In The Art of the Japanese Sword, master swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara offers a detailed look at the entire process of Japanese sword making, including the finishing and appreciation of Japanese blades.
Japanese sword art stands out in many ways: functionality as a weapon, sophisticated metallurgy and metalsmithing, the shape of the blade itself--all contribute to the beauty of these remarkable weapons. The Art of the Japanese Sword
conveys to the reader Japanese samurai sword history and Japanese sword care, as well as explaining how to view and appreciate a blade.
With 256 full-color pages, this sword book illustrates in meticulous detail how modern craftsmen use traditional methods to prepare their steel, forge the sword and create the unique hardened edge. By gaining a good understanding of how a sword is made, the reader will be able to appreciate the samurai sword more fully. Topics include:
- Appreciating the Japanese sword
- History of the Japanese sword
- Traditional Japanese steelmaking
- Making the sword
- Finishing the sword
Yoshindo Yoshihara is a third-generation swordsmith. His grandfather Kuniie began making swords in 1933 in Tokyo and was ranked among the top swordsmiths in Japan during his career. Yoshindo lives and works in Tokyo with his son, who represents the fourth generation of swordsmiths in the family. Yoshindo, who is always training young swordsmiths and currently has five apprentices working with him, has been named an Important Cultural Property of the city and prefecture of Tokyo and is a mukansa (top-ranked swordsmith) in Japan. Leon Kapp, a molecular biologist, lives with his wife Hiroko in San Rafael, California. He has been seriously interested in Japanese swords for over twenty-five years and has spent a great deal of time learning about them from Yoshindo. Hiroko Kapp is a writer for Senken Shimbun News of Tokyo and writes about fashion and the fashion industry in the US. She graduated from Musashi-no Art University in Tokyo. For twenty-five years, she was active in the apparel business and designed scarves for her own line in the US.
"Though there can be no substitute for the study of Nihonto in person, […] but for the lay person, a sword novice, or bladesmith without an understanding of the process, this book is the next best thing. The authors have set a standard for a glimpse into the world of Nihonto, associated arts and complexities of the craft."—SwordForum
"This is a very nice publication with wonderful photographs that tantalize ones mind. A worthy addition to any library."—Jason Lee A. Hatcher
"It doesn't matter if you are simply interested in the history and function of Japanese swords or a would-be smith yourself, you will find a vast amount of useful chapters in each of these chapters. All sections of this book are illustrated with high-quality color photos, with many full page in size. The authors state they feel a person needs to understand every facet of making a Japanese sword to fully appreciate the finished weapon. I know of few books on the subject that do a better job of meeting that goal."—Tactical Knives