1. Select iron steel pieces and squeeze and pile them together in the forging
2. A wetted Japanese paper will be used to wrap the steel block. This prevents
the steel layers from splitting over, collapsing or falling off. It was coated
with rice straw ashes to prevent over heating and to compensate for the loss
of carbon which occurred of heating.
3. Clay slurry was poured onto the block. Clay slurry and straw ashes help heat
pass evenly from the block to the core.
4. According to the sword smith’s experience, the steel block would be
taken out of the forge after it was boiled for a while, and then hammer and
compact the block layers.
5. Then the block was put into forge and was hammered again.
6. Repeated several times, the steel block will become a piece of thick and
7. The next stage is folding back. The steel was cut from the middle and was
folded. After a dozen times of repeated folding, the impurities were squeezed
off or scattered by the hammer blows. Each folding is coated with straw ashes
and clay slurry. Then this steel was hammered to a U shape. This is the jacket
of the blade.
8 . A slightly softer steel was inserted into the jacket to form the core of
the blade. The jacket is hard and it is the edge of the blade. The core makes
the blade more flexible inside to absorb the shock of the attack stroke. The
jacket and core distinguish the blade from blades made elsewhere.
9. During hammering, the swordsmith had to make sure not destroy the balance
of the jacket and the core steels. Then the steel was quenched by water and
was hammered again. At this time, all impurities were beaten off the blade steel.
10. Next is the making of hamon. The swordsmith made hamon by special clay mixture.
He painted the edge with a kind of thin clay mixture and painted the left of
the blade with another kind of thick mixture. This helps the blade not be heated
up too much and over harden. Then he designed the hamon on blade by clay mixture.
When the mixture dried, the blade was fired again. After that the hamon was
11. Finally is hardening the edge. In this stage the clay coating was still
on the blade and it was put into fire again. The swordsmith made the heat as
even as possible. Then the blade was quenched suddenly in water. The edge became
particularly hard. And then the blade was fired again and next it was tempered
by quenching again. This made the strengths increase in the harden edge and
insured the entire blade flexible and strong. After that the curvature of sword
has increased slightly.