Dr. T's "Nihonto Random Thoughts" Page
This page was created for the sole purpose of introducing some aspects of Japanese culture, history and tradition in association with one of the most respected traditional work of art in Japan, Nihon-to (i.e., traditionally hand forged and polished Japanese swords). Unless otherwise noted, the articles contained herein were written by the author of this web page (i.e., a.k.a. Dr. T) to present academic information on Japanese history, culture and traditional crafts related to Nihon-to. While the author of this web page possesses limited experience both as a collector of authentic Nihon-to and as a student of Iai-do (i.e., the art of sword drawing), by no means the articles contained herein are intended as instructions for martial arts training or any activities involving the use or manipulation of live swords for combative, aggressive, or potentially dangerous purposes.
Although Nihon-to is wonderful work of art of Japan with one thousand years of history, it is still a potentially dangerous weapon capable of causing serious bodily harm or even death. Therefore, no collector of art should ever handle live Nihon-to unless properly instructed on its safe handling, proper care and maintenance by a more experienced collector or appraiser. Similarly, no student of martial arts should ever handle Nihon-to unless properly trained by a qualified instructor on the appropriate use of Nihon-to in martial art training.
The author of this web page, the author(s) of specific articles, the Department of Sociology or University of North Alabama will assume absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for any damages resulting from abuse or misuse of information contained herein.
(26 articles as of 7/17/2010)
Click on the links below to read the articles.
Feudal Japan and Nihon-to
"Common length of tsuka on Nihon-to from a socio-historical perspective" by Dr. T
"Historical classification of wakizashi and the taxonomy of Nihon-to based on their blade length and functions/purposes" by Dr. T
"How did samurai wear uchigatana traditionally?" by Dr. T
"Was chonin class in Edo period allowed to wear/carry swords?" by Dr. T
"Why even a 'martial arts grade' shinsaku-to by a mediocre smith costs so much?" by Dr. T
"Correct placement of menuki' vs. 'historically more accurate menuki placement' specific koshirae style" by Dr. T
"Historical origin of the popularity of gloss black saya and the availability of metal kojiri" by Dr. T
"Koshirae ・ Nihon
Tôken Gaisô 拵・日本刀剣外装: The Mountings of the Japanese Sword" by C.U. Guido
Schiller & Dr. T
"The taxonomy of the Japanese terminology of koshirae craftsmen and their related history" by Dr. T
"Typology of katate-maki (i.e., "battle wrap") and its relevance to historically accurate menuki placement. by Dr. T
"Mei reading and oshigata to determine the authenticity of an antique Nihon-to" by Dr. T
"Smiths' names in alphabetical order" by C.U. Guido Schiller (Copyright © Reprinted with the author's permission.)
Nihon-to and Tameshi-giri
"Tameshi-giri (and suemono-giri) as a sub-cultural custom and social structure in feudal era Japan: A socio-cultural analysis of transformation of its symbolic meanings and functions" by Dr. T
"Setsudan-mei katana: A few swords of interest" by Mike Yamasaki (Copyright © Reprinted with the author's permission.)
List of sword testers in setsudan-mei by C. U. Guido Shiller
"Tameshi-giri practice in JSA with antique Nihon-to: To cut with or not to cut with" by Dr. T
Sword Care and Maintenance
"To uchiko or not to uchiko: Ill effects of uchiko in sword care and maintenance" by Dr. T
Togi (Traditional Polish)
Identifying the polisher based on "nagashi" and "kesho-migaki." by Dr. T
"On Utsuri." by Ted Tenold
"Polishing and Conservation of the Japanese Sword, and the popular Hadôri vs. Sashikomi controversy: A personal view" (Rev.) by C. U. Guido Schiller
"Sending WWII era gendai-to to Japan for traditional polish." by Dr. T
"Conversion chart for Nihon-to dimensions." by C.U. Guido Shiller.
"Did female samurai actually exist in medieval Japan?" by Dr. T
“The Japanese sword law & export / import of swords from / into Japan” by C.U. Guido Schiller (Copyright © Reprinted with the author's permission.)
“Jűnishi 十二支: The zodiac animals.” by C.U. Guido Schiller (Copyright © Reprinted with the author's permission.)
"Yakiire (edge hardening) and curvature." by C. U. Guido Schiller (Copyright © Reprinted with the author's permission.)
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This page is maintained by:
S. Alexander Takeuchi, Ph.D. (aka Dr. T)
Department of Sociology
University of North Alabama
Florence, AL 35632- 0001 USA
This page was last updated on July 17, 2010
Copyright © S. Alexander Takeuchi, Ph.D.