Top critical review
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A good, but brief introduction to the Samurai Sword
on 29 November 1999
This book excels in terms of value for money, however, it lacks enough detail to warrant a good rating.
The book briefly describes most of the key elements of the Samurai Sword - Blade shape,mountings, construction, grain and inscriptions, and also provides a summary of the history of Japan and its impact on the development of the sword. It also includes many useful diagrams and pictures (although only in black and white), and an extensive list of notable sword-smiths and their inscriptions.
However, some important chapters were very brief indeed, and would have to be supplemented by other books. More information is needed on how the Five Schools differed in their styles of sword making, and on the making of the sword.
Overall, this is a very well laid out introductory handbook on the Samurai Sword, but its brevity limits it as such.