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What is a natural hamon?

Question:

Can you please explain to me what a natural hamon is?

Thank you,

Mrs. Carolyn Lee

Answer:

A natural hamon is a hamon in which has been created by tempering the blade with clay using the differential hardening technique, which is traditional of Japanese sword making. After that is done, the polishing of the blade by someone who has mastered the polishing technique brings out the natural hamon.

The definition of hamon is as follows, if you didn’t already know:

The “line” or visual characteristic typical of Japanese blades caused by the use of differential hardening. It is either wavy or straight.

A hamon that is not natural is created by acid etching (or using other methods like this) the blade which can produce cool looking hamons but it is not natural, nor authentic. I don’t personally like that. It doesn’t hurt the blade at all but you can often tell if a hamon is natural or not. Lot’s of times, a katana with a natural hamon is more expensive.

Glad I could help.

Cliff B.