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Thread: Production Bohi

  1. #1
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    Production Bohi

    Does anyone know why the production katana forges continue to produce swords with bohi which extend under the habaki? (Just something that really bothers me) I mean, I realize there are historical examples of such bohi; however, I believe they are not the norm. I have seen RDS which appear to have a couple of examples on their web site of mid-price range kats with proper bohi. It really bothers me that even Bugei doesn't seem to bother with that one thing... Am I being too picky?
    My guess is that you are reading this in English on a computer of some sort and if that is the case I hate to be the one to tell you but you will never be a samurai nor a ninja, any more than you may apply to become a 12th century French Knight or an Emporer of China. Some jobs are simply no longer hiring.

  2. #2
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    Well, for one thing, doing one correct bohi termination is much easier (therefore cost effective) than doing two correct bohi termination. For another, it's a correct style that is plenty prevalent enough to be considered "normal", if you ask me.

    Don't fix it if it's not broken, right?
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  3. #3
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    I am puzzled too

    I just went and looked at my Japanese made zinc-aluminum iaito, and the bohi stops 2 inches short of the habaki. I am a little puzzle why production katana I have seen extended their bohi into the habaki. It is much easier to stop the bohi than to continue; it would be less work to do.

  4. #4
    I don't think there was a norm for hi. Actually 'no hi' can be considered a norm.

    Kevin's right: it's simply a way to save production time (I asked a production company ). However also with Japanese swords this is seen a lot. A neatly shaped end at the kissaki and a roughly finished part under the habaki.

    Personally I like what it does with the balance and weight. Also blades with a hi that extends all the way down to the nakago jiri often have a very nice balance.

    ps. AFAIK, RDS always finishes the bo-hi under the habaki. Which items have you seen?
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  5. #5
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    Hiya Jeffrey, thanks for the quick reply. It appears the RDF Osakura model at $550. does have a bohi which finishes before the habaki, (does that have a name?)
    I guess the reason it bothers me is that I have noticed almost everyone's iaito I have seen are built that way. I have seen nihonto with the bohi under the habaki but I guess I always assumed they were not the 'nicer' ones. Actually I have recently seen a tantou for sale which has part of a horimono under the habaki, it is explained as having once been a longer blade. I realise there are no hard and fast rules, I just guessed that if all the iaito were being made that way in Japan there must be a reason for it and developed my prefrence from that.
    My guess is that you are reading this in English on a computer of some sort and if that is the case I hate to be the one to tell you but you will never be a samurai nor a ninja, any more than you may apply to become a 12th century French Knight or an Emporer of China. Some jobs are simply no longer hiring.

  6. #6
    The reason I think bohi on iaito end before the habaki, is to have that area stronger. The metal blade of iaito is a lot weaker than a steel one, and that spot is where most likely the blade will suffer most pressure. I personally have iaito with the bohi running only 3~ inches from UNDER the habaki, and the rest of the blade is solid, but my blade is very thick and heavy (for a iaito).

    Point is, there is nothing wrong with a hi ending under the habaki IMO.

  7. #7
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    Generally, on a nihonto with hi that stop before the habaki, you will find the termination to be geometrically clean. It will be rounded or squared off, but it will be a distinct, crisp end. On most iaito and production katana I have seen that hav hi that end before the habaki, the hi just sort of fade out. It is far, far easier to have the hi just end in the nakago so that you don't have to worry about how they look at the end.

    Also, most hi that end before the habaki end really close to the habaki. I have seen a lot of prod. swords that the hi end like an inch or 2 before the habaki. IMO it looks really bad.

    I doubt that it has anthing to do with strength.

    I like it when the hi run through the nakago so you can have a 2 piece habaki, where the inner sleeve conforms to the hi

  8. #8
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    Quite possibly I have become over accustom to my Japanese made iaito, I find the level of craftsmanship to be of a certain level to where I am no longer pleased with the look of many of the production Kat I see... Guess that means I need to save, save save. I do quite like the look of Howard Clark blades I have seen though.
    My guess is that you are reading this in English on a computer of some sort and if that is the case I hate to be the one to tell you but you will never be a samurai nor a ninja, any more than you may apply to become a 12th century French Knight or an Emporer of China. Some jobs are simply no longer hiring.

  9. #9
    just looking through the facts and fndamentals of the Japanese Sword and it shows just about everything discussed here in relation to what was done on older blade.

    Allen is dead right in that bohi which didn't run all the way through were very close to the habaki and neatly done. There are also some other examples where the hi runs near the entire length of the nakago. There is also a horimono that runs right along the nakago also and it doesn't appear that the blade hade been altered.

    I stripped my Ukigumo down for a clean last week and noticed that the hi termination was pretty rough and, not really concerned, but felt that it looked a bit shoddy and maybe because it is, even though a limited run of 50, still a producion forged blade. after reading this thread and closer inspection of my books I'm not so bothered

    Cheers
    Last edited by k.moralee; 09-21-2010 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Spelling

  10. #10
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    So where the bohi terminate is more aesthetic than functional.

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