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Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1868 to the Present

Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1868 to the Present Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The lineage of the Japanese sword can be traced back over a thousand years, and throughout its long history the sword has emerged as one of Japan's most durable cultural assets. Part of its mythical appeal lies in the unique harmony of its historical roles as deadly hand-held weapon, embodiment of the samurai spirit, and powerful symbol of warfare.

The types of sword that have been made, their forging methods, and the styles of blade have been influenced by historical events and shaped by developments in the means of combat, giving rise to five distinct periods and a host of styles and schools. The most recent period, gendaito, began in the late nineteenth century, during Japan's drive to modernize its military forces. The demand for traditional swords all but disappeared, and many schools and styles became virtually extinct.

In this authoritative new book, Leon and Hiroko Kapp, together with leading swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara, coauthors of the bestselling The Craft of the Japanese Sword, describe this most recent period of sword history, and present the work of key craftsmen active today. Through a detailed chronicle of major events in the modern sword world, the authors illustrate the developments in sword-making, its movement into artistic spheres, and the challenges swordsmiths have faced over the last century.

Many of today's smiths seek to revive the ancient arts of sword forging, and at the same time create a vital and meaningful artistic role for the sword in a modern context. In part three of this book, the authors present informative interviews with twenty-two modern smiths, who demonstrate how the blade's aesthetic power derives from a symmetry of the sword's basic elements ? steel, shape, and texture ? and this harmony affords the blade a singular and delicate beauty. Part four widens the scope beyond swordsmiths to include perspectives from other experts involved with gendaito, from martial arts practitioner to metallurgist. The book also includes comprehensive and intricate lineage charts of the major historical schools.

The heightened aesthetic sense that characterizes the contemporary sword and its production has ushered in what can be categorized as a distinctly new era of sword history ? shin-gendaito. Throughout this book the authors make a compelling argument for the introduction of this new term, which can more accurately reflect the dynamic changes that have taken place in this most modern chapter of sword history. Lavishly illustrated with rare historical photographs and works of the best smiths, including Living National Treasures, this will be essential reading for the student and connoisseur alike, as well as readers interested in skilled craftsmanship in general.

Synopsis:

This illustrated guide to the development of the Japanese sword in the modern era concentrates on the techniques and output of the best smiths. It includes a detailed look at the swords used during World War II and should be of interest to collectors and enthusiasts.

Synopsis:

A comprehensive overview of the major events in the history of the contemporary Japanese sword and the work of many of the best smiths active today.

About the Author

Leon Kapp is a cell and molecular biologist working in the San Francisco Bay area. He has spent a considerable amount of time studying Japanese swords with the swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara. Hiroko Kapp is a correspondent for the Tokyo-based Senken Shinbun news organization. The Kapps live in San Rafael, California.

Yoshindo Yoshihara is a swordsmith who is ranked among the top sword craftsmen in Japan. His family has been making tools and swords for several generations, and his son is also a swordsmith who now works with him in Tokyo. The Kapps and Yoshindo are the authors of The Craft of the Japanese Sword, which describes how a Japanese sword is made and finished.

Tom Kishida is a professional photographer living and working in Tokyo. He worked with the authors on their last book, and he has been photographing swordsmiths and their work for more than twenty years. His acclaimed Japanese-language book, Yasukuni Tosho, is widely recognized as the definitive study of Yasukuni smiths.

Product Details

ISBN:
9784770019622
Subtitle:
From 1868 to the Present
Author:
Kapp, Leon
Author:
null, Hiroko
Author:
null, Yoshindo
Author:
Kishida, Tom
Author:
null, Leon
Author:
Kapp, Hiroko
Author:
Yoshihara, Yoshindo
Publisher:
Kodansha USA
Location:
Tokyo
Subject:
Asian
Subject:
Military - Weapons
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Japan
Subject:
Firearms & Weapons
Subject:
Swords
Subject:
Architecture | Applied Arts
Subject:
Art and Architecture | Applied Arts
Subject:
Art & Architecture | Applied Arts
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
Art/Architecture
Edition Number:
revised
Series Volume:
4a
Publication Date:
20021213
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
80 bandw photos and line illus.
Pages:
222
Dimensions:
11.04x8.52x.89 in. 2.12 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Types
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Asia and Far East
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Business » General
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » General
Metaphysics » Healing
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » Weapon Arts
Travel » General

Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1868 to the Present
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$ In Stock
Product details 222 pages Kodansha International (JPN) - English 9784770019622 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This illustrated guide to the development of the Japanese sword in the modern era concentrates on the techniques and output of the best smiths. It includes a detailed look at the swords used during World War II and should be of interest to collectors and enthusiasts.
"Synopsis" by , A comprehensive overview of the major events in the history of the contemporary Japanese sword and the work of many of the best smiths active today.
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