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JH Lee

Please help me better understand nie/nioi deki

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I have a gendai katana that is currently in the process of being restored.  The polisher sent me this in-progress photo earlier today.  Initially, I was extremely disappointed because I thought the hamon was running off of the edge, which would constitute a fatal flaw.  Then again, the polisher informed me that there is nie/nioi in that area and that it was fine.  So, I started to look into nie/nioi deki hamon and its structural properties... which basically tells me that what I am seeing in this photo is probably not a fatal flaw after all.  Could someone with more knowledge and experience help me to better understand how I should interpret what I am seeing?  Thank you!

20210112_163818.jpg

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John,

I think the (hopefully Japanese?) polisher should be able to make better photos so you could see what is to see.

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As Jean says, you need better photos. Ask him to show the nioiguchi, which should quickly indicate if the hamon has really run off the edge.

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Conventional way: do you see dots in hamon which sparkle if you apply light from the edge's side. If yes, its nie.

Unconventional way: look at the blade straight down while applying light from a side (not from the edge, but from either nakago or kissaki's direction). If you see bright, well distinguished hamon, its in nie. If its sort of hazy,  its nioi. This method helps a lot when you buy swords based on scanned photographs. If its hazy, its not bad, its just a nioi blade. There are exceptions but they are rare.

 

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