The Japanese sword was originally forged as a weapon; now it is recognized as one of the greatest steel works of art in the world. In the olden days, it was worshiped as the “ soul of the Samurai,” now it is respected as a true objet d’art all over the world.
There have been numerous books written about the sword, but the unique terminology used has discouraged many a beginner from serious study. The terms heard in connoisseurs’ conversations are unfamiliar to common people, and most especially to the non-Japanese speaking person. About ten years ago, I thought it would be of great assistance if these terms could be defined, described and/or graphed, with even some parts in English, in one volume. Since then, I have gathered all possible terminology, numerous reference books, and with great assistance of teachers and friends, was able to compile this volume. Some of the terminology included might now be considered “deador obsolete, but I felt them important enough to be recorded.
I sincerely hope that this “glossary” will aid not only Japanese students and collectors of swords but those overseas. I also hope it may provide those who have previously been deterred, an easier access to the world of the Japanese sword.