Japanese swords, particularly those wielded by famous samurai warriors, hold a continuing fascination for collectors of fine arts and historical military weapons.
This book is designed to enhance one's appreciation for the wide variety of Japanese swords (as well as their related polearms), their manufacture and their preservation.
A fascinating opening chapter explains how the elite Samurai class dominated Japan for more than a thousand years, how technological and ideological advances overtook the Samurai in the 1860s, heralding a more up-to-date political and military system of governance, and how such changes affected Samurai sword design and manufacture. Subsequent chapters present topics of greatest relevance to today's sword collector: namely, the modern Japanese sword; different types of swords and their construction and testing; collecting and studying Japanese swords (and the tremendously important etiquette involved); and techniques of preserving and polishing swords. This book is beautifully illustrated with paintings, photographs, drawings, and maps. In addition, there is an in-depth glossary and useful tables explaining Japanese calligraphic symbols relating to swords, both of great value to the collector.