Since my first book Legends and Stories around the Japanese Sword, published in German in 2010, I constantly try to fill gaps and make accessible Japanese knowledge to the Western reader. At the same time I try to avoid as much as possible ruminating information that is found elsewhere. This might be reflected in my list of publications which include, among others, the aforementioned legends, Genealogies and Schools of Japanese Swordsmiths, Genealogies of Japanese tsuba and tôsô-kinkô Artists, Handbook of Sword Fittings related Terms, The Japanese toso-kinko Schools, The Honami Family, Koshirae – Japanese Sword Mountings, the two-volume Index of Japanese Swordsmiths, the series on Kantei, and Nihon-shinto-shi.

My books can be found under the following links or at the very bottom of this blog.

Order Here

Books on

Books on Books on Demand





Ogura Yôkichi, Akasaka Tankô Roku


Wada Tsunashirô, Sôken Kinkô Zufu

19 thoughts on “BOOKS

  1. Markus, is your “Index of Japanese Swordsmiths” available in printed form in English, and what is the cost? John

    • Perfect timing John. I am right at preparing a revised edition of the Index of Japanese Swordsmith that should be available in a little as two-volume hard cover copy and as eBook. I will make an announcement here on my blog when it is done. Thanks, Markus.

  2. Hello Markus,
    I’ve always held a distinct fascination for those with the ability to read Japanese signatures on the nagako, specifically to determine the authenticity of a signature based on the number and direction of strokes and the myriad of other nuances one must know. I liken it to the expertise exhibited to tell a fine artist’s work from that of a forgery or student’s work.

    Do you have a publication that deals specifically with authenticating signatures? Thank you for your time.

    Best Regards, Marc

    • Hi Marc,
      I don’t have a publication that deals specifically with authenticating signatures but please get in touch with me via “” as I might be able to provide you with a brief abstract on the subject.
      Thanks and best regards,

  3. Hi!Maekus
    I’m Doys from Thailand who serious interested about Japanese Sword.
    I need to order all of your book about sword and japanes culture for my libraly
    Please let me know how many book ready to ship in stock
    Thank You
    Ps. Need all of your book

    • Dear Doys,
      I would be very pleased to send you all of my books but please understand that I use a print-on-demand service. That is, I don’t have my books at home and have to place an order and tell where to ship them. For this, I would need an advance payment to place the order with If you are interested, we can talk via Email and I suggest you get in touch with me at “”.
      Thank you,
      Markus Sesko

  4. Hi Markus,
    I have your Swordsmiths of Japan, along with the Encyclopedia, Koto Shi, Shinto Shi, and Shinshinto Shi. I’m primarily interested in learning about swordsmiths from Iga, mostly the Iga-Ishido smiths. Do you have any other books that explore those swords? If not, can you recommend books by other authors that study the Iga swords?

    • Hi Brad,
      First, thank you for getting my books! I’m afraid that apart from the brief chapter in my Nihon Shinto Shi, I have not yet written specifically about this group, which appears to refer solely to the two smiths Shizutada and Shizumasa. Also, I am not aware of any Japanese publications that deal specifically with Iga-Ishidō.
      Best regards,

  5. Hello Marko,
    What is the difference in the regular and the international printed versions of Swordsmiths of Japan?

    • Hello Mark,
      The regular version is hardcover with a dust jacket, an option that was limited to the US market at the time of publication. The international version is a plain glossy hardcover without dust jacket.

  6. Hello Markus,
    i’m looking for “Legends and Stories around the Japanese Sword 1” It’s still available?
    I have read your articles, you do a great job!

  7. Mr. Sesko:

    I enjoyed the Arms and Armor collection displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City today (June 25, 2021) and in particular, the Japanese swords and other items on display.

    I have one question that’s been nagging me ever since, however, because the sword on the mounted Samaurai calvary display (in a leopard skin scabbard) appeared to be positioned upside down, with the curved edge of the blade and the scabbard facing downwards, and not up.

    Is that an accurate depiction of how the weapon was actually carried and held prior to deployment?

    If you can reply and confirm one way or another (at your convenience), I’d be most grateful and appreciative.

    Many thanks.

    Kevin Downey
    (from Gainesville, Florida)


    • Mr. Downey,
      The sword worn by the mounted Samurai is a tachi, so it was supposed to be worn cutting edge down, suspended via two hangers from the sash/belt. However, the display needs some refinement as the tachi should be worn in a more or less horizontal manner, i.e., the leopard skin-covered end of the scabbard sits too low.
      Best regards,
      Markus Sesko

  8. Hi Markus does any of your books have digital version? I wanna read quite a few of then but, they are extremely expensive where I live.

  9. Dear Markus!
    Long time, but i would like to buy books again from You.
    I lost your contact (after facebook).
    Please contact me, if You have some time.
    Thanks and all the best to You.

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