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Japanese Swords: Cultural Icons of a Nation Paperback – 19 Sep 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • Japanese Swords: Cultural Icons of a Nation
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Langenscheidt; Pap/DVD edition (19 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805313315
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805313312
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 1.8 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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"

Book Description

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

Format: Hardcover
I am not a practitioner of Iado so bow to the greater knowledge and enthusiastc reviews of those who are. I am a long term (30 years) student of Nihon-to. I am afraid this book attempts to cover a huge subject ranging from the manufacture of a blade, sword making history and their use in martial arts. As a result it falls short on at least two of the major subjects it tries to cover.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Purchased this book from Amazon U.S.A. as it was not available here in the U.K. at the time.I feel that of all the books I have this is of great quality, and will be highly prized among martial artist's who study Iaido.
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice illustrations, the sword world is my thing, the Dojo and CD are an extra, but not for me. For quality and price it is a great buy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interest in Japanese culture and student of iaido I would recommend this book to friends and also fellow club members
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book DVD real bonus
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