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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Art of Japanese Sword Polishing


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Manufacturer: Kodansha International
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: 653.441
EAN: 9784770024947
ISBN: 4770024940
Label: Kodansha International
Manufacturer: Kodansha International
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 192
Publication Date: 2006-04-21
Publisher: Kodansha International
Studio: Kodansha International

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Editorial Reviews:

To understand Japanese sword polishing is to understand the Japanese sword. Down through the years, the great sword connoisseurs in Japan have been sword polishers. A swordsmith can spend a large amount of time forging a classic sword, but refining and bringing out its final shape, color, and texture so that all the details of the steel and hamon (the temper line) are clearly visible is the responsibility of another craftsman-the sword polisher. An experienced polisher can tell immediately by whom a blade was made, so distinctive is each smith's work and so vital is such knowledge to the skilled polisher.
The Art of Japanese Sword Polishing is the first book in English to examine in great detail the polisher's techniques-skills it often takes up to ten years of apprenticeship to master. It illustrates the methods, materials, and tools used for this process. But the book's true aim is to enable the reader to fully appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted Japanese sword. As readers learn both how the sword polisher enhances the beauty of the blade and how he handles the problems of coaxing out its finest qualities through polishing techniques, they will come to a deeper understanding of the fine art of making the Japanese sword and will be able to purchase or collect swords with greater pleasure.


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: A must for any collector of Nihontou
Comment: No book could ever teach how to pollish a sword and this book does not try. What it does is lead the novice (or expert) through the complex and time intensive process of sword polishing. You will gain a better understanding of what the polisher (and sword maker) hope to achieve. Also covered are the basics of construction, shapes and terminology. Lots of detail into each step of the polish and what it is doing in bringing out the beauty of the blades construction, as well as some history and bios of current polishers. Great photos.

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 Art of Japanese Sword Polishing
Comment: Very Informative Great book To lean about grades of stones and thier uses

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Review of "The Art of Japanese Sword Polishing"...
Comment: After reading the book entitled "The Art of Japanese Sword Polishing" I now have a much clearer and detailed understanding of the process used by traditional Japanese sword polishers. The book takes the reader though all of steps from the foundation polish, used to shape and sharpen the blade, to the finish polish, which is used bring out the details of the steel and shape of the temper line, using good text and a fair number of detailed photographs. It includes some Japanese sword polish theory and how Japanese swords have changed over the historical periods. It also explains how the age of the sword can affect how the sword should be polished and what damage can and cannot be repaired by a polisher. In the last section of the book it contains a few profiles of professional Japanese sword polishers the authors of the book had interviewed which I enjoyed reading.
As someone who studies and appreciates the Japanese sword I found the book very helpful in educating me more about the process of how a Japanese sword is polished. I would recommended this book to anyone interested in learning in detail how Japanese swords are polished.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Traditional techniques very different from ours
Comment: Men have always decorated their weapons. The main items being decorated in the United States have been guns. But in Japan it is the traditional Japanese sword. Being more of a land of tradition, the Japanese sword became more or less standardized in shape as long ago as the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and polishing the sword had to have followed shortly after that.

There are many books that describe the techniques of polishing and blueing guns. But this appears to be the first book available in English that discusses the polishing techniques used by Japanese craftsmen.

The Japanese practice is a strikingly different process than that used here. Polishing stones, not unlike whetstones but in far more diversity are used. A shop selling such stones is pictured with what appear to at least a couple of hundred different types of stones. And unlike here where stones are simply given numbers to indicate coarseness, in Japan they are given names.

The polishing area used with Japanese swords is a traditional form as well. It sits on the floor, and the polisher typically sits in a traditional position that most of us would find difficult to get into, and impossible to maintain for any period.

All in all, a fascinating book on techniques very different to those commonly used here.

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 very good introduction to sword polishing
Comment: I wish I had this book 20 years ago when I first started to investigate the art of polishing. This book provides a wealth of information on the technigues, the material and the different ways that can be used to get a sword polisihed. In fact, the diversity of the art is highlighted by the book and certainly dispells the notion that there is only one way to restore a blade. The section on foundation polish discusses how to achieve the proper shape without removing too much material. The different stones are described and how each is used to establish and refine the shape. The finishing section covers the range of materials and tools used to bring out the grain and tempered edge unique to the Japanese sword. It also shows the burnishing and how to highlight the boshi.
There are sections that talk about the history of polishing, the schools of polishing and interviews with several modern polishers. As always there is a note warning about the perils to the blade that can be inflicted by an inexperienced person. The book doesn't reveal all the secrets to the art, such as the various forms of nugui (other than the basic hadori and sashikomi formulas),what types of stones work best with each school or era, etc. But it certainly does provide a well documented, well photographed look at this art form. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in Japanese swords.


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