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By lyuesword | 20 June 2022 | 0 Comments


HANIKU, HIRANIKU (surface meat)
The edge surfaces of  Japanese swords are convex or "bevel" ground.
They can be finely bevelled or heavily bevelled, that is, less or more rounded in profile.
The Japanese concept for this is "Hiraniku" and literally means "edge or surface  meat". Hiraniku is an important characteristic of  Japanese swords.
A sword with good "meat" (Niku) has a robust and strong edge. In blades with little or no hiraniku, the edge is weaker. The degree of Hiraniku largely dictates the blades cutting power.
HANIKU = The meat or bevel of the cutting surface.
HIRANIKU = The meat or bevel of the whole cutting surface.

HA-NIKU or HIRA-NIKU, these two words have almost the same meaning. Ha-niku tends to mean the meat in the hamon area, and Hira-niku tends to mean the meat of the whole cutting surface.
A cutting surface with full meat (well shaped)
The cutting surface is full of meat, so the cutting edge is tough.
Good for taking on armour.

A flat cutting surface (poorly shaped)
The cutting surfaces are flat, so the edge is delicate.
Good for bare skin.

Be careful. In the showroom window, blades with flatter surfaces look shiny and highly reflective.
Because of this, one famous polisher removes the bevel meat from healthy blades simply to make them aesthetically pleasing.
When you hold one of these blades, you'll be disappointed by their poor shape.
Sometimes a lattice window can help to study the surface meat.

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