This page is for leaving reviews of my books, my blog, my translations, or my work in general. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you were pleased with one of my publications, if one or more helped you in your studies, or if there is a book you find it hard to cope with.  All feedback is greatly welcomed and I appreciate your time! Thank you.

19 thoughts on “REVIEWS

  1. As a new reader to Markus’s books I have nothing but praise for his attention to detail and accurate translations I have just purchased his meikan trilogy and these by far are a huge help to people like myself who collect nihonto I plan to purchase many more of Markus’s work in the future and look forward to future publications!

    Robert Boyd

  2. I have purchased a complete set of Markus’ kantei volumes and other sword related books. I believe his works to be an extremely valuable contribution for non Japanese speakers wishing to study this incredible and complex art form . His translations are easy to read and understand (often an issue with earlier more literal translations by others in the past.) without sacrificing detail or accurracy. These works offer exceptional value for money for the student of Japanese swords and fittings and offer a huge amount of previously unavailable material. They have gone to the top of my recommended reading list when asked for advice.
    If you are interested in Japanese swords and fittings Markus’ books should be part of your library.

  3. There are many, many sites out there sharing the same old basic info on Japanese swords in various guises. But there is only so many ways you can rewrite the Japanese Sword Index. And then you get to Markus’ site, which is a rare case of someone giving away serious and detailed info and research that is not easily found anywhere else. Here you can get articles and info that cover advanced topics and subjects that were previously unavailable to the Western World. There is a huge amount of valuable information here, and in his books. Any serious student of Nihonto must surely visit regularly and also own a few of his books.
    A truly fantastic Nihonto research site.

  4. Markus recently translated a chapter of an old Japanese armor book for me, it was not a big job but he took it anyway and his translation provided me with much needed information which I would have no other way to obtain. I highly recommend Markus to anyone who has a Japanese text that they need translated, I already have another one lined up waiting to be translated (Markus let me know when you are free!!).

  5. Although his nihoto books get all the glory, I can’t thank Markus enough for his books on tosogu and koshirae. Definitely must haves and at such reasonable costs.

  6. Markus is quite an incredible fellow! Not only does he write multiple books on Nihonto, tosogu, & koshirae, but he also maintains one of the most interesting blogs I’ve come across. His books are invariably more useful than the old-school references, are available in digital format (with over 100 references that I own, this is invaluable!), & are well-researched & accurate. Pricing is also more than reasonable. He has helped me with translations, provided carefully-targeted answers to some of my weirdest questions, & is generally the most helpful person in the Nihonto world.
    My 12″ Samsung tablet is loaded with a dozen of his books, which allows me to visit sword museums, shows, & other
    locations with 90% of my references right at hand in high-resolution.
    When are you going to write your autobiography, Markus? There are many of us who want to know how you got to be as prolific as you are!

  7. Markus has quickly become one of the new leaders in the western Nihonto book world.
    I can only echo Brian and Paul’s comments we in the west are very lucky Markus is so generous with
    his knowledge and time. I look forward to his email updates from his blog and much to my chagrin, I still don’t have all of his books but I am working on it.
    Thank you Markus,

  8. Markus books are filling a big gap that all the serious students of japanese swords have experienced in front of the numerous not translated japanese books on that topic. Thanks to him, new information came to light which help us a lot in our never ending quest for knowledge. I nearly have all the books written by Markus, but I am particularly impressed by the “Index of japanese Swordsmith” which is a real new reference. Special mention to the “Genealogies and Schools of Japanese Swordsmiths” and to its last book “Tameshigiri”.
    I am already waiting for the coming publications.

  9. Hello Markus,
    since I’m the first German nihonto collector leaving a review at this place, I have to say “many thanks to you” Markus.
    There were some references and good publications in english language availiable like the Token Bijutsu.
    But there were virtually NO usefull books in german language until Markus startet his translating work/book writing campaign 😉
    And it is allways a pleasure to meet you at the meetings of NBTHK EB and Nihonto Club 😉
    Vielen Dank Markus!

  10. I have purchased every book that Markus has written in English. He is an outstanding translator. Probably the book I use the most is the e-book “Japanese Swordsmiths”. The book is a “must have” especially if you can’t read the Nihonto Meikan. It has a lot more info than Hawley’s. It is great to be able to cut and paste a swordsmith’s info into your data sheets, or into an article. Truly a gem. Thankyou! Another book I reach for every week is the hard copy of “Signatures of Japanese Sword Fitting Artists”, a compilation of many books on fittings. It does not have everything, but it is fast and easy to look up an artist once you have translated his name. Keep up the good work!

  11. What can I say Markus is one of the best Japanese translators when it comes to Nihonto and Nihonto related subjects such as tosogu. His many English translations have and will continue to contribute greatly to my understanding of this subject. Keep up the good work!

