Japanese sword Forging techniques part 3
is to limit the damage to short area, if the hardened edge begins to chip.
One peculiarity of the yaki-ire is, that the blade bends because of the differential heating near the front and the back of the blade. The smith has to anticipate this bending, and initially make the blade less curved than intended for the finished blade. Often the curvature has to be adjusted after the hardening.
The finished blade is the polished - this an art in itself - and fitted with the appropriate koshirae (the scabbard, handle, habaki, etc.)
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