Japanese Swords: Cultural Icons of a Nation

Overview

"Tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today." — Publishers Weekly

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Overview

"Tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today." — Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Roach, a student of both iaido and aikido and a dedicated sword-enthusiast, passionately dissects the symbolic essence of the sword throughout history, emphasizing changes in social significance, technological influence, and iconography. The erudite prose is ameliorated by design, modern swordsmanship, traditional artwork, illustrative photos, and etiquette. Historical periods are elegantly punctuated with ornate depictions, highlighting shifts in katana design and value from early periods to the current interpretation of ancient disciplines. Roach's own deep-rooted interest and involvement in the subject ensures a seamless blend of historical and religious themes, as well as much "sword appreciation" (the author champions his comrades in promoting traditional craftsmanship and confronts the contemporary dilemma of commercial fraud and shameless profiteering). In order to truly understand the Japanese sword in its entirety one must, Roach suggests, appreciate the "unique sociological, spiritual, and metallurgical environment in which it evolved." With this at the core of his book, he vividly tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Beautiful photographs of swords, pictures of sword craftsmen at work, and illustrations of Japanese art and artifacts complement the thorough, scholarly text."—Maine Antique Digest

"This oversized 176-page hardcover is overflowing with color and black-and-white photographs."—Black Belt

"In order to truly understand the Japanese sword in its entirety one must, Roach suggests, appreciate the "unique sociological, spiritual, and metallurgical environment in which it evolved." With this at the core of his book, he vividly tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784805313312
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/19/2014
  • Edition description: Paperback with DVD
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 855,731

Meet the Author

Colin M. Roach has a passion for Japan's archetypal warrior culture and has trained with some of the top teachers of aikido and iaido in Japan and America. His previous publications include: The Sword of Compassion and The Yama Oroshi Dojo and the Art of Traditional Japanese Swordsmanship. He lives in Utah with his family.

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