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Leatherdog

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Greetings all,this is a very interesting discussion and what a great find!

Perhaps it has become convention to use the term "temper" to refer to the complete process of heat treatment of nihonto and I don't want to come off as a d**k about it but this usage is technically incorrect.Tempering is done after the blade is quenched in water(hardened) in order to relieve stresses brought about by the rapid cooling of the steel.Tempering does not produce the hamon but can have subtle effects on it's appearance and the hardness/tuffness.A smith will temper immediately after hardening and will double and triple temper.

A blade that has seen high heat as in a fire will have to be annealed/normalized and re-hardened by coating with clay and heating to it's eutectic point and quenched and tempered.Many times this process results in a less than satisfactory heat treat (and therefore an inferior blade) because rarely does the original smith do the re-hardening(my conjecture) and only he or some of his students will be familiar enough with his steel to replicate the original.

So correct me if I'm wrong but the initial heat treatment or hardening is called yaki-ire and the tempering process is called yaki-modoshi.Maybe some one can tell me the Japanese term for repeating yaki-ire.

Cheers,Alan.

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Guest Nanshoku-Samurai

Hello Tyler,

 

I'm not sure if it is of much help but I had once won this blade in a live auction through eBay. I felt that the signature was legit. However shortly after I had won it, another collector approachd me. He had examined it in person and noticed the Hagire. The auction hosue however did not disclose the Hagire until I had asked for it while the other collector had told them about it.

 

I thus canceled the deal.

 

The sword then popped up agaoin on eBay some weeks later on. I think you most probably but it then. From what I remember it had a buy it now price of around USD 3500.00 or so ...

 

Well, what I wanted to say is that this sword has been looked at by probably a few collectors in person. It looks most interesting at first glance and would probably be a Juyo class cadidate if not for some bad down comings ...

 

Regards,

 

Max

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Hi Max,

 

Are you sure? (I guess there can't be too many of these floating around...)

 

I purchased it from a guy I met through a gun-auction website (certainly not ebay :) ) I'd bought a wakizashi from him previously, and was impressed with him as a seller. He was asking 2k USD for the tachi and I purchased it for that amount - he thought it was signed kanetomo or something and from the 15th century. He readily disclosed the hagire, and made no bones about it being a fatal flaw. This was December of 2006. He had said he bought it at an estate auction in New Hampshire, where he was located. I assume he was being truthful, as I can see no reason for him to have made that up...but some people are just, well, you know. Does that story fit from your end?

 

I sure think it's a neat piece, regardless of the flaws - but what a terrible shame it is! Of course, if it didn't have a couple of issues, I agree it would be a spectacular piece. Where do you speculate it is on the dollar scale as-is? Do you think I could get my money back if I ever decided to liquidate the collection? (I currently, of course, have no plans to do so...just curious! :D )

 

What are your thoughts on the hamon (or lack thereof?)

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Guest Nanshoku-Samurai

Hello Tyler,

 

I think you got a good deal from a honest seller then. The auction house was in New Hampshire and they dropped it through their regular eBay account after our deal had fallen through.

 

Your seller most probably bought it from them again not knowing it had this fall and then took a loss but remained most honest. He must be a good guy.

 

Eventhough the sword sure has some down comings I think it is stil well worth 2k for what it is. If you put it back on ebay disclosing all its flaw I think it should sell for over 3k.

 

See if the blade still bites on brass. Maybe there is some temper under the Keisho polish left then. Or if you are uncertain, just send it e.g. to Bob Benson. He will be able to tell you more about it and what do to with it. He also had sucessfully examined Grey's sword. Grey's former sword sold on eBay for USD 4500.00 having some severe issues - but I have to admit with its seller (not Grey but someone who had sold you a "nice" Shinae blade :evil: ) not disclosing all the issues - so you shouldn't be buried at USD 2000.00.

 

Sincerly,

 

Max

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Hi Alan,

 

Japanese terms can be a bit ambiguous at times. I understood yaki-modoshi to be for when yaki-ire does not come out as planned, so then the smith has to re-heat the steel and let it cool naturally for it to return to almost its original condition before starting the process again. The repetition of yaki-ire is what we had been discussing and is called saiha (or saiba).

 

Best

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Japanese terms can be a bit ambiguous at times. I understood yaki-modoshi to be for when yaki-ire does not come out as planned, so then the smith has to re-heat the steel and let it cool naturally for it to return to almost its original condition before starting the process again. The repetition of yaki-ire is what we had been discussing and is called saiha (or saiba).

Not exactly.

Yaki-modoshi is a legitimate technical term. It means tempering as Alan says.

