This small hardcover book represents Sword fittings, as well as sword guards, Inro and netsuke, represent wonderful miniature works of art from the Edo and Meiji period. As far as what has been written, no other metalwork such as Japanese sword fittings exist elsewhere in the world: They are accurate, delicate and elegant. The essential techniques for making metalwork- such as alloying , sculpturing, inlaying, coloring and so forth developed mainly in Silk Road countries. Once these technique were introduced to Japan, they were refined and cultivated by Japanese metal workers and produced far finer results. The pinnacle of these techniques was reached between the end of the Edo and the beginning of the Meiji period (late 19th/century), and sword guards, (Tsuba), and pairs of hilt ornaments, (Menuki), are the best examples.
Sword Guards and fittings are a uniquely Japanese art, expressed within a limited small space and using numerous difficult craft techniques. This is a “rare” book illustrating the diverse creations of the identified and respected Japanese metalsmith.
Japanese sword fittings, generally called Tosogu, are normally composed of a sword guard, (Tsuba), a small knife, (Kozuka), a skewer, (Kogai), a pair of hilt ornaments, (Menuki), and metal collars at the blade end of the hilt, (Fuchigashira). Sword fittings incorporated various metlas such as gold, silver, shakudo, suaka and shibuichi have been characterized as miniature decorative art in Japan since the Middle Ages. It is also know that many of them often depicted subjects related to Noh plays and classical literature; these were part of courtiers’ noble taste and admired by many medieval warriors. This is an exceptional ‘out-of-print’ book representing the collection of the Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum and in new condition. Forward and Afterword in English, the rest in Japanese. Beautiful, full-color images.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection