This book's probably the ultimate resource when it comes to the appreciation of Japanese swords.
Before reading the book, I only have a vague idea of how swords are made. After going through the book, I've discovered that there are so many aspects to sword making and appreciation. No wonder this book is 256-pages thick.
The authors Leon and Hiroko Kapp worked with 3rd generation swordsmith Yoshindo closely for the book.
It covers in five chapters the appreciation, history and making of Japanese swords. There are details like how to one should examine the sword, the customs such as bowing to the sword before removing it from its bag, and a lot of other practices that are probably unknown to most.
The book covers the history of Japanese swords, the different types, from the shape, size, patterns on the blade and more. There's a detail breakdown of each part of the sword, down to the design of the hilt wrapping, sword guard and other parts.
The later chapters goes through the whole process of making a sword from start to end with Yoshindo complete with plenty of photos. Throughout the book, there are also information on how sword making as evolved, and also how swords are made today. Yoshindo is the expert and can hear when the metal is hot enough to be welded. Such is the level of expertise required when making a sword.
Throughout the book, from what I can observed about those involved in making the sword, they really respect their craft and that level of detail is also replicated in the information shared within the book.
This is the definitive book on Japanese swords. Highly recommended to those interested in this subject.
The Art of the Japanese Sword: The Craft of Swordmaking and its Appreciation is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)
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