Recently Japanese Swords Have Gained Enormous Popularity As Art Objects With Collectors And Enthusiasts Around The World, But Until Now Much Of The Most Detailed Information On The Subject Has Been Available Only In Japanese This Comprehensive Guide To The Appreciation And Appraisal Of The Blades Of Japanese Swords Provides, At Last, All The Background That Readers Need To Become True ConnoisseursThe Book Is Organized Along Historical Lines For The Sake Of Clarity And Convenience, And Its Approach Is Always Practical Broad Discussions Of Each Tradition Within The Gokaden Focus On The Features That Distinguish Specific Schools And Smithsthe Various Kinds Of Jihada, Hamon, Boshi, And Hataraki Favored In Different Periods And Regionsmaking This An Invaluable Reference Tool For All Enthusiasts, Especially Those Who Wish To Take Part In Kantei Kai, Or Sword Appreciation Meetings Each Section Closes With An Easy Reference Chart Summarizing The Distinctive Features Of The Work Of Various Schools And SmithsThe Chapter On Terminology Gives Advice On What To Look For When Examining The Different Parts Of A Blade, Again Making Reference To The Unique Features Of Particularly Significant Smiths The Chapter On Care And Appraisal Of Blades Tells Precisely How To Handle Blades And What To Expect At A Sword Appraisal Meeting, Including An Explanation Of All The Various Responses That A Judge May Give In Response To A BidRichly Illustrated Throughout With Than Of The Author S Own Painstaking Oshigata Illustrations Sword Tracings Onto Which Details Are Penciled In By HandThe Connoisseur S Book Of Japanese Swords Is Easily The Most Informative And Comprehensive Guide To The Blades Of Japanese Swords Ever To Appear In EnglishKokan Nagayama, Who Is Widely Recognized As One Of The Foremost Living Sword Polishers, Compiled The Notes For This Book Over The Course Of Many Years Spent Teaching The Arts Of Polishing And AppraisalNagayama Sensei Is Widely Recognized As One Of The Foremost Living Sword Polishers And Is A Veteran Teacher Of Both Polishing And Appraisal Here In One Accessible Volume He Distills The Store Of Knowledge He Has Gained Over A Lifetime Of Intensive Research Nagayama Sensei And His Senior Pupils Have For Many Years Now Taken An Enlightened Approach To Study Of Japanese Swords Outside Of Japan They Have Been Of Great Assistance To Collectors Here In Great Britain And In Other Countries, Traveling And Living Abroad, Organizing Exhibitions, Teaching Us And Polishing Our Swords, Always In An Altruistic Spirit This Translation Is Another Example Of This Same Approach In The Past We Have Often Struggled On Our Own Or In Small Groups To Gain An Understanding Of This Peculiarly Japanese Cultural Asset, And With Many Of The Definitive books On The Subject Still Untranslated, A Wealth Of Information Has In The Past Been Inaccessible To The Non Japanese Reader The Connoisseur S Book Of Japanese Swords Will Be Of Great Help In Making Educated Judgments At Kantei Sessions, And Will Be An Invaluable And Constant Reference Work From The Foreword By Clive SinclaireChairman Of The Token Society Of Great Britain The Connoisseur s Book, is just that It is very detailed and a must for any serious student of Nihonto.
The pluses are the incredible depth of research and information Nagayama details all five priciple schools as well as the common traits and outstanding smiths of the schools.
The only downside is the lack of full color or even b w for that matter picures of the blades and styles he is talking about However, the drawings do well to illustrate the style I just would have prefered to see actual blades since that is what I would be looking for as a collecter.
Overall a very good read Nagayama gives a great history of the development of the Nihoto.
As a reference tool, the book is not well set up for quick access, but does provide the information needed if you mark the various pages.
Basically detailed that Yumoto s book and the next step for the collector in his study of Nihonto.
This book contains info than one could even imagine In fact, that s all I m going to say becuase it would take to long for me to even give you even a basic idea I will tell you this If you don t have this book in your library then you are missing out big time Oh, by the way, the illustrations are awesome too Enjoy and make sure that you have a weekend free to read you ll need it The Connoisseur s Book is exceptionally detailed and not to mention very aesthetically pleasing The book itself has the feel and look of a high quality encyclopedia As should be expected, the information inside is very well detailed It is an excellent book and I very strongly recommend it, particularly if you are ready to start deeper in depth studies of Nihonto For a novice, I would probably suggest the books by Sato and Yumoto But this is what I feel would be a step beyond those.
Absolutely marvelous Well written, very clear, of course as was mentioned in another review it sorta lacks photographs, but that s quite OK, as the illustrations do an excellent job of portraying things.
For those of you who are passively interested, this book will be overkill and unnecessary when you can do well with the aforementioned books, but if you are seriousthis book is a splendid piece of work that will be VERY enjoyable for you to delve into Not only for information, but as a good read.