Connect with us


Polishing Authentic Japanese Swords: All You Should Know



Japanese swords were deep-rooted in Japanese culture. Associated with the Japanese warriors, these swords passed through rigorous forging processes. These swords were used to signify power and authority. For the best results, these swords should be carefully cleaned and polished. Use the right polishing material. For optimal results, clean your Nodachi sword before polishing it. Here are key things you should know regarding polishing your Japanese sword.

They Are Polished By Specialists

Japanese swords are unique. Not everyone can polish these swords. Polishing requires certain skills. Not any sword smith can polish these swords. The polishing is done by a special person. Traditionally, polishing was done by the togishi. In most cases, there is a special type of stone for polishing these swords.

It Takes Time

Polishing is not a one-time process. It takes time. The togishi uses 3 types of stones. Nowadays, these swords can be polished using several types of stones. For accuracy, it took 2 to 3 weeks to polish a single sword. Thus, you cannot take your sword to the togishi today and expect him/her to polish it within minutes.

According to experts, it takes longer to polish than manufacture a Japanese sword. Thus, you need patience. Once you take your sword to a togishi, you should wait. Remember, polishing is a time-consuming exercise. It’s a methodical process.

Poor Polishing Will Damage Your Blades

As stated before, polishing is one of the most important aspects of a Japanese sword. Thus, get the process right. The blades are delicate. They require proper polishing. Use the right stone. The purpose of polishing is to improve your blade’s clarity.

Getting the process wrong can mess up your blades. For instance, using the wrong method can interfere with the geometry of the blade. Plus, the blades can easily wear out. This will destroy the function and value of your blade. Don’t ruin your sword. Use the right method. Take it to the right togishi.


Glazing is part of the polishing process. Glazing involves the utilization of fine grain-based polishing stones. This results in a mirror finish. Remember, an authentic sword should have a mirror finish on its blades. The edges should be sharp and shiny. The work of the togishi is to achieve a matte finish when polishing your sword. This way, the Hamon is made more visible and aesthetically appealing.

Take your sword to polish to a certified togishi. Remember, polishing takes time. It demands special skills. Thus, choose your togishi wisely. Choose an experienced togishi for optimal results.

Sword’s Production

One of the main roles of polishing is to dive into the Japanese sword production process. Polishing will reveal different information regarding your sword. For example, polishing will reveal the cooling process used to make the sword’s cutting edge. It will show the amount of carbon on the sword.

Through polishing, you can differentiate a poorly cooled blade from a properly cooled one. These are the characteristics that make these Japanese swords highly valuable and treasured.

Remove All Polish

Before polishing your sword, remove any trace of oil from its surfaces. The togishi are meticulous when polishing Japanese swords. They will ensure that the blades are clean before polishing them. Thus, any trace of oil must be removed first. Remember, traces of oil can harm your sword’s blade. In particular, it can accelerate rusting and corrosion.

Polishing oil contains salts, which can cause mold, mildew, etc. According to experts, mold and mildew can corrode the blades. Take your sword to a reputable togishi. Take it to a togishi who understands the whole process of polishing swords.

Traditionally Polishing Your Sword

It takes care, expertise, and patience to polish any Japanese sword. Whether you are polishing a katana, samurai, or wakizashi, it’s important to use the right procedure. This is not a one-time process. The togishi will take time to polish your sword. Reputable togishi know the power of using high-quality polish. A high-quality polish will increase the aesthetic value of your sword.

Low-Quality Polishing

On the other hand, a low-quality polish can ruin the blades. It can completely damage them. For this reason, it’s important to master how to correctly polish Japanese swords. You must handle the Hamon with great care. Also known as the temper line, the Hamon represents the hidden feature in the steel. It defines the beauty of your Japanese sword. It acts as the soul of your sword. The purpose of polishing your sword is to reveal the Hamon.

The Process

These swords must be frequently inspected. The polisher should make sure that all steps are followed. They pay attention to crispiness. Polishers emphasize the correct shaping. They sing as they polish your sword. The process is methodical and meticulous. Be patient. Make polishing plans early if you intend to use your sword soon. 

Rough Polishing

Rough polishing can take up to 3 days. This represents the first half of the polishing process. It involves passing the sword over a special type of stone. From here, the sword is subjected to the second half process. This process, also known as finishing polish, relies on finer stones. The main role of this process is to refine the sword’s blades.

The Togishi

The Togishi will keep the blades stationery. He/she will then pass the stones over the blades. The Togishi splits a large stone into smaller sections. These sections should measure between 2-3 milliliters thick. The Togishi then glues these stones on a paper known as washi. For optimal results, an adhesive lacquer is used to glue them on the paper. This process takes up to a week. This process requires meticulousness to ensure that the blade is polished to reveal its true beauty.

The Bottom-Line

Japanese swords are used to show power. Warriors used these Japanese swords to show authority. They give you confidence. They are a sign of affluence. However, polishing your Japanese sword is very important. Use the right polishing material. Use the above tips and tricks to polish your Japanese sword. 

Follow Us

Subscribe to HCS




HCS Sponsors



CHS Tour


Holy City Sinner