It’s done, my announced Masamune book is out now!
I quote from the blurb:
“It is often said that Masamune was the greatest Japanese swordsmith of all times but we have to define what we mean by “greatest.” From a mere technical point of view, it is next to impossible to say if there was one “greatest” swordsmith as the country brought forth so many great master smiths over the centuries. Each of these masters had a more or less personal approach in producing a perfect sword, and within these elite circles of smiths we are not only referring to technical perfection but also to aesthetical considerations. Or, in other words, these great master smiths not only strived to produce an impeccable sword but also to leave a work of art following the then aesthetical currents. This all, i.e. the technical and artistic aspect, is both very true for Masamune and, putting aside the claim to name a “greatest,” we can at least say for sure that Masamune is by far the most famous swordsmith of Japan. A lot has been written on Masamune and his swords, both inside and outside of Japan. The aim of this publication is to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of this great swordsmith in the West, that is to say by not only presenting his most famous works but also by providing, on the basis of an examination of all major written records on Masamune, a newly researched and detailed historic overview of his life and the circumstances in the establishment of a new forging tradition. This publication introduces more than 50 of his meibutsu (noted swords). “
Please note that there are two editions: The standard b/w paperback edition that is (shortly) available everywhere (e.g. Amazon.com), and the hardcover color higher quality paper deluxe edition that is only available via Lulu.com. I would highly recommend the latter edition as the pictures should turn out much better on the higher quality paper. Also I added many portraits of previous historic owners of the meibutsu to give the provenances “a face.” These also should do much better in color.
Paperback Edition 49.90 USD
Deluxe Edition 89.90 USD
eBook Edition 19.90 USD