Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1 edition (September 1, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #101 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Firearms & Weapons > Swords & Knives #2248 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Antiques & Collectibles #221694 in Books > Textbooks
As I've noted in other reviews, the appreciation of nihonto (Japanese swords) for those who don't speak or read Japanese is a bit of a challenge owing to a relative dearth of widely available books on the finer points of studying these antique weapons and works of art. We are fortunate to now have several different introductory books in print (by the likes of John Yumoto, Leon Kapp/Yoshindo Yoshihara, Kazan Sato, Clive Sinclaire, and Colin Roach), some recent museum exhibition catalogues from exhibits of nihonto in the U.S., and now this latest welcome addition, "Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords: A Collector's Guide." This book is an English-language revision and translation of a Japanese-language book by Nobuo Nakahara, a researcher and expert on nihonto.Unlike most other books out there, this is not so much an introductory overview that focuses on history, culture, or over-arching basics with pretty color pictures, but more of a specialty text that focuses on some finer details of studying nihonto (i.e. the sword itself). And unlike the similarly translated encyclopediac work, "The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords" by Kokan Nagayama, this is a much slimmer volume (191 pages) written in a less dense and more accessible, conversational style. The book is divided into four main sections: An Overview (covering blade types, parts, and historical development), Fundamental Elements (covering specific aspects of the sword such as hada, hamon, kissaki, nakago, horimono, etc.), Sword Appreciation (discussing etiquette and kantei-sho), and an appendix featuring many different pictures of various blades.
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