ISBN-10:
4770020716
ISBN-13:
9784770020710
Pub. Date:
03/28/1998
Publisher:
Kodansha USA
The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords / Edition 1

The Connoisseurs Book of Japanese Swords / Edition 1

by Kokan Nagayama

Hardcover

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Overview

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.

Richly illustrated throughout with more the 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9784770020710
Publisher: Kodansha USA
Publication date: 03/28/1998
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 10.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

KOKAN NAGAYAMA is one of the great contemporary sword polishers. He has been designated a mukansa ("without supervision") polisher, a level above the regular sword-polisher ranking system. He is a judge of both the sword polishing and swordsmithing competitions of the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai or NBTHK (Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords), for which organization he serves as an instructor of sword polishing. In 1967 in Kanagawa Prefecture he founded the Nagayama Kenshujo (Nagayama Japanese Sword-polishing Institute), where he taught the art of polishing to both polishers and smiths for twenty years. He has organized several token-kai (sword study groups) and instructed hundreds of sword enthusiasts.


KENJI MISHINA, the translator, is a sword polisher who served as chief instructor at the Nagayama Kenshujo for seven years beginning in 1979. He has been authorized by the Japanese government to restore swords designated as kokuho (national treasures) and juyo bunkazai (important cultural assets). He has been awarded numerous prizes in the sword polishing competitions of the NBTHK. He lived in England for six years beginning in 1986, where he worked for the British Museum, lectured at the monthly meetings of the Token Society of Great Britain, and received a request from the British royal family to polish its sword collection. He is currently writing a series of articles on the Japanese sword for this site. He is the translator of The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths.

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