Ha The sharp edge of a katana
The Ha is the cutting edge of a Japanese sword. As a result, it could be the single most important component of a katana. If you're planning to buy a katana, it's essential to know how the Ha functions.
What Is Ha?
The Ha of a Japanese sword is its cutting edge. This cutting edge seamlessly transitions into the hira, the slightly slanted flat part of the blade.
The Ha cannot be too sharp since that can backfire. When honed too much, a very sharp blade makes it very thin. As a result, it’ll lose its durability and be more prone to chips. So, a very sharp edge can be a negative thing. Therefore, sword artisans need to balance the thickness and sharpness of the Ha.
But when you custom your own katana, you can choose sharp or dull edge.
The Usage Of The Ha?
The Ha's basic function is to provide the wielder with an edge that is both sharp and hard enough to cut. It needs to be sharp but not too thin. A balanced Ha helps to cut without damaging the sword itself.
The blades of the Japanese sword are hardened at different rates. As a result, each part can have other qualities. The cutting edge, or Ha, is the hardest part of the blade. That gives it the ability to cut and function as a sword.
There's a common misconception that a katana should be very sharp. However, this isn't the case. A standard katana blade has a clamshell-like shape. The edge of the katana is designed to cleave through flesh and bones.
How Durable Is The Ha?
No matter how well the artisan hardens the Ha, you’ll still need to re-sharpen it after a lot of cutting. It doesn't matter how high-quality the steel is, either. You'll need sharpening if you practice a lot with the katana.
You'll also need to balance how much you sharpen it. Excessively sharpening your blade will eat away the steel and shorten its lifespan.
On the other hand, maintaining a sharp blade can make a katana last years, even a lifetime. It would be best to sharpen it with the proper technique. But avoid over-sharpening it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What materials is the Ha made from?
The Ha is the part of the blade itself. Therefore, sword artisans use the same material as the katana blade for the Ha. For example, steel.
Can the Ha get damaged?
Yes, even a high-quality Ha of a katana can become dull from excessive cutting. That’s why make sure to sharpen it once in a while.
Why is the Ha harder than the rest of the blade?
Sword artisans hone and heat the Ha to give it its sharp cutting edge and make it harder. That's why it's the single most crucial blade part.
A high-quality katana is easy to recognize by its Ha. Without a proper Ha, the sword is useless. That's why it's essential to know how it works and its function. I hope you understand all the nuances of it now. For more katana parts information, please check our katana anatomy guide.