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CompleteMartialArts.com - Lethal Elegance


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Manufacturer: MFA Publications
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 739.7220952
EAN: 9780878466795
ISBN: 0878466797
Label: MFA Publications
Manufacturer: MFA Publications
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 250
Publication Date: 2004-12-02
Publisher: MFA Publications
Release Date: 2004-12-02
Studio: MFA Publications

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Editorial Reviews:

As the "soul of the samurai," the sword is famously both the symbol and instrument of Japanese military prowess. Less known, at least in the West, is its role as a fashion accessory or status symbol. And more than the weapon itself, it was the sword's metal fittings--from the hand guard to the small decorative plates on the hilt--that reflected the complexities of samurai life. Some fittings were meant to convey the honor and self-control expected of a samurai while on official duty, while other, more flamboyant ones reflected his leisure-time persona as "man about town." Later, when the wearing of swords spread beyond the samurai class, both the decorative function of the fittings and the variety of their designs sharply increased, leading to some of the most sophisticated and accomplished metalwork ever created. Lethal Elegance presents 150 of these remarkable sword fittings, and is one of the few books in a Western language to focus on the visual presentation, rather than the function or culture of the sword. It discusses the many effects achieved with different alloys, the evolution of fittings in relation to changes in warfare, the symbolism of particular motifs, and standards for connoisseurship. Nearly all these fittings were once owned by trained swordsmen, and the weapons they ornamented could surely inflict fatal wounds. But their extraordinary variety and beauty, lavishly illustrated and carefully presented by Joe Earle, also reveal them as marvels of self-expression and personal style.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: LETHAL ELEGANCE
Comment: THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE,IF YOU LOVE THE JAPANESE SWORD AND THE SAMURAI.TONS OF BEAUTIFUL PICTURES ALL IN COLOR.TSUBA AND FITTINGS.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The best on the subject !
Comment: Being relativelly new to the subject of Japanese swords and fittings I was quite impresse by two things:
- Quality of the pictures
- Description of the items
I think this is worht having for anyone that trully appreciates the japanese swordmanship and art itself.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Very Good Buy!
Comment: Very amazing photos, and quality information on each photo and sword. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A modern book on japanese sword fittings
Comment: This review is a joint effort with Laerte E. Ottaiano
The book is very good . It has a few annoying errors. I give example of two of them: On page 171 there is a tsuba described as "Design of Egret and Crab" . However the Crab is not there . It is on the back of the Tsuba and is relatively ugly in our opinion . On page 193 there is a tsuba described as "Design of deer and the moon". Again the moon can not be seem. It is on the back of the tsuba and is very,very, beautifull. You can check what we told in the book by Ogawa Morihiro on the Boston Collection. The great thing of this book is that it presents a new way to way to apreciate Tsubas.Kinko( as oposed to steel , sukashi tsubas) were underrated in the USA and Canada. Only steel tsubas were considered old and of true use by Samurai.As this book teaches us this is not so. Kinko Tsubas were used by Samurai and Sukashi Steel ( or Iron ) Tsubas are not usualy so old . This came as a great relief for us . We always thought that Kinko tsubas were works of art. It is a grest relieve to find this in this book

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Simply the best book on fittings
Comment: On top on anything else, this book has the best pictures of japanese sword fittings that I've had the chance to see so far. There are many good close-ups that show well the work done by the craftmen.
Earle goes through explaining the evolution of sword fittings by presenting the influence of History upon the samurai, and their needs.
He also exposes techniques, although not in depth - it is not the purpose of this book - and materials used in the making of the tsuba and other fittings.
I believe he succeeds in bringing the reader to understand the how and the why behind those very impressive works of art.
The works chosen - among the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; probably the greatest collection of japanese swords and sword fittings outside Japan - are just plain divine. The pictures were all taken using digital technology, and -as a photographer - I must say it is above anything I'd have expected from any technology and any subject. A must have for any japanese art/craft/design/sword lover.


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