Item description for The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths by Kenji Mishina Tamio Tsuchiko...
Unparalleled in its deadly cutting power, strength, and enduring elegance, the Japanese sword is a triumph of both technical merit and mythical appeal. For a thousand years the Japanese sword was the linchpin of the warrior class, the mainstay of social order, and the definitive weapon on the battlefield. Now incongruous with modern warfare and society, its practical role has been consigned to history. But the sword has retained its artistic and symbolic power. Most of the qualities that are considered aesthetically pleasing in the sword, from the intricate patterns on the steel itself to the blade's characteristic curvature, derive from its function as a weapon. The sword must embody both lightness and durability, and the blade requires a toughness that is not too brittle or its effectiveness as a weapon would be compromised. The perfect harmony of these conflicting elements characterizes the swordsmith's art. The history of swordmaking was interrupted in the wake of World War II, when the occupying forces banned all activities associated with the Japanese sword. Many of the old swords were destroyed and, for those remaining, their status as weapons was changed forever. Today's working craftsmen form a new chapter in this history as they revive the art form and find a vital, meaningful role for the sword in modern society. In this insightful volume, noted sword expert, journalist, and editor, Tamio Tsuchiko, explores the world of gendaito, visiting its practitioners and sharing views and ideas. Through close-up interviews with twenty gendai-tosho, and dialogues between smiths and polishers, Tsuchiko presents the reader with a fascinating and enriching array of experiences, theories, and reflections from those at the forefront of modern sword craftsmanship, as they take this ancient art into purely aesthetic directions. Never before has such a thorough and illuminating study of this kind emerged. The book is divided into three parts, the first of which provides a context of sword history, from the types of blades, their respective periods, and the prominent styles of workmanship. This will primarily be of interest to specialists. Diagrams accompany explanations of key terminology, which can be cross-referenced in a detailed glossary and index. The centerpiece of The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths, however, hinges on part two, in which Tsuchiko visits twenty gendai-tosho, revealing their thoughts, experiences, and aims, and providing the reader with the most comprehensive discourse on gendaito to appear in English. In part three, Tsuchiko presents in-depth interviews with three of the leading figures of the sword society: Akitsugu Amata (Living National Treasure swordsmith); Kokan Nagayama (Living National Treasure sword polisher); and Mitsuo Shibata (Japan's most influential sword dealer). Each offers his own unique insight into the dynamic and changing picture of gendaito. Including over one hundred photographs of the artists and their most recent creations, this will be an important addition to the libraries of collectors, craftsmen and sword aficionados, as well as those with a more general interest in Japanese weaponry.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.43" Width: 7.79" Height: 0.94" Weight: 2.38 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2002
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770028547 ISBN13 9784770028549
Reviews - What do customers think about The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths?
Review of The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths Jul 22, 2007
This is an excellent book for the novice and high-end collector alike. If you own, study or are interested in the Japanese Sword, then you must add this volume to your library. This is about the lives and work of 20 top swordsmiths of Japan, their craft, methods,insights and open discussions about shinsakuto, the modern day Japanese Sword, forged only in the rigid standards of the old school smiths.
Another MUST HAVE book!!! Feb 21, 2006
This book interviews twenty blade smiths and also has interviews with polishers, too!
The reader will be enriched by the thoughts and experiences of these craftsmen and gain a greater appreciation for their craft.
This is a great reference book for anyone studying or even remotely interested in modern Nihon-to and classical Nihon-to.
All I can say is WOW! Jan 14, 2004
This book is going to be one of those books that will become legendary in the nihonto world. A very facinating look into todays up and coming smiths, their work, and where they see the future of the sword is going. An absolute must for the library, and an excellent resource for nihonto collectors!
the new generation of japanese swordsmiths Oct 14, 2003
An excellant companion book to any study of mondern Nihon-to and classical Nihon-to. Detailed descriptions of swords, and great biographical material on the smiths. The son of Yoshihara Yohindo, who wrote "The Craft of the Japanese Sword", is among those interviewed. He has become a respected & licensed smith since his father's book was published in 1985.
I own this book. One of the 1st bought when i started my studies of Nihon-to.