The Japanese Sword: The Soul of the Samurai
Drawing on the V&A's magnificent collection, this illustrated survey examines the development of the Japanese sword in an historical and social context from the 8th to the 12th century. The development of the sword from its origins as one of the world's most effective cutting weapons in seen in the context of the emergence and development of Japan's ruling military class, the samurai, to whom it was indispensable both as a weapon and symbol of power. The book also deals with the techniques used in the making of the sword and the associated terminology. In addition to weapons from the V&A's own collections, illustrations include comparative materials from Japan's Tokyo National Museum, as well as prints showing graphic depictions of swords in action.
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Origins of the Japanese Sword
Development in the Heian Period ad 7941185
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armour arts Ashikaga Bakufu battle became Bizen blade signed Buddhist Buke Sho-Hatto carried carved castle century chokuto clan culture curvature curve cutting edge dagger daimyo daisho decorated deity developed distinctive early Edo period emperor fighting forging Gassan gatsu Gokaden gold grain gunome Heian period Hideyoshi hilt Hon'ami honour horimono Ieyasu imperial inscriptions itame Japan Japanese sword jihada Kamakura period Kami katana Katana blade kendo kissaki known Kyoto lacquer loyalty manufacture martensitic Masamune Meiji meito merchants metal fittings metalworkers military class Minamoto Mino Momoyama mounted Muromachi period Musashi Myoju naginata nakago Nambokucho period Nara nioi Nobunaga notare numbers omote Osafune Osaka particularly plate polearms produced province ronin Sagami samurai Satsuma scabbard seppuku shape shinogi Shinto shogun's court shortened signature smiths Soshu steel style suguha sword fittings swordsmiths tachi Tachi blade Taira tang Tokugawa family Tokugawa shogunate Tokyo National Museum traditional tsuba wakizashi warrior weapon worn Yamashiro Yamato yari