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.