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Sword Flaws (Kizu)

Traditionally made Japanese swords are amazing works of art, but they are subject to flaws.  Some flaws are fatal, while others non-fatal and may be polished out by an experienced togoshi.  Here is a small list of kizu:


Ware are separations between the layers of steel.  These are non-fatal and very common in older swords.


Shinae are wrinkles on the blade surface, sometimes indicating blade straightening.  This is non-fatal and can usually be polished out.


A fukure is a blister, or a pocket in the steel.  Blisters are ugly, but not fatal.


Hagire is a crack running through the hamon.  It is a fatal flaw, and sometimes very hard to see.