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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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Japanese Arts Library #0012: The Japanese Sword

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Japanese Arts Library #0012: The Japanese Sword Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Japanese sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements that it emerges as a triumph of the forger's art. The mystique of the sword lingers on in our age of mechanized combat, but the aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today-the liveliness of the metal "skin," the confidence in every aspect of the design, the scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade is held in the hand-all derive from what the Japanese sword demanded as a symbol of strength and as a weapon. As an instrument of clear persuasion, no other blade anywhere has ever been its equal.

This volume, containing color and black-and-white plates, has been prepared as an introduction to the history and appreciation of the Japanese sword. Its author, until his death in 1978, was one of Japan's foremost sword experts, and his wide knowledge is here brought to bear on every aspect of sword lore, including forging techniques and problems of appraisal. Looking over the 1,500 years of sword history in Japan, Kanzan Sato notes how the major developments-the shift from the early straight blades to the tachi, which were longer curved blades slung edge downwards at the waist, to the familiar daisho pair of short and long swords worn by samurai until modern times-were the result of both technical innovation and changed fighting techniques. He examines the various fashions in sword mounts and the at times precious, highly decorated work of the smiths who specialized in sword guards, or tsuba, during the Momoyama and Edo periods.

The centerpiece of this book, however, is a detailed examination of over a dozen of Japan's most revered blades, including the Kanehira and the Dojigiri by Yasutsuna, perhaps the two finest swords in Japan and as clear and beautiful today as when they were forged some 900 years ago. The discussion of what makes these blades special and how they have been passed down for generations offers the reader a wealth of insight into the sword in Japan as heirloom and cultural treasure.

Synopsis:

One of the foremost experts on the Japanese sword describes their history and appreciations in this book, with photographs and illustrations.

Synopsis:

The Japanese Sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements that it emerges as a triumph of the forger's art. The mystique of the sword lingers on in or age of mechanized combat, but the aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today--the liveliness of the metal 'skin' the confidence in every aspect of the design, the scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade is held in the hand-- all derive from what the Japanese sword demanded as a symbol of strength and as a weapon.

About the Author

KANZAN (KAN'ICHI) SATO was born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1907 and until his death in 1978 was regarded as one of Japan's foremost experts on the Japanese sword. A graduate of Kokugakuin University, he worked in the section for National Treasures, Ministry of Education, and Tokyo National Museum. He was Executive Director of the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords and Vice-Director of the Sword Museum. His publications include works on Kotetsu and Higo metal-working.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780870115622
Translator:
Earle, Joe
Author:
Earle, Joe
Author:
Soto, Kanzan
Author:
Sato, Kanzan
Author:
Earle, Joe
Publisher:
Kodansha
Location:
Tokyo ;
Subject:
General
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Asia - Japan
Subject:
Japan
Subject:
Weapons
Subject:
Firearms & Weapons
Subject:
Swords
Subject:
Architecture | Antiques
Subject:
Collectibles | Firearms
Subject:
Art and Architecture | Antiques and Collectibles | Firearms and Weapons
Subject:
Swords -- Japan.
Subject:
Art & Architecture | Antiques & Collectibles | Firearms & Weapons
Subject:
Art - General
Subject:
Art/Architecture
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 202-205.
Series:
Japanese Arts Library
Series Volume:
0012
Publication Date:
19830631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
60 illus.
Pages:
220
Dimensions:
7.2 x 10.2 x 0.8 in 2 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
History and Social Science » World History » Japan
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » General
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » General
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » Weapon Arts
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Martial Arts » General

Japanese Arts Library #0012: The Japanese Sword New Hardcover
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Product details 220 pages Kodansha America - English 9780870115622 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , One of the foremost experts on the Japanese sword describes their history and appreciations in this book, with photographs and illustrations.
"Synopsis" by , The Japanese Sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements that it emerges as a triumph of the forger's art. The mystique of the sword lingers on in or age of mechanized combat, but the aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today--the liveliness of the metal 'skin' the confidence in every aspect of the design, the scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade is held in the hand-- all derive from what the Japanese sword demanded as a symbol of strength and as a weapon.
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