Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1868 to the Present
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New hardback without dust jacket. Fine and unread. Buchnummer des Verkäufers A157813
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In Praise of Gendaito
The Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK; the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords) holds a sword forging competition every year. The judging committee, under the auspices of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, selects swords for exhibition with careful consideration, and gives several awards to the superior works. These awards are: Masamune Award, for particularly excellent swords; Prince Takamatsu Award; Award by the Director-General of the Agency for Cultural Affairs; NBTHK Honorary Chairman Award; NBTHK Chairman Award; Kunzan Award; Kanzan Award; Award for Excellence; and Award for Effort. This sword competition has been regarded as a gateway to success for swordsmiths, and all those in the sword world follow it avidly. Swordsmiths make a tremendous effort to win higher awards each year.
The Japanese sword developed curvature in the mid-Heian period (the eleventh century). It continued to change its shape, or sugata, from that time to the end of the Edo period (the mid-nineteenth century), adapting to the style of combat of each period. Regardless of how the style of combat changed, the Japanese sword always maintained its aesthetic character, which included beautiful curvature, grain patterns, and the hamon. Grain patterns, produced by forging, give the steel of the blade depth and richness, and the hamon, produced by hardening the edge, a process known as yakiire, brings the blade a delicate beauty. In Koto times the Japanese sword developed in five regions: Yamato, Yamashiro, Bizen, Soshu (Sagami), and Mino. Each region has its own style of shape, grain pattern, and hamon.
In Shinto times, swordsmiths produced new sugata, used new types of steel, and created new hamon; as a result, the Japanese sword became richer in variety.
Contemporary smiths have studied the traditional forging methods very seriously. They have always endeavored to search for the jigane and hamon of old masterpieces of each period with great enthusiasm. They have also improved through a sense of friendly rivalry. It is my great pleasure to see that some of them have succeeded in making pieces that are as good as, if not better than, the old masterpieces in many ways. I would like to give unconditional praise to their efforts.
Director General, Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai
(The Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords)
Titel: Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From...
Verlag: Kodansha Europe 2002
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