Japanese Sword Guide



2015-06-26 11:06:12

The Japanese Sword Guide is a website which provides information on the production, collection and history of antique and collectible Japanese swords.

Mission statement

The website includes the following message from Professor Stein:

“I hope you find this site useful as an aid in the study and understanding of the art, history and beauty of Japanese swords.”

Foundation and ownership

According to the website, it was founded in 1995 by Professor Richard Stein, a scholar and collector of Japanese swords for 35 years.

Website content

The Japanese Sword Guide is divided into several sections, covering different topics relating to Japanese swords and associated items.

Japanese Sword Glossaries

This section contains several glossaries relating to Japanese swords. This includes:

  • A visual glossary, detailing length, shape and parts
  • A Japanese sword glossary
  • Blade terminology
  • Sword Tang terminology
  • Blade Measurements
  • Japanese sword flaws (Kizu)
  • Blade lamination methods

Japanese Sword History and Care

A number of articles are included, detailing how collectors can authenticate whether a sword is genuine/antique, describing Japanese sword periods, and advising on sword care.

Japanese Military Swords

Guides are provided on a variety of military swords, including Second World War-era swords.

Japanese Sword Articles

This section comprises various articles on styles of swords, collecting advice, blade shapes, and more.

Japanese Sword Tsuba

Under this section, Jim Gilbert details the history, types, shapes, etc. of Japanese tsuba. These include terminology, schools of tsuba artists, and cleaning guides.

Translating Japanese Sword Signatures

Contains a number of guides on translating Japanese characters for sword smith names, Japanese provinces, etc.

Japanese Swordsmiths

This is a detailed directory of various swords makers.

Japanese Swordsmith Indexes

Similar to the previous section, but listed and not including the same level of detail.

Japanese Sword Clubs and References

This extensive section lists various clubs, societies, reference books, events and discussion groups, dedicated to collection and study of Japanese swords.

Japanese Sword Polishing

This section includes articles on the history of polishing and techniques.

Schools of Japanese Sword Making

A section providing detailed articles about some of the schools of Japanese sword-making, including Mino-den and Bizen-den.

Articles by Clive Sinclaire

A series of articles by the leading Japanese Sword scholar, including information about sword history, modern swords, and mounts.


This section contains over 200 links to English, Japanese and other websites relating to sword collection and maintenance.


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