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Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords: A Collector's Guide [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Nobuo Nakahara
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 27.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2010
This is the first book to enable the reader to accurately judge the quality and pedigree of any sword. This book is the first English translation of a key reference title published in Japanese in 2005. Its value lies in its purpose, which is to ensure that the reader is given sufficient quality, quantity and detail of information to ensure that the resultant understanding of the subject facilitates an accurate assessment of any sword that may be encountered. The book is richly illustrated with 160 b/w photos (colour does not assist assessment) and 140 drawings elucidating details from nakago (tang) controlled rusting and inscriptions to the shape, dimensions, style, patina and every other visible element of the blade itself. The text is thorough and precise, and imparts everything a collector needs to know to determine whether the sword before him is a true blade with intrinsic and actual value, or a lesser artefact.

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Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords: A Collector's Guide + Samurai Sword: A Handbook + A Brief History of the Samurai: The True Story of the Warrior
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd; first edition (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770031300
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770031303
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19.8 x 26.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nobuo Nakahara was born in Nara City, 1951. After graduating from Doshisha University (Kyoto) in 1974, he became apprenticed to sword specialist Kosuke Murakami (a senior disciple of Koson Honami, the leading connoisseur of Japanese swords). In December 1978, he became independent following the death of his master, and began to publish a bi-monthly Japanese sword journal (1979 to December 1998) while lecturing at Japanese sword research associations all over Japan. In 2001, he published the reference book Oita-ken no Katana (The Swords of Oita Prefecture), followed by Katana no Kansho (The Facts and Fundamentals of Japanese Swords) in 2005.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Out of all the Japanese sword books in English this book is hands down one of the most useful and well written books on the subject.

It contains a plethora of useful information that to my knowledge is not present in any other English language book. The book is profusely illustrated with excellent quality diagrams and photos.

The book contains among other things, explanations of suriage (shortening), why swords are mumei (unsigned) and how to judge quality. All of the chapters are highly factual, well written and easy to understand. The book also dispels a great many of the common myths we so often hear.

For a new collector this book contains invaluable information that would be a great help and guide on your first purchase. It may also stop you from making a very expensive mistake.
For the experienced collector you are guaranteed to learn something new from this book and maybe change your way of thinking on several key subjects.

This book deserves a place in every nihonto library!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 25 Aug 2010
By AC
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My knowledge of the Japanese sword is limited, which is why I bought this book and it is an excellent introduction describing the features, what to look for both good and bad, all mixed with some history and opinion to give it some life.
My one criticism is that although there are sketches and photographs, they are of low quality. Some high quality images of the features being described would have made the book perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my brother liked it 16 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
my brother is a 7th or 8th dan swordsman and was delighted with this purchase...excellent choice of present it seems
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5.0 out of 5 stars One to have on your shelf! 6 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Whether student expert or just curious about the Japanese katana. This book will take you to all the aspects of the form, beauty and the art of the sword of the Samurai. Great credit must be heaped on Mr Paul Martin, who translated this volume into the spoken english. Illustrations and sketches throughout the book help to clarify points made. If you are new to this subject be patient, it can get deep.
Any book collection will be enhanced by the presence of this volume, one to have on your shelf!
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good book for those who want to learn more 26 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover
this is the first book I have bought on nihonto, after being a fan of samurai films and buying a couple of swords I decided it was time to learn more. I can not fault this book at all it is a great introduction telling you at lengh about the different types down tne ages, construction and how to tell there quality etc without ever feeling impenetrable to the novice. the book is peppered with blavk and white pictures throughout of blades. if you are looking for information about nihonto this book is for you, however if you just want to look at glossy colour pictures of antique katana best look elsewhere.
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