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Japanese Swords Japanese Swords: Cultural Icons of a Nation Cultural Icons of a Nationby Colin M. Roach
Synopses & Reviews
The Japanese sword is much more than just a weaponùit is a social and religious icon. Traditionally worn by the samurai warrior as an instrument of justice and courage, the sword was an embodiment of the soul of the person who wielded it that was at once sacred and symbolic. Swords of Japan is the first book to tell the full story of the Japanese sword's rise to greatness by discussing its long history and development, its spiritual symbolism, the esoteric metallurgical techniques used to make the sword, as well as the difficult training techniques used by skilled swordsmen.
Swords of Japan is complemented by stunning high-resolution photos, a foreword by sixth degree Iaido black belt Nicklaus Suino, an afterword by expert sword polisher and ôMukansaö Abe Kazunori, and a DVD featuring a beautifully filmed documentary and two bonus features.
"Roach, a student of both iaido and aikido and a dedicated sword-enthusiast, passionately dissects the symbolic essence of the sword throughout history, emphasizing changes in social significance, technological influence, and iconography. The erudite prose is ameliorated by design, modern swordsmanship, traditional artwork, illustrative photos, and etiquette. Historical periods are elegantly punctuated with ornate depictions, highlighting shifts in katana design and value from early periods to the current interpretation of ancient disciplines. Roach's own deep-rooted interest and involvement in the subject ensures a seamless blend of historical and religious themes, as well as much 'sword appreciation' (the author champions his comrades in promoting traditional craftsmanship and confronts the contemporary dilemma of commercial fraud and shameless profiteering). In order to truly understand the Japanese sword in its entirety one must, Roach suggests, appreciate the 'unique sociological, spiritual, and metallurgical environment in which it evolved.' With this at the core of his book, he vividly tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Book News Annotation:
With stunning color illustrations, Roach, a Utah educator who is an avid student of Japanese culture and martial arts, introduces the traditional Japanese sword and swordsmanship in historical, technological, and cultural context. With a passion for preserving this tradition, he covers swords in the early, Nara, medieval, Edo, and modern periods. The book includes poems, a bibliography, and a DVD featuring a documentary on traditional sword making, scenes from an iaido (martial art) class, and a Kyoto's shop introduction to the Japanese sword. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The History, Metallurgy and Iconography of the Samurai Sword
Author Colin M. Roach collaborated with top-level artisans, historians, and martial arts experts to create a unique, in-depth study of these magnificent weapons from a historical, iconographical, and technological perspective. In addition to a foreword by seventh degree iaido black belt Nicklaus Suino and a sidebar by Mukansa-level polisher Abe Kazunori, Japanese Swords includes rare looks into the world of Mukansa-level swordsmiths Kawachi Kunihira and Gassan Sadatoshi. Complemented by hundreds of stunning high-resolution photos and a DVD, Japanese Swords is a must-have addition to any Japanophile's library.
Author Colin M. Roach collaborated with top-level artisans, historians, and martial arts experts to create a unique, in-depth study of these magnificent weapons from a historical, iconographical, and technological perspective. In addition to a foreword by seventh degree iaido black belt Nicklaus Suino and a sidebar by Mukansa-level polisher Abe Kazunori, andlt;iandgt;Japanese Swordsandlt;/Iandgt; includes rare looks into the world of Mukansa-level swordsmiths Kawachi Kunihira and Gassan Sadatoshi. Complemented by hundreds of stunning high-resolution photos and a DVD, andlt;iandgt;Japanese Swordsandlt;/Iandgt; is a must-have addition to any Japanophile's library.
About the Author
Colin M. Roach, M. Ed. lives in the high mountains of Utah with his wife and three sons. He is a private school administrator at Wasatch Academy. Four generations of familial connection to Japan have fueled Mr. RoachÆs passionate study of JapanÆs archetypal warrior culture. In addition to his academic study of sword-related symbolism, he has trained with some of the top teachers of aikido and iaido in Japan and America. His previous publications include: Katsujin Ken, The Sword of Compassion, Why Do Wise Old Men Whittle Sticks?, and The Yama Oroshi Dojo and the art of Traditional Japanese Swordsmanship.
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History and Social Science » Military » Ancient Weapons