A challenge by kokaji to copy "Huga Masamune"
I received a request from a customer to make a tanto what is copy of Huga
Masamune. Then, I will try several blades with such an appearance.
At first, I have to research what "Huga Masamune" is.
blade length 24.9cm
No signature, attributed to Masamune in Sagami province 14th century, the
engraving is not original
On the picture above, the polishing is the modern style so it is impossible
to see hamon in the pictures. But it seems that the hamon outline is same
on both sides (omote and ura) with 5 waves. It is a typical style of Mino
tradition. I am not sure if Masamune also took such style. Anyway no one
know if this is Soshu or not.
Hamon sketch from a book
Another hamon sketch and close-up picture from the book "Masamune
In the close-up picture, the hard steel mixed among the steel layer is
very visible. So it suggests the base steel is mild. On such steel, the
blade should be heated to high temperature in the hardening work, since
the steel may not make sensitive reaction by the quenching. Such heating
work makes the steel particles larger.
I have to find a chance to study it in my eye, even if in the window.
Forging the outer steel
Hard pieces and soft pieces of tamahagane are picked up, and fold'n welded.
So the steel is so-called "mix forging".
The picture is on the 7 times folding.
Finally it is folded 13 times, and cut off from the handle.
During the 13 times of fold'n welding work on this steel, the last two
times were done by man power instead of power hammer. Because I got strong
helpers who can work with big hammer. They are students from the United
States. As a matter of fact, they are from many corners of the world, those
are Lebanon, Venezuela, China, Taiwan and United States.
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