The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords
Recently Japanese swords have gained enormous popularity as art objects with collectors and enthusiasts around the world, but until now much of the most detailed information on the subject has been available only in Japanese. This comprehensive guide to the appreciation and appraisal of the blades of Japanese swords provides, at last, all the background that readers need to become true connoisseurs.
The book is organized along historical lines for the sake of clarity and convenience, and its approach is always practical. Broad discussions of each tradition within the Gokaden focus on the features that distinguish specific schools and smiths--the various kinds of jihada, hamon, boshi, and hataraki favored in different periods and regions--making this an invaluable reference tool for all enthusiasts, especially those who wish to take part in kantei-kai, or sword appreciation meetings. Each section closes with an easy reference chart summarizing the distinctive features of the work of various schools and smiths.
The chapter on terminology gives advice on what to look for when examining the different parts of a blade, again making reference to the unique features of particularly significant smiths. The chapter on care and appraisal of blades tells precisely how to handle blades and what to expect at a sword appraisal meeting, including an explanation of all the various responses that a judge may give in response to a bid.
Richly illustrated throughout with more than 550 of the author's own painstaking oshigata illustrations--sword tracings onto which details are penciled in by hand--The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords is easily the most informative and comprehensive guide to the blades of Japanese swords ever to appear in English.
Kokan Nagayama, who is widely recognized as one of the foremost living sword polishers, compiled the notes for this book over the course of many years spent teaching the arts of polishing and appraisal.
Nagayama-sensei is widely recognized as one of the foremost living sword polishers and is a veteran teacher of both polishing and appraisal. Here in one accessible volume he distills the store of knowledge he has gained over a lifetime of intensive research.
"Nagayama-sensei and his senior pupils have for many years now taken an enlightened approach to study of Japanese swords outside of Japan. They have been of great assistance to collectors here in Great Britain and in other countries, traveling and living abroad, organizing exhibitions, teaching us and polishing our swords, always in an altruistic spirit. This translation is another example of this same approach. In the past we have often struggled on our own or in small groups to gain an understanding of this peculiarly Japanese cultural asset, and with many of the definitive books on the subject still untranslated, a wealth of information has in the past been inaccessible to the non-Japanese reader. The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords will be of great help in making educated judgments at kantei sessions, and will be an invaluable and constant reference work."
-- From the Foreword by Clive Sinclaire
Chairman of the Token Society of Great Britain
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HISTORY OF THE JAPANESE SWORD i
The Origin of the ODachi
New Methods and Trends
Emergence of the Shinshinto
TH E WORKMANSHP
The Main Schools and Workmanship of Early
The Main Schools and Evolution of the Yamashiro
The Main Schools and Evolution of the Bizen iiHU
The Osafune ft School
The Main Schools and Evolution of the Soshu fflXI
The Main Schools and Evolution of the Mino HzH
The Kanesada Jtg School
Provinces and Schools of Shinto Times
Workmanship of Shinshinto Times
Kato Tsunatoshi JnUft and the Unju
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ashi Awataguchi based on suguha Bizen province Bizen tradition Bo-bi boshi is ko-maru boshi is midare chikei choji midare chu-suguha Daijo Echizen Edo period engraved extant gunome midare hada hada mixed hataraki hira-zukuri Hizen horimono inazuma inside the hamon Japanese sword ji-nie jigane jihada kaeri Kamakura period Kami Kanemitsu Kanesada Kaneuji kantei katana kinsuji kissaki ko-choji midare ko-midare ko-mokume hada koshi-no-hiraita midare Kotetsu Koto Kunimitsu kurijiri kuzure lchimonji Leading swordsmiths Masahide masame Masamune midare komi Mino province mixed with masame-hada mixed with o-hada mokume mokume-hada mixed mune Muromachi period nagamaki nakago Nanbokucho period Naotane nioi deki Nobukuni Osafune Osaka pattern province Sadamune sagari seen shallow sori shinogi shinogi-zukuri shinogiji Shinshinto Shinto Shinto tokuden tradition Shizu signature smiths sori Soshu tradition style Sue-Seki sugata Suishinshi sujikai Sukehiro Sukesada sunagashi tachi Tadayoshi thick kasane utsuri wakizashi wide mihaba workmanship yakitsume Yamashiro province Yamashiro tradition yasurime Yasutsugu yokote