Japanese swordsmithing

Japanese swordsmithswordsconstructionJapaneseJapanese blacksmithing techniques.sword-makingSwordsmithingswordsmithsswordsmiths of Japantamahagane
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).wikipedia
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Katana

samurai swordswordsamurai swords
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow). Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and mainly used to make Samurai swords, such as the katana, and some tools.
The fact that swordsmiths started signing swords with a katana signature shows that some samurai of that time period had started wearing their swords in a different manner.

Forge welding

forge weldedforge weldforge-welded
The steel is then forged into a single plate, and the pieces of cast-iron are piled on top, and the whole thing is forge welded into a single billet, which is called the age-kitae process.
This method of pattern welding first appeared around 700 BC, and was primarily used for making weapons such as swords, with the most widely known examples being from Damascus, Japanese, and Merovingian swords.

Differential heat treatment

differential hardeningdifferential temperingdifferential hardening or differential quenching
This manufacturing technique uses different types of steel in different parts of the sword to accentuate the desired characteristics in various parts of the sword beyond the level offered by differential heat treatment.
These were common heat treating techniques used historically in Europe and Asia, with possibly the most widely known example being from Japanese swordsmithing.

Ironsand

iron sandiron sands
Tamahagane is produced from iron sand, a source of iron ore, and mainly used to make Samurai swords, such as the katana, and some tools.
However, Japanese craftsmen have been using sand-iron, known as "tamahagane", in sword-making for at least 2000 years.

Masamine Sumitani

Masamine Sumitani (1921–1998)
Masamine Sumitani (隅谷正峯, born Sumitani Yoichiro) (14 January 1921 – 12 December 1998) was a Japanese swordsmith.

Tempering (metallurgy)

temperingtemperedtemper
If the thickness of the coating on the edge is balanced just right with the temperature of the water, the proper hardness can be produced without the need for tempering.
This technique was more often found in Europe, as opposed to the differential hardening techniques more common in Asia, such as in Japanese swordsmithing.

Pattern welding

pattern weldedpattern-weldedpattern welded steel
It created up to 65,000 layers, by continuously decarburizing the surface and bringing it into the blade's interior, which gives the swords their grain (for comparison see pattern welding).
Japanese sword construction includes a specific form of pattern welding.

Akitsugu Amata

Akitsugu Amata (1927–2013)
He also smelted his own tamahagane steel at home.

Fuller (weapon)

fullerfullersfullered
The so-called "blood groove" or fuller does not in actuality allow blood to flow more freely from cuts made with the sword, but is simply to reduce the weight of the sword while keeping structural integrity and strength.
In Japanese swordsmithing, fullers have a rich tradition and terminology, enough that there are separate terminologies for the top (hi, usually pronounced as bi when used as a successive word) and bottom (tome) ends of the feature.

Tatara (furnace)

tataratatara furnaceTatara furnaces
This is known as a tatara.
Japanese swordsmithing

Bladesmith

swordsmithbladesmithingweaponsmith
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Wakizashi

short swordcompanion swordkatana
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Tantō

tantoAikuchiDagger
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Yari

spearEnsio Hienonenhalberds
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Naginata

glaiveko-naginatapikes
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Nagamaki

Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Tachi

AratakaKenpredecessor of the sword her mother is named for
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Uchigatana

uchi-gatana
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Ōdachi

nodachiodachino-dachi
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Kodachi

Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Ya (arrow)

yaarrowsyajiri
Japanese swordsmithing is the labour-intensive bladesmithing process developed in Japan for forging traditionally made bladed weapons (nihonto) including katana, wakizashi, tantō, yari, naginata, nagamaki, tachi, uchigatana, nodachi, ōdachi, kodachi, and ya (arrow).

Japanese sword

swordsswordnihontō
Japanese sword blades were often forged with different profiles, different blade thicknesses, and varying amounts of grind.

Grind

hollow grindhollow-groundground
Japanese sword blades were often forged with different profiles, different blade thicknesses, and varying amounts of grind.

Smelting

smeltersmeltedsmelt
The smelting process used is different from the modern mass production of steel.

Clay

claysblue clayammonia-rich clays
A clay vessel about 1.1 m tall, 3 m long, and 1.1 m wide is constructed.