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Publications of the NCJSC:

Publications currently available from the NCJSC :

"A Brief History of Japanese Sword Fittings Artisans"
. An English translation of the "Hompō Sōken Kinkō Ryakushi", by Wada Tsunashirō, translated from Japanese by Henri L. Joly and Alan L. Harvie. 229 pages, including a 27 page alphabetized index of artisans.
"Tsuba, An Aesthetic Study", by Kazutaro Torigoye and Robert Haynes, from the "Tsuba Geijutsu-Ko" of Kazutaro Torigoye, 295 pages.
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"NTHK Novice Course". English translation by Dr. Gordon Robson, Reprinted by the NCJSC 1990-92, 228 pages. New members receive a copy with their first issue of the newsletter.
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"Kinko Meikan Translation", English translation by John Yumoto and Alan Harvie, of the 1974 edition of the Kinko Meikan, by Senichiro Masumoto and Kenichi Kokubo. 197 pages.
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Now available:

NTHK Novice Course:

This "Novice Course" on Japanese swords (Nihonto) was first written as a series of articles by Yoshikawa Kōen sensei for the Nihon Tōken Hozon Kai (NTHK).  Dr. Gordon Robson translated the text into English for the Northern California Japanese Sword Club (NCJSC) and organized the material into book form in 1990-1992.  The second edition, from 2022, is a digital remastering of the book which has improved print and image quality and incorporates some minor updates by Dr. Robson. The third edition, from 2023, has rescanned oshigata.

A little over half the book introduces the reader to the Gokaden (Five Traditions) since, as the author tells us, "Every Nihonto which has come down to us today has its roots in the Gokaden, and each of these tradition?s characteristics are present in the style of work found in these blades."

The rest of the book includes a glossary of sword terms (in Japanese and English) and chapters on the principles of sword polishing and making oshigata.  Also included is a chapter on the NTHK shinsa (screening) system, explaining the point system and how to read "papers."

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Now available:

"New Contributions to the Study of the History of the Japanese Sword Guard":
See "A Brief History of Japanese Sword Fittings Artisans" above.

This book is a translation of an article which first appeared in the Bulletin de la Societe Franco-Japonaise de Paris, Vol. XXXIII, April, 1914.

From the Introduction:
As has been written before, the historical study of the fittings for the Japanese sword is but one hundred years old. The first fifty years of this study was conducted, for the most part, by Akiyama Kyusaku. The New Contributions to the Study of the History of the Japanese Sword Guard by M. le Marquis de Tressan was, and still is, of great value to the Western student. As you can see from the opening paragraph of this paper, it is essentially the translation of Hompō Sōken Kinkō Ryakushi by Wada Tsunashirō (see "A Brief History of Japanese Sword Fittings Artisans" above) which, in turn, is based on the studies of Akiyama Kyōaku, who was continuing his own research at that time. What is of interest is the fact that the knowledge that was formed in the last twenty or thirty years of the nineteenth century arrived in Europe almost at the same time it was published in Japan. Up until the last few years we had no idea that the collectors and students in the West had such close contact with Akiyama and other experts of that day. When you read this paper you will see that not only did they have excellent translations of the current knowledge regarding the study of fittings in Japan, but that they were in regular correspondence with Akiyama and the other experts of his day.

This translation was published by the Northern California Japanese Sword Club in 1996 and digitally remastered in 2023.

56 pages
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NCJSC out-of-print publications:

bullet"Chronological Table of Koto Smiths", Copy of a 6 foot handmade scroll  by John Yumoto
bullet"Genealogy of Satsuma Smiths", copies of three scrolls by John Yumoto
bullet"NCJSC Token Taikai '76 Lectures", 191 pages.
bullet"Imperial Japanese Daggers - 1883 to 1945", 48 pages.
bullet"New Contributions to the Study of the History of the Japanese Sword Guard", by M. le Marquis de Tressan, Translated by Christine Dispas, Ph. D., produced by Alan L. Harvey and Paul R. Allman for the NCJSC, November 1996, 63 Pages.
bullet"Nihonto Newsletter", by Albert Yamanaka, over 1900 pages in four volumes.
(This publication is delayed temporarily while we work on new typesetting.
First volume (Koto) publication estimated in late 2024.]

NCJSC Newsletter "To-Ron"


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