Hi – Importance of a Katana Hi
Hi is the fuller blooded groove. The I-beam of the Hi Katana is used like those in the construction industry. Even if there is less material it remains reinforced. Hi Katana is made of monosteel although in this case it is hardened like those found in 9260 Spring Steel. Simply put, this material is super durable. A blade that does not have a Hi is a little heavier and has a more forward point. Yes, it has power but, the compromise makes it appear less graceful. Having this part will also make the blade less likely to flex producing a stronger blade. Because of the reduce weight the blade feels stiff when wiggled. In a nutshell the presence of a blood groove or Hi does not allow blood to flow freely when cuts are made with the use of the sword. This was the reason why this feature was used on commando knives during World War II. The main purpose was to lighten and strengthen the sword blade. These Katana Hi, located on both sides of the blade produces a whistling sound when the sword is swung. Three whistles means the perfect angle was attained by the swordsmen.
When it comes to Japanese bladesmith, Katana Hi or fullers are made based on traditional bladesmithing. The terms use specifically for each Hi depends on what kind of Katana Hi this is.
Bo-Hi. This is a continuous straight groove of width referred to as katana-bi found on a Tanto
Futasuji-hi. This has two parallel grooves
Kuichigai-hi. Two thin grooves that run on the top half of the blade
Koshi-hi. A short rounded top groove near the tang
Naginata-hi. Miniature bo-hi where the top is created opposite of the blade
Shobu-hi. The grooeve is shaped like those of a leaf of an iris plant
Why Choose a Katana with the Right Hi
The sound produce by the fuller groove is addictive and brings pleasure for those who practice martial arts that use swords. This also adds a certain ump to the blades appearance. The secret is to use the sword correctly as it is meant to be used. Having this in mind, there will be no problems for the user. There is also no worry if the blade comes from a trustworthy source. This is in reference to the way the groove was milled and the use of the right heating technique in terms of right timing. For owners who have bought bohi and those blades with no bohi, when used to cut tatami. When viewed in the eyes of the swordsmith, the risk of having bohi or having no bohi blade relies entirely on the skills of the welder. However, for those who are about to purchase a blade it would be advisable to buy a sturdy blade without bohi. The reason given was that the meatier blade will likely survive a botched cut. Suffice to say that a beginner will go through teething pains when he uses a high end Katana.