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By lyuesword | 23 June 2022 | 0 Comments

JINIE = particles of steel

It means particles that appear on the hardened steel. It is not the same thing that the particles on the hamon. Hamon particles are "discrete martensite".
Jinie may be some kind of steel crystal, but I don't know as metallurgy. It looks like very fine grains made of wet sands. In other words, well hardened steel is a mass of these particles, or a mass of JINIE.
Some JINIE particles look small, and some look bigger. Some are dense, and some are sparse. The appearance is beautiful and interesting. And to study JINIE particles is important to appreciate the blade. Now, we translate "JINIE" to "steel particles".

In some cases, the steel particles array makes a formation like wood grain. We call it CHIKEI.

It is one form of JINIE.
Sometimes steel particles run to make an array. Some look like a wood grain pattern, and some run irregularly like a web pattern. We call such an appearance "CHIKEI".
CHIKEI is not the meaning of a layer pattern. Some CHIKEI appear along the layer pattern, and some are across the layer pattern. A good steel has a CHIKEI that is free from the layer pattern.

We hope you can see the chikei runs like web.

For examples;
Some of the good quality YAMATO blades have a straight layer pattern, but the CHIKEI appears like a small wood grain pattern.
The steel of Shintogo Kunimitsu's tanto has full of CHIKEI that is along the small wood grain layer pattern. And his student Masamune's steel has emphatic CHIKEI that appears along the large layer pattern.
In fact, we don't appreciate a chikei along the layer pattern too much. Sometimes it is an appearance come from mix steel folding, either intentionally or natural from uneven quality material.

A steel of a Shintogo Knimitsu tanto.
A steel of an Awataguchi Kuniyoshi tanto. It is full of fine chikei.

The next two photos are the same steel of modern blade, but by different polishing. Please see the areas we marked. The first polish brings the chikei (grain of steel particles), and the second polish brings the layer pattern (straight pattern grain).

CHIKEI is one of the most interesting appearances of the steel of a Japanese blade. To study CHIKEI is important to appreciate the quality of steel.

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