary to his time which, in Japan, meant labor at the forge of a teacher.

It was only the successive contributions of driven lives, teacher from teacher, that brought the "Way" for perfection in school style and individual technique.

The specific method in which carbon was folded into iron allowed the resultant carbon-bonding to differentiate hard crystalline steel from soft at the quench. Differentiation was the source of the myriad form, color and shape we see as the intricacy of YAKIBA and its line of HAMON.

The developed "Way" of sword making and specifically the method of quench gave a school its style of YAKIBA and HAMON.

Quality, form, and color. Excellence was the constant drive and, in this, most work was eminently successful. Japanese Swords were history's greatest artistic achievement in steel and weaponry.

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