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The Art of the Japanese Sword
As Taught by the Experts
by Kunihira Kawachi, Kashihara Archaeological Institute &
Masao Manabe, Japan Seal Carvers Association
  • Explores one of the world’s most brilliant metalworking traditions, a thousand-year old style still practiced today

  • Text and colour photos show the tools and techniques of the craft, and discuss outstanding examples of swords
  • By master swordsmith Kunihira Kawachi

The more than thousand-year old art of sword making in Japan is one of the world’s most brilliant metalworking traditions. In danger of being lost when sword manufacture was prohibited after the Second World War, the art is today making an astonishing comeback in the hands of a new generation of swordsmiths.

In this book master swordsmith Kunihira Kawachi introduces through beautiful colour photographs examples of swords that he has created or restored. Questions and answers covering many aspects of sword culture are followed by a thorough chapter teaching how to care for and appreciate Japanese swords, and a discussion of the many legends surrounding the swords of the most famous swordsmen in Japanese history. 

A central section illustrates the tools and techniques for making Japanese swords with more than 50 colour and monochrome photos. Finally, a chapter of essays presenting the lives and opinions of those involved in sword making in Japan today is followed by appendixes listing such useful information as the best museums in which to view fine sword collections around the world.

This modest book is packed with information of use to all connoisseurs and collectors of Japanese swords, as well as anyone interested in Japanese metal crafts or martial culture.

Published by Floating World Editions
August 2006, 156 pp., richly illustrated partly in colour
ISBN-10: 1 891640 41 0 / ISBN-13: 978 1 891640 41 4, paperback, £21.99