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Japanese Swords: Cultural Icons of a Nation Paperback – 19 Sep 2014
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"The imagery here is the real selling point. To me, you've got to show me as well as tell me about Japan. Trust me, if you've wanted to see some historical artifacts, detailed descriptions of Japanese swords, and a little glimpse into the world of Iaido, then you're in for a treat. " Japan Finds blog"
"Beautiful photographs of swords, pictures of sword craftsmen at work, and illustrations of Japanese art and artifacts complement the thorough, scholarly text." Maine Antique Digest"
"This oversized 176-page hardcover is overflowing with color and black-and-white photographs." Black Belt Magazine"
"In order to truly understand the Japanese sword in its entirety one must, Roach suggests, appreciate the 'unique sociological, spiritual, and metallurgical environment in which it evolved.' With this at the core of his book, he vividly tracks the fundamental transition from the sword as a mythological instrument to a functional tool for war, and finally to the display art commodity it is today." Publishers Weekly"
With over 300 stunning photographs and woodblock prints along with extensive historical and cultural commentary, Japanese Swords is the ultimate authority on Samurai weaponry.
Historically, Japanese warriors considered their swords to be far greater than simple weaponry. Their swords were both lethal tools and divine companions — social and religious icons. Traditionally worn by the samurai as a sign of social status, the Japanese sword represented the junction between the reigning military class and those whom they ruled. Moreover, the samurai sword was a technological and artistic marvel. Many scholars consider it to be the finest sword ever constructed.
in terms of symbolism and historical importance, no other blade comes close to the Japanese sword. With a historical, iconographical, and technological perspective, author Cohn M. Roach provides an in-depth study of these magnificent weapons in Japanese Swords. This richly illustrated sword book weaves the blade's primary influences together, tracking its history and illuminating its progress from infancy to grandeur. by studying the evolution of the Japanese sword from this perspective, we better understand Japan and its warrior archetype.
Combining research materials from multiple disciplines, Roach uses his expertise as an educator to guide readers through the sword's rise to greatness in a unique way. This book discusses the history, development, and spiritual symbolism of the sword, as well as the esoteric metallurgical techniques used in making it. it also covers the difficult training practices used by skilled swordsmen.
Japanese Swords also includes a companion DVD featuring a beautifully-filmed documentary that explores the traditional swordmaker's craft. The DVD also contains an introduction to the Japanese sword at a sword shop in Kyoto and a visit to a dojo for a beginner's class in the medieval sword-drawing art called iaido.
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Top Customer Reviews
It may be a purely stylistic thing but there is a considerable lack of humility within the text. The author may certainly be an expert in martial arts but I regret he falls well short in the study of the art of Nihon-to.
Having said all these negative things it is a well presented, well illustrated coffee table book. For someone with no understanding of the subject it offers an enthusiatic introduction. But anyone studying the subject of Japanese Swords and buying this to further their understanding is likely to be dissappointed.
I am lucky to practice Muso Jikiden Iaido which I teach in N.Wales so buy this book, Paul Evans Sensei, Zen In Zen Ka Dojo Rhyl N.Wales. B.K.A. Registered Dojo.
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