The Craft of the Japanese Sword

The Craft of the Japanese Sword - 'Leon Kapp',  'Hiroko Kapp',  'Yoshindo Yoshihara' The book starts by talking a bit about history and Japanese sword appraisal. Then gets into the four stages of manufacture

1) Making the blade. Lots of detailed (albeit B&W) photos of the processing of hammering and folding the metal.

2) Polishing. well, polishing and sharpening and generally making the sword metal look as good as it can.

3) Making the Habaki (the bit of metal attached tot eh blade that holds the sword in the scabbard - the only point where the sword touches the scabbard

4) Making the scabbard.

Given the amount of effort and time these four separate craftsmen (and their apprentices) put into making the components it is not surprising how much Japanese swords fetch, and why they are such sought after works of art - I can't imagine any one would ever dream of using one of these (though apparently they do have competitions every year for sword manufacture - when they test the sword by cutting up rice bushels...

An interesting book.