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The Art of the Japanese Sword


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Just got this book a week or so ago. It's by Kunihira Kawachi and Masao Manabe and is translated from Japanese to English by Stephan Comee.

 

I was worried, a little, that this book would use the Yoshihara formula that I've seen a lot of. It doesn't. It's interesting to read and the pictures are outstanding, even if there are too few. Doesn't try to teach you how to make swords, just kind of show what goes into it. Has a nice chapter on how to look at an old sword, with proper etiquette, with why's and how's. There are also some stories about old swords and a little poetry kinds of things.

 

Overall I was really impressed with this book and the author, who is a master swordsmith by the way.

 

Now the only problem is that I think it was printed in a limited run and there aren't that many out there. I found it on Keith Larman and Ted Tennold's site here Modern Tosho

 

They might be able to indicate if more books will come available as well.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got this today and it's awesome... I also got my "Swords of the Vikings" so I'm reallllyy torn at which one I'm going to dig into first :)

Kristopher Skelton, M.A.

"There was never a good knife made from bad steel"

A quiet person will perish ~ Basotho Proverb

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Well, hey... I've got tons of class but zilch for money... :D Otherwise I'd own a library full of the best books to be found. Ah, well. At least I have a to get list which this one is on. :)

 

Now, how am I going to pay for a new bottle of propane and getting my 2 flat tires fixed? lol

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I just got a copy of this book a couple days ago. I enjoyed it, though it seems to have a few more typos than it ought to. Nice photos of some of the tools (hammers, Japanese bellows with photo and drawing) in addition to a lot of great sword photos. There's a couple of pages of drawings at the end with about 20 steps diagrammed from newly smelted lumps to the finished sword, which serve as a nice accessible summary of the process.

 

Michael

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Having read a lot of books translated to English from the Japanese by a Japanese person I'd say the typos were minimal :D I agree that the illustrated process is pretty cool.

Does anyone else have repeated pages in the back of the book? Specifically the essay by his wife. I know that was a common technique to get everything to fit the bindings, but I've not seen it in any modern book.

Kristopher Skelton, M.A.

"There was never a good knife made from bad steel"

A quiet person will perish ~ Basotho Proverb

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Mine doesn't, Kris. Wonder it you're missing anything 'cause of the copied pages?

 

After the essay "Being a swordsmith's wife" comes the appendix with the illustrated sword progression then the list of museums showing swords.

 

Dan

Dan Pfanenstiel

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  • 2 weeks later...
Now the only problem is that I think it was printed in a limited run and there aren't that many out there.

40112[/snapback]

 

There are still a few on Amazon Japan as well, it was even on discount recently.

 

My only regret about this book is that it could have been a bit longer/thicker :)

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  • 1 month later...

Dan, your book probably has typos as well, i have just conditioned you to read over them though by all the typos from my typing skills. You may thank me later for the gift i have given you, LOL :P

Edited by Romey
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  • 11 months later...

I really like this book alot. The small pictures of the hand tools is worth the cost of the book for me alone. My favorite hamons are simple Gunome' and his are ultra cool. The first copy of this book I got was in Japanese only and I didnt realize it was available in English until a few months ago when I found it too. The photos of the hand tools are so cool I think I will cut the Japanese version up and make them into a small poster for my shop since I now have the English version. I wish it had more photos and it was in a larger format. I understand that there is a 10 minute video showing Kunihira Kawachi working that was shown at a art fest in Toronto last year. I would like to see that if anyone knows where its available.

Edited by Tim Lively

He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is.

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