Koryu.com Book Reviews

The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Swords.
By Kokan Nagayama.
Kodansha International, 1997.
ISBN 4-7700-2071-6. 348 p. 7 3/4" by 10 1/2" hardcover.

The following is an excerpt from a review by sword connoisseur Chris Bowen, which appeared in the March/April 1998 issue of the Japanese Sword Society-US's Newsletter.--DS

Having used this book, in its various incarnations, for nearly 7 years, I can say without reservation that, for the English speaking collector of Japanese swords, it is without a doubt a must have. While other publications contain similar material, the collected Albert Yamanaka's Newsletter, for example, none come close to covering all of the bases in such a clear, organized, and thorough way. This book could have easily been titled Everything You Need to Know about Japanese Swords. I can't stress enough the importance of this book to anyone aspiring to deeper knowledge of Japanese swords....

I believe the book has something to offer collectors at all levels; with the glossary and clear presentation, even beginners can make headway. More advanced collectors will feel as though they have found an oasis after days in the desert....

In summary, despite a few rather inconsequential omissions, this book is an indispensable reference which should be bought and read again and again by anyone with an interest in collecting Japanese swords, beginner or veteran. I am sure it will also prove invaluable to those involved in the buying and selling of swords as well. Buy it--you will not be disappointed....

Chris Bowen

©1998 Chris Bowen. All rights reserved.
This review first appeared in JSS-US, March/April, 1998.

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Classical Japanese Martial Arts