Copyright Robert Cole 2015 - No copying or distributing -


Welcome to the 

Sho-shin Japanese Samurai Sword

Appraisal and Price, 5 Volume set

This series comprises an introduction and complete appraisal tutorial for beginner to expert with a full cross-referenced index of over 5000 smiths and relevant appendices, and three volumes covering the historical eras KOTO, SHINTO and SHIN-SHINTO. Each volume is a complete and comprehensive examination of schools, smith relationships and appraisal considerations that define the works and values of all note-worthy smiths. The wearing of swords, and therefore reason for production, ceases with the HAITO Edict of 1876.

The history of nihonto has its roots in early Japanese history with the CHOKUTO sword but is seen by scholarship as beginning with swords produced for the aristocracy in the NARA period by YAMATO smiths, AMAKUNI, AMAZA and SHINSOKU, leaders of the so-called, NARA School.

The familiar, curved Japanese sword came with the rise to political and governmental power of the BUSHI class; and departed from the world scene with the Samurai who left the closed offices of the quit TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE following 1868.

This most perfect of all of the bladed weapons designed and used throughout history, NIHON-TO, "The Japanese Sword," lived and died with the Samurai class - that used them.

Please Take Note: While this book is a technical treatise on the appraisal of Japanese Samurai Swords and supports classically defined scholarship and Japanese appraisal methodology, I have included corolary treatments on certain historical events, legends and battles, and also descriptions of selected works-of-art and treasure pieces. There are three  writing-styles offered in this work. Descriptions of the Treasure pieces are generally poetic, battles and histories are curt for the sake of space and the technicals are pointed and clear.

The Point of It All
The point of collecting and interest in this stuff is more than Art, more than history; the point is your exercising the mental capacity engage a universe of human experience and knowledge that is not found in common, or modern society.
To know, to bathe in and be enriched by the - artistic - historical - social - and intellectual experience of that world.

     That's the point.

In thanks

Don Verwayen, my friend - For the loan of his ancient word processor and his kind encouragements.

Makoto Miura, my friend - For the loan of reference and his constant support.

Robert Edwards - For gifts, only friends give

Elsie Mandot - For her very gracious support

    No DATA-base was used - I did it... the old fashioned way 
    (To all friends with abused books: You should have seen what I WENT THROUGH!)
Also helpers:

John McCrindle - For the all-night ROM, RAM Rumba

Kathy Anderson - For her Table of Plenty

Deborah Davis - For the gift of Nelson's Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary

        ...The key to the door
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