Study of Japanese Swords
This is a series of entry-level lectures on the Japanese sword and its history for those who are interested in studying Japanese art swords.
The Japanese sword was basically designed as a weapon, but Japanese swordsmiths imbued qualities of grace and beauty into the blades as well as functional superiority. The intricate patterns of surface and texture formed by their highly developed forging and tempering techniques were made only in Japan. In the past, the Japanese looked at the swords as a spiritual symbol of Samurai, temples, and shrines. Nowadays, the Japanese regard swords as a cultural art object made of steel.
Varieties of the appearance of swords are closely related to historical events. Textures, contours, and tempering designs are characteristics of a particular school (Den 伝) of swordsmiths. This is a series of lectures that discuss each period's history then talk about the swordsmiths' schools that were active in a particular province at the time. Because of that, each section starts with the history of the time. It is necessary to discuss the history to see the flow of the events that affected the swords' shape and style.