 

FYI;

Quenching – yaki-ire (焼入れ)

Tempering – yaki-modoshi (焼戻ã—)

Annealing – yaki-namashi (焼éˆã—)

Normalizing – yaki-narashi (焼準ã—)

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Moriyama san,

 

I hate to disagree with someone who is a native speaker. However, I have just checked my understanding with two different sources. A swordsmith and a kantei-shi. They described tempering as yaki-namashi, and yaki-modoshi as I previously described. However, I would not class myself as being anywhere near knowledgable of Japanese language. I still don't understand English fully :) .

 

 

Best

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Moriyama san,

 

I was actually going to suggest the same in my last post. That I wondered if the terminology had been adopted slightly differently for swordmaking as opposed to everyday (or engineering) Japanese.

 

EDIT. I just spoke with a third party who said different again. He said yaki-modoshi was tempering, and Yaki-namashi was removing the hamon to start again which previously was also described as tempering or annealing. :dunno:

 

Best

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Paul,

 

The resson of the improper use of the terms may be simple. I think that they simply misuse the terms, because they just do not know correct terminology. And that has nothing to do with swordmaking world. There are many people who do not know the difference between yaki-modoshi and yaki-namashi.

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This sword smith correctly describes Yaki-namashi and Yaki-modoshi in his sword making procedures.

Ref. Manabe Sumihira Tosho (真é‹ç´”å¹³ 刀匠)

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

 

Yaki-namashi (at the bottom of the following page) - annealing

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

ã“ã®æ®µéšŽã§ã¯åˆ€ã¯ã¾ã çœŸç›´ãã«ç«é€ ã‚‰ã‚Œã¦ã„ã¾ã™ã€‚å¹…ã‚„é‡ã­ã®å…ƒã¨å…ˆã®å·®ã‚‚素延ã¹ã®å¯¸æ³•é€šã‚Šç¶ºéº—ã«æ‰“ã¡å‡ºã—ã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã‚Œã§åã‚ŠãŒä»˜ã‘ã°ã»ã¨ã‚“ã©åˆ€ã®å§¿ã«ãªã‚‹æ‰€ã¾ã§æ•´å½¢ã—ã¦ã€æœ€å¾Œã«ä½Žã„温度ã§å…¨ä½“をむら無ãéŽç†±ã—ã¦ã€ãã®ã¾ã¾æ™‚é–“ã‚’ã‹ã‘ã¦å¾ã€…ã«å†·ã¾ã—ã€ç„¼éˆï¼ˆã‚„ããªã¾ã—)をã—ã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã‚Œã§ç«é€ ã‚Šã‚’終ã‚ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚

 

Yaki-modoshi (at the bottom of the following page) - tempering

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

無事焼ããŒå…¥ã‚‹ã¨ã€æ¬¡ã¯åˆï¼ˆã‚ã„)をå–ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚焼ã戻ã—ã¨äº‘ã‚れる作業ã®äº‹ã§ã€ç‚Žã«ã‹ã–ã—ã€åˆ€èº«ã®æ¸©åº¦ã‚’160度å‰å¾Œè¿„上ã’ã¦ã‚„ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã†ã™ã‚‹äº‹ã«ã‚ˆã‚Šã€ç„¼ã入れã®æ™‚ã€é‹¼ã®ä¸­ã®å¤‰åŒ–ã—切れãªã‹ã£ãŸç²’å­ã‚’安定化ã—ã¦ã€æ®‹ç•™å¿œåŠ›ã‚’減らã—ã€ç„¼ãã®å…¥ã£ãŸé‹¼ã«ç²˜ã‚Šã‚’与ãˆã‚‹äº‹ãŒã§ãã¾ã™ã€‚

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Paul,

 

The resson of the improper use of the terms may be simple. I think that they simply misuse the terms, because they just do not know correct terminology. And that has nothing to do with swordmaking world. There are many people who do not know the difference between yaki-modoshi and yaki-namashi.

I believe you are absolutely correct on this point, Moriyama san. It is the same in english, most people (who don't work with it) don't know the difference between hardening, tempering, annealing, and normalizing.

 

EDIT. I just spoke with a third party who said different again. He said yaki-modoshi was tempering, and Yaki-namashi was removing the hamon to start again which previously was also described as tempering or annealing. :dunno:

Removing the hamon to start again would be either annealing or normalizing. Tempering isn't enough to erase the hamon.

 

Out of curiosity, I wonder if a smith would consider a blade on which he wasn't happy with the hardening and redid it, if he would consider this blade saiha?

 

cheers,

/steve

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for what it's worth, "yaki-namashi" is what we call annealing in the kinko and tankin world.

 

These sorts of misunderstandings are inevitable, I think, when non specialists use terms that, are in fact, very specific.

 

One such "mistake" has amused me for years. Although I think I detect the humour of the late Tony Chapman and Mr Mishina ( Mr Mishina was his neighbour in England ) at work here...

