The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths

TitleThe New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTsuchiko, Tamio, and Mishina Kenji
PublisherKodansha USA
Number of Pages255
ISBN Number978-4770028549

In this insightful volume, noted sword expert, journalist, and editor, Tamio Tsuchiko, explores the world of gendaito, visiting its practitioners and sharing views and ideas. Through close-up interviews with twenty gendai-tosho, and dialogues between smiths and polishers, Tsuchiko presents the reader with a fascinating and enriching array of experiences, theories, and reflections from those at the forefront of modern sword craftsmanship, as they take this ancient art into purely aesthetic directions. Never before has such a thorough and illuminating study of this kind emerged.

The book is divided into three parts, the first of which provides a context of sword history, from the types of blades, their respective periods, and the prominent styles of workmanship. This will primarily be of interest to specialists. Diagrams accompany explanations of key terminology, which can be cross-referenced in a detailed glossary and index.

The centerpiece of The New Generation of Japanese Swordsmiths, however, hinges on part two, in which Tsuchiko visits twenty gendai-tosho, revealing their thoughts, experiences, and aims, and providing the reader with the most comprehensive discourse on gendaito to appear in English.

In part three, Tsuchiko presents in-depth interviews with three of the leading figures of the sword society: Akitsugu Amata (Living National Treasure swordsmith); Kokan Nagayama (Living National Treasure sword polisher); and Mitsuo Shibata (Japan's most influential sword dealer). Each offers his own unique insight into the dynamic and changing picture of gendaito.

Including over one hundred photographs of the artists and their most recent creations, this will be an important addition to the libraries of collectors, craftsmen and sword aficionados, as well as those with a more general interest in Japanese weaponry.

Citation KeyNEWGEN2002