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Thread: Why do most Chinese made katana have fullers?

  1. #1

    Why do most Chinese made katana have fullers?

    Man, this place is really dead. I used to come here a lot a few years ago and see at least 10 new posts a day. Everyone seemed to have left once the layout was changed and made more complicated.

    Anyway, I was wondering the reason why most Chinese production katana have bo-hi. It seems like it would be more work, plus most people don't want bo-hi because it's too common, and imo just a regular shinogi ji looks better. Anyone know why they go the extra step?

  2. #2
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    It's slowed down a lot over the last few years for sure, but there's still some regulars that keep the faith alive.

    I don't really follow the production katana side of things very closely. Most of the middle to upper tier doesn't seem to have a strong number of bo-hi. It could just be an attempt to make their stuff stand out from the crowd? I'm not really involved in the costs associated with building them out, I'd imagine that simply building a better mount would make more sense than taking the time to carve out the hi, but there's got to be a reason especially at the price points for a lot of these swords.

  3. #3
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    Along with lightening the blade and being aesthetically pleasing to some I would have thought that it's most likely a way of salvaging flawed blades.

    From a production standpoint it allows them to alter the balance of a blade and to cut out flaws on the shinogi-ji.

  4. #4
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    Grinding evenly on long faces, is difficult.
    The more lines, or faces that break up the shape, the more difficulty, in seeing uneven forging, and grinding, and if the zukuri chosen breaks the overall length into many shorter faces, that's makes it even harder.
    I.E. A hira zukuri with it large faces, will show every ripple, and grain opening, shinogi zukuri it becomes less obvious, put a hi there, even less, get to unokubi zukuri with naginata hi, and there is so much going on, you can't see small mistakes.

  5. #5
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    I'd like to get it breathing at least a bit faster, but alas I am late with my own contributions...

    I think the main reason is that the machinery employed to polish the blades also automatically routs/gouges a hi (told by the "fading" of the hi terminations). Blades with no hi are my favorite, but essentially, unless the steps to increase the reflectivity of the shinogi ji are taken (mirrored polishing/burnishing) and/or the lighting/background are adequate, they photograph poorly, since the shinogi is super soft because of the poor/rounded geometry. With a bo-hi the shinogi is always crisp. Until you get to the kissaki, that is... but that is another story.
    Oblivion is the shield of the mind

  6. #6
    I agree, the boards are becoming sparser, and some are visibly close to death.

    I think one reason is that for amateur craftsmanship, which can sometimes be of a higher order than anybody is likely to pay for, there is officially nothing but the home improvements board. The Bladesmiths, Blacksmiths, Artisans and Professionals boards are described as being for professionals only. Actually the Bladesmiths' Cafe board allows posting by anybody who doesn't mind being patronised, but only after you have bypassed the previous page, which says that "Everyone is welcomed to read these forums but posting privileges are limited to industry professionals". I don't know whether leaving posting unblocked is deliberate or just an oversight.

    Besides, I occasionally improve pieces of raw metal at home, but never by forging. I am not a bladesmith, even in an amateur capacity.

  7. #7
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    You all seem to be missing the point that a blade needs to be designed to take a bohi...

    They've been putting them in because people think the swords are too heavy.
    I like swords.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ellis View Post
    You all seem to be missing the point that a blade needs to be designed to take a bohi...

    They've been putting them in because people think the swords are too heavy.
    Hi Jeff,

    Out of interest, how do you mean that it needs to designed to take a bohi? I thought the same blades were available with or without. Just curious.

    And yes, the forums are a dustbowl now.
    Last edited by Vaurien Silverwood; 03-19-2013 at 05:08 AM.

  9. #9
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    You're absolutely right, however, if you don't forge the sword right, you can't carve a bo-hi into it without messing up the balance.
    You would want a thicker moto-kasane to saki-kasane so the blade isn't too thin and whippy.

    Another misconception is that you can make a shinogi zukuri into a shobu zukuri, or the other way around, there are differences in those styles of blade as well.
    I like swords.

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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  10. #10
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    A blade with a bo-hi makes a satisfying "swoosh" sound when cutting. Most people love the swoosh.

  11. #11
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    The proper name for this is "tachi-kaze," and it is used by people who are training to tell how good or bad their cut is depending upon how the tachi-kaze sounds.
    I like swords.

    ______________________________
    SCHOLA GLADIATORIA
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    If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.

    "Integrity, justice, courage, and action - without these, a person is of no consequence." - Don Nelson

    learn the way to preserve rather than destroy.
    avoid rather than check, check rather than hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill.
    for all life is precious, not one can be replaced.

  12. #12
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    I think it all started with use of the sales hot-word "blood grooves"..
    Certified nerd; if you need an Excel sheet or an AutoCAD drawing done, just drop me a PM!

  13. #13
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    not sure that most Chinese made Japanese stye swords do have bo-hi. If so, probably market forces. They make swords to order, mostly.

    Dave
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  14. #14
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    So sorry for being gone so long, old lady dodging sickness. Not dodging big sickness.

    I thought bohi was for balance, know not for blood. My Yashima has, hubby Shubo Zukuri does not.
    "Silly Caucasian Girl, likes to play with Samurai swords"

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