Foreword-Japanese swords

What is a Japanese sword?

A Japanese sword is a unique steel artwork that can be appreciated from many aspects. It is not only a weapon with excellent functions, but also reflects the mature metallurgical technology and scientific thinking of Japanese sword workers. In addition to the shape of the Japanese sword itself, the most critical aesthetic element of the Japanese sword lies in the different crystal structure and shape of the steel. Japanese sword has been used as a practical weapon for a long time, so we can clearly see the development of sword forging technology from Japanese sword. As the special features of the knife came into being with historical events, it is also closely related to Japanese history.
We hope that through my introduction, we can fully understand the actual manufacturing process of Japanese sword and appreciate Japanese sword better.

Xing Yu sword, Preface to Japanese sword and katana
This Edo-era painting shows the process of forging and forming patina as craftsmen make hand guards and accessories. It is one of 24 series of works.


Japanese sword forge

Japanese sword and sword-making techniques were first introduced from China through South Korea between the 4th and 6th centuries A.D., and then it took hundreds of years to gradually improve and develop into a unique, mature and complicated sword-making method. In order to improve the cutting efficiency, its design has been developed for hundreds of years, and these characteristics as a weapon also endow Japanese sword with attractive aesthetic characteristics. However, it is not easy to observe all the details of the sword. The sword must be in good condition and its surface is rust-free so that it can be fully appreciated. It must not be in a "tired" state, and it must not be excessively polished or improperly repaired, otherwise these factors may destroy the shape of the sword. Appreciating a Japanese sword with good appearance requires proper light source, proper angle and even the production method of the sword.The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive introduction of Japanese sword, so as to help customers to examine and appreciate these unrepeatable works of art. Other topics will also be discussed, such as the method of appreciating and holding the sword, the description of steps such as steelmaking and forging assembly,and briefly explain the metallurgy involved, as well as the names of various parts of Japanese sword. In addition, the historical events in ancient and modern times are also discussed, in order to reinforce how the traditional production technology of Japanese sword can be preserved.


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