Boshi – Candle Art Flame

The Boshi is more than just an aesthetic part that runs along the Kissaki of the blade. This may look simple but, it requires a great deal of ability and expertise in order to create this pattern. Boshi Katana demonstrates the abilities of the swordsmith. If the Katana Boshi turns back towards the Nakago where it touches the back of the blade or Mune this is referred to as Kaeri. Out of the patterns that fall under this part of the Hamon exhibit Kaeri. Boshi Agaru refers to the loss of boshi by broken point or other causes. Boshigata refers to the very smooth round Yamashiro style shape of the temper line at the Kissaki point. Boshisaki is the very tip of the boshi temper line. Daijiri is Katana Boshi that resembles a gun butt it is categorized as turn-back. Eboshigata is a term for a pattern that looks like court head gear. Fukura Kokoro is the line characteristic of Yamato swordsmith. When a blade is referred to as having Futae Boshi this means it has double hamon in point that includes the turn-back. These can only be seen on blades made by Higo Kuniyoshi, Fujishima Tomoshige and Sadamune.

Common Types of Boshi Katana

• Hakikake. Brushstroke
• Hakkakeru. This has a swept up effect on Boshi lines. Same as Hakkake
• Hakensaki. Line pointed like ken which are made by Bitchu swordsmiths
• Jizo. Shape similar to Buddha’s head
• Ichimai. Fully tempered point of the Kissaki
• Kaen.
• Kaeri Fukai.
• Komaru. Small circle
• Omaru. Large circle
• Midare-Komi. Irregular wavy
• Yakizume. No turn-back

Kissaki Flaws Affecting the Katana Boshi

• Broken Kissaki. This is considered a fatal flaw where the Kissaki has been broken past the Boshi. However, a good polisher can still remedy this flaw if in case the break does not extend past the Boshi. The polisher can reshape the Kissaki
• Chips in Ha or Kissaki. Similar to the case of the broken Kissaki. The problem may not be fatl if this does not extend thru the hamon or boshi
• Karasuguchi. This is also known as crow’s beak hagire. It is a fatal flaw if there is a crack in the boshi
• Nioi Gire. This is known as interrupted Hamon. It is considered a major fatal flaw if the hamon is interrupted or is off the boshi
There are numerous kinds of defects of flaws that can be found in Japanese sword blades. It is always a good idea to check this carefully by examining the blade closely before purchasing it. Some of these flaws are too subtle to distinguish. These cannot be notice by those who are not experts since they will not know where to specifically look for these. The use of a magnifying glass is also required. Some experts’ advice to sight down the back or Mune of the blade from the Nakago (tang) or Kissaki (point)to see if the blade is bent. Take time to examine the blade because once it is purchase it would be hard to file for a complaint about seeing a flaw once this is delivered.