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Nie-sake, Nijuba, Hotsure or...


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Dear all,

I would like to ask you for your opinion in regards to a Hataraki I'm observing on a ko-Mihara blade by Mihara Masahiro.

It generally looks to me as a Nijuba, but, as it seems to originate directly from the Habuchi, might also be considered as a Nie-sake or a Hotsure. 

Now, I'm aware that bold and unambiguous definition are not always possible when discussing about steel activities, so it could perfectly make sense that an Hataraki originates, for example, as a Hotsure and then reconfigures as a Nijuba, but, as I'm pretty new in Nihonto studies, I would really like to ask for feedbacks of people with more experience.








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Hi Gulio and welcome. 


This is a patch of clustered ara-nie with a tendency towards nie kuzure. These form large crystals of standing-out nie that are discernible easily to the naked eye. What's occurring here is that the hardening process fluctuates between nie and nioi, with unevenness in the expression, density, and size of the nie crystals. This can be due to either materials being unevenly mixed, or to the quenching temperature differential between slightly different between sections of the blade. The ara-nie of smiths such as Shizu Kaneuji is a valuable kantei point, and considered a positive trait and deliberate (i.e. reflecting the smith's intention). Ara-nie has a strong presence in the mino tradition, and later in Shinto (which was inherited from Mino, broadly speaking).


As you move away from Kaneuji, Ara-nie is considered more accidental than deliberate. 


Hotsure appears as fraying threads of fine nie crystals, typically a trait of Yamato-den. Nijuba you'll fine as a parallel repetitions of the nioiguchi, typically on early Bizen tachi and Yamashiro work more generally. 


Hope this helps, good luck in your study. Don't hesitate should have any questions. 


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Thank you very much for the hints Christopher. 

In the description of the sword by the vendor (usually really reliable) Nijuba was mentioned, but now wondering if it's not that one or if the description was not precise.




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I am not certain this qualifies as Nijuba, it seems you have here two structures: a finer nioi-based ha, with a coarser ara-nie based structure above it. In my experience Nijuba has a similar structure to the habuchi (i.e if it is nie-based, the nijuba is nie-based) - but these are technicalities beyond my expertise. 

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Ok, folks. Let us get to the point here. This is not nijuba but Aoi Art’s wishful interpretation of the hamon. They are often, let us say, “creative” in the way the depict hamon. 
The rather crude nie kuzure is symptomatic of lack of control as it is not consistent along the habuchi. 

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