 

This is from the original translation of the "To-ken Kantei Dokuhon" ( now available as " The connoisseurs guide to Japanese swords"

 

page 326, nioi and nie, and on checking...it's repeated in the Kodansha edition... :D

 

" Nie and nioi are the crystalline effect which is called Martensite in Western metallurgical terms. There are also many other terms such as Austensite, Pearlite, Trotskyite, etc " ;)

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Hi Ford et al:

I remember reading the term "Trotskyite" and wondering about it myself. I guess it was a joke...

They got me on that :D

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Moriyama san,

 

Thank you for the links and the clarification. as they say `ii benkyou narimashita`. Next, time I am speaking with someone I will ask them `are you sure thats what you mean, don`t you mean yaki-namashi or yaki-namari. By the way, is that a troglodyte in your hamon there?` :D

 

By the way, one of my sources got back to me to revise the info he gave me that conferred with Moriyama san`s explanation.

 

I have to wonder if this is a case of words coming into common misuse like `tempering`. Tempering is misused on such a huge scale, that even people who know what it really means sometimes use it as an abbreviation of explaining the whole hardening process. As I am sure Grey was doing in his explanation.

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This sword smith correctly describes Yaki-namashi and Yaki-modoshi in his sword making procedures.

Ref. Manabe Sumihira Tosho (真é‹ç´”å¹³ 刀匠)

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

 

Yaki-namashi (at the bottom of the following page) - annealing

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

ã“ã®æ®µéšŽã§ã¯åˆ€ã¯ã¾ã çœŸç›´ãã«ç«é€ ã‚‰ã‚Œã¦ã„ã¾ã™ã€‚å¹…ã‚„é‡ã­ã®å…ƒã¨å…ˆã®å·®ã‚‚素延ã¹ã®å¯¸æ³•é€šã‚Šç¶ºéº—ã«æ‰“ã¡å‡ºã—ã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã‚Œã§åã‚ŠãŒä»˜ã‘ã°ã»ã¨ã‚“ã©åˆ€ã®å§¿ã«ãªã‚‹æ‰€ã¾ã§æ•´å½¢ã—ã¦ã€æœ€å¾Œã«ä½Žã„温度ã§å…¨ä½“をむら無ãéŽç†±ã—ã¦ã€ãã®ã¾ã¾æ™‚é–“ã‚’ã‹ã‘ã¦å¾ã€…ã«å†·ã¾ã—ã€ç„¼éˆï¼ˆã‚„ããªã¾ã—)をã—ã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã‚Œã§ç«é€ ã‚Šã‚’終ã‚ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚

 

Yaki-modoshi (at the bottom of the following page) - tempering

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/00home/home.html

無事焼ããŒå…¥ã‚‹ã¨ã€æ¬¡ã¯åˆï¼ˆã‚ã„)をå–ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚焼ã戻ã—ã¨äº‘ã‚れる作業ã®äº‹ã§ã€ç‚Žã«ã‹ã–ã—ã€åˆ€èº«ã®æ¸©åº¦ã‚’160度å‰å¾Œè¿„上ã’ã¦ã‚„ã‚Šã¾ã™ã€‚ã“ã†ã™ã‚‹äº‹ã«ã‚ˆã‚Šã€ç„¼ã入れã®æ™‚ã€é‹¼ã®ä¸­ã®å¤‰åŒ–ã—切れãªã‹ã£ãŸç²’å­ã‚’安定化ã—ã¦ã€æ®‹ç•™å¿œåŠ›ã‚’減らã—ã€ç„¼ãã®å…¥ã£ãŸé‹¼ã«ç²˜ã‚Šã‚’与ãˆã‚‹äº‹ãŒã§ãã¾ã™ã€‚

I am sorry. The last two links were not correct. :bowdown:

The correct links are as follows;

 

Yaki-namashi (at the bottom of the following page) - annealing

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/04kaji ... ukuri.html

 

Yaki-modoshi (at the bottom of the following page) - tempering

http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~sumihira/04kaji ... kiire.html

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This is from the original translation of the "To-ken Kantei Dokuhon" ( now available as " The connoisseurs guide to Japanese swords"

 

page 326, nioi and nie, and on checking...it's repeated in the Kodansha edition... :D

 

" Nie and nioi are the crystalline effect which is called Martensite in Western metallurgical terms. There are also many other terms such as Austensite, Pearlite, Trotskyite, etc " ;)

 

:laughabove:

Page 344 under 'nie' in Kodansha edition for anyone interested.

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Greetings all,it is my understanding that a smith may repeat the hardening process as many as four times before the grain size becomes too large and makes a more fragile blade.Large aggregates are called nie with nioi being very fine(small) crystals?Perhaps a clever smith has told a customer "see how beautiful are the large crystals"!

Alan

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