The Japanese Sword combines unbreakability, rigidity, and lethal cutting
power, and it is in the resolution of these conflicting practical requirements
that it emerges as a triumph of the forger‘s art.
The mystique of the sword lingers on in or age of mechanized combat, but the
aesthetic qualities for which swords are most valued by collectors today–the
liveliness of the metal ‘skin‘ the confidence in every aspect of the design, the
scrolling temper-line, the almost buoyant lightness of the hilt when the blade
is held in the hand– all derive from what the Japanese sword demanded as