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The Samurai Sword: A Handbook

The samurai sword: a symbol of the spirit of old Japan, it embodies the samurai's steel discipline, unswerving devotion and peerless skill. With its creation, a feat of craftsmanship passed down by generations of artisans, the samurai sword is generally considered to be superior even to the famed blades of Western Damascus and Toledo. The Samurai Sword Handbook is a precise exploration of the samurai sword designed for sword collectors as well as anyone intrigued by these ancient blades. Detailing the origins and development of the samurai sword, its historical background, styles, famous schools and differences in construction, this revised edition of the classic reference outlines methods of identifying and researching the sword, as well as caring for it properly. This must-have for sword lovers is sure to be a bestseller.Topics of this Samurai book include:Japanese History and the Samurai SwordTypes of swordsParts of the swordBlade shape, construction, and grainThe making of the swordInscriptions and their readingsCare and maintenanceAppraisal and valueRelative point values

Hardcover: 192 pages

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Revised, Revised,Hardcover with Jacket edition (September 15, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 4805309571

ISBN-13: 978-4805309575

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #844,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #31 in Books > History > Military > Weapons & Warfare > Conventional > Firearms #72 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Firearms & Weapons > Swords & Knives #711 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Antiques Care & Reference > Reference

This is a fairly serious overview of Samurai swords intended for someone who is interested in collecting them (or perhaps has inherited one). That is, this is quite a 'theoretical' book intended to convey, in a quite concise manner, the myriad of details needed to identify Samurai swords.The book goes through a very brief overview of Japan's sword history including some very rough information on the swords produced in various time periods. Mixed in here is a tiny amount of non-technical information in the form of some tales of how the special clay-coating heat-treating process was invented.The book then presents detailed information on such subjects as blade curvature, temper lines, tip profile, tang markings and finishing. This section has a number of line drawings that do help convey the information in a clear and simple manner.This leads into a very in-depth section with the Japanese characters that could be found on a sword tang. This section is quite long and, considering the book's purpose, not really very useful to the majority of people. That is, without understanding Japanese you really aren't likely to be able to use this section - it would be much better to consult with someone who does understand Japanese.I really had hoped for more of an overview of the history with some details on the more famous crafters. There is also very little information on the manufacturing process other than some very cursory paragraphs and drawings. I agree that this subject deserves many books but I also think that since it is not really highlighted in this volume, a beginner will have no real reason to understand WHY certain eras and smiths were regarded so highly.

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