  12. I speak here as the representative for foreign members of the Japanese Armor Society.
    Markus has helped me to start something unique in the society. Thanks to his translation skills in this field, we now have in every quarterly issue an English Index and abstracts of the main articles. Moreover, Markus has been instrumental in making a translation of the main articles (with permission of the society). This resulted for the “2014” period (4 magazines) in a total of 110 English pages… Info that was previously not accessible for people without fluent Japanese reading skills… So I can only recommend Markus. Markus, thank you.


  13. Having purchased myself well over a dozen of Markus’s books I can personally recommend them to all levels of collectors, which is what I do to my clients who have also enjoyed & benefited from his material. He brings a breath of fresh air to the Nihonto Community and offers a wide range of new reading material that was never accessible in the Western world. Thank you Markus and keep up the great work!


    I would like to introduce Markus Sesko to all those interested in Japanese swords who might not have run across his wonderful blog on Nihonto yet. You need to check it out: . His translations of current and historical references, including the NBTHK Juyo publications, with continuing updates on kantei, and his histories of the Koto, Shinto, and Shinshinto smiths are invaluable. He is currently working on a translation of Ito Mitsuru’s series of articles on Nobuie in the magazine Towa, on a subscription basis (I am a subscriber). My shelf of references by Markus is currently over a foot long and growing. I cannot recommend his site and his publications too highly. We have corresponded, and i look forward to meeting him at one of the sword shows soon, perhaps in San Francisco this summer.

  15. John Nandris (via linkedin)
    European Vice President NBTHK-EU at Cantemir Consultancy

    I cannot recommend Markus highly enough, whether for his professional abilities which are rare ; or for his integrity and congenial personality.

  16. Bob Schleimer (via linkedin)

    Markus has become a leader in translations of literature on Japanese Swords into the English language, making a important literature accessible to non Japanese literate enthusiasts. His work is fabulous and very much appreciated!

  17. For a non-Japanese author and expert Markus Sesko has a way of writing and explaining that allows other people interested in Nihonto to relate and understand the topic. Since they are not translations of previous Japanese works the topics covered are written for collectors are excellent sources of credible information. The volume on Tameshigiri is even a great book to read for readings sake on top of being a great resource. When contacted directly he is always gracious and very generous with both his knowledge and his time. A great asset for all nihonto lovers world wide.

  18. My name is Henry and I am a 1st den batto-do practitioner in Hong Kong. I have just finished your book “Tameshigiri The History and Development of Japanese Sword Testing” which is fascinating for a non-Japanese reader like me to understanding the genesis of the “real” tameshigiri. I wish you could continue to write more books on the techniques of tameshigiri including translation of the “Yamano-ryui ryodan no maki” and “Toryu-ichiryu tameshimono-kiwame hiden no maki” mentioned in your book. I started reading your book “Legends and Stories around the Japanese Sword” now 🙂 and looking forward to reading more works from you.

  19. Guten Tag !
    Herr M. Sesko .
    Als erstes möchte ich mich bei Ihnen bedanken!
    Für Ihre Bücher !
    Danke das sie ihr Fachwissen anderen weitergeben .
    Ich hätte eine Frage bezüglich mehrer
    Antiker Schwerter die ich aus Japan bezogen habe.
    Ein Teil wurde ohne Zertifikat verkauft.
    Ich habe auf mein Herz gehört u.habe Intuitive gekauft.(Das Schwert sucht sich sein Schicksal)
    Da ich Schwer Erkrankt bin.
    Wollte ich mir einen Traum erfüllen.
    Konnte aber nicht selbst nach Japan.
    Habe also direkt nach fallen der Covid Beschränkungen an sehr vielen Internet Versteigerungen teilgenommen.
    Habe aber auch selbst meine Schwester über “Japanische Floh u. Anitkmärkte gescheucht”
    Dank Internet habe ich dann geschaut gekauft.(Kommunikation mit Händen u.Füssen !
    Alles ganz Offiziell ausgeführt .
    Nun habe ich hier 4 Schwerter die mir zwar sehr gefallen.
    Wo ich aber mir nicht ganz sicher bin.
    (Was woher etc Falls vorhanden)
    Habe mir zwar ihre Schwertlexika gekauft (aber ohne Japanisch Kenntnisse )ist es wie Puzzel.
    (Hoffe das es richtig war!?)
    Wobei ich schon einiges herausfand “hoffe ich””
    Nun würde ich gerne ihr Fachwissen in Anspruch nehmen .
    Falls diese Geld kostet bin ich auch bereit für ihr Wissen u. Aufwand zu zahlen.
    Mit besten Grüßen
    Auf das ihre Sonne noch lange über den Himmel.wandert!

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