The Japanese Sword: A Comprehensive Guide

Overview

The Japanese sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements that it emerges as a triumph of the forger's art. The mystique of the sword lingers on in our age of mechanized combat, but the aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today-the liveliness of the metal "skin," the confidence in every aspect of the design, the scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade ...

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Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A. 1983 Hard Cover Very Good in Very Good jacket Used. 4to-over 9?"-12" tall. Gray & burgundy textured paper over boards is VG w rubbing at Tail. DJ ... chafed, mild creases at extremities, one 1/4" blind tear rear head. Nice copy. Read more Show Less

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1983-06-15 Hardcover UsedGood Good Condition item. We strive to provide the best shopping experience with every item we sell. Satisfaction guaranteed! ! Ships from US. Please ... allow 1-3 weeks for delivery outside US. Read more Show Less

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Japan 1986 Hardcover Fifth Printing NEAR FINE IN NEAR FINE DUST JACKET An offering in the Japanese Arts Library series, whose general editor was John Rosenfield. Originally ... published in Japanese by the Shibundo Publishing Company in 1966 under the title Token, as volume 6 in the series Nihon no bijutsu. Translated and adapted by Joe Earle. Chapters include the Development of the Japanese Sword; The Appreciation of Fine Swords; The Mounts of a Japanese Sword; Metal Sword-Fittings; The Making of a Japanese Sword; Sword Appraisal; and Essentials of Sword Care. Many photographs and an extensive bibliography. Read more Show Less

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1983 Hard cover Fair. Text in English, Japanese. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 220 p. Japanese Arts Library, 12.

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1983 Hard cover Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Text in ... English, Japanese. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 220 p. Japanese Arts Library, 12. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Tokyo, New York, London 1983 Hard Cover Near Fine in Near Fine jacket 4to-over 9?"-12" tall. 210 pp. Original yellow, green and gray boards, very bright and clean. Illust. w/ ... numerous color and b/w photos. Contents very nice. Read more Show Less

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1983 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good jacket 0870115626 A Comprehensive Guide. In Very Good, mylar wrapped dust jacket (price clipped). B/W and colour photographs throughout.

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Overview

The Japanese sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements that it emerges as a triumph of the forger's art. The mystique of the sword lingers on in our age of mechanized combat, but the aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today-the liveliness of the metal "skin," the confidence in every aspect of the design, the scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade is held in the hand-all derive from what the Japanese sword demanded as a symbol of strength and as a weapon. As an instrument of clear persuasion, no other blade anywhere has ever been its equal.

This volume, containing color and black-and-white plates, has been prepared as an introduction to the history and appreciation of the Japanese sword. Its author, until his death in 1978, was one of Japan's foremost sword experts, and his wide knowledge is here brought to bear on every aspect of sword lore, including forging techniques and problems of appraisal. Looking over the 1,500 years of sword history in Japan, Kanzan Sato notes how the major developments-the shift from the early straight blades to the tachi, which were longer curved blades slung edge downwards at the waist, to the familiar daisho pair of short and long swords worn by samurai until modern times-were the result of both technical innovation and changed fighting techniques. He examines the various fashions in sword mounts and the at times precious, highly decorated work of the smiths who specialized in sword guards, or tsuba, during the Momoyama and Edo periods.

The centerpiece of this book, however, is a detailed examination of over a dozen of Japan's most revered blades, including the Kanehira and the Dojigiri by Yasutsuna, perhaps the two finest swords in Japan and as clear and beautiful today as when they were forged some 900 years ago. The discussion of what makes these blades special and how they have been passed down for generations offers the reader a wealth of insight into the sword in Japan as heirloom and cultural treasure.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870115622
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 6/28/1983
  • Series: Japanese Art Library
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

KANZAN (KAN'ICHI) SATO was born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1907 and until his death in 1978 was regarded as one of Japan's foremost experts on the Japanese sword. A graduate of Kokugakuin University, he worked in the section for National Treasures, Ministry of Education, and Tokyo National Museum. He was Executive Director of the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords and Vice-Director of the Sword Museum. His publications include works on Kotetsu and Higo metal-working.

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