By: Paul Chen - Hanwei
The Oni are mythical creatures from Japanese folklore similar to western demons or trolls. In modern culture they are beginning to move away from this menacing connotation into the role of guardian or protector, similar in character to gargoyles. Their power and ferocity, however, have not diminished. There is a Japanese saying which translates to “Oni with an iron club”, or to be of an invincible nature, a fitting association with the 29” L6/Bainite blade on which our Oni Katana is built. The blade features the geometry of our Performance Series for outstanding cutting ability. The 14” tsuka is wrapped in black ray skin and silk ito while the Koshirae feature Oni in various classical styles. A unique combination of folklore and functionality. Bainite is a structure of high-carbon steel that combines great strength with excellent flexibility and shock absorption characteristics. It has been known as an exemplary Katana blade component for a number of years but its use has been restricted to a few top-class master smiths, due to the difficulties involved in performing the exacting heat treatment procedures necessary for the production of a Bainite blade body in combination with the very hard Martensite Yakiba (edge section) required for Katana blades. Hanwei has now mastered this difficult process, using billets of L-6 tool steel (a very tough high-carbon low-alloy steel) as a starting point. Blades are forged and shaped in the normal way, then carefully heat treated to achieve the required Bainite and Martensite structures before final polishing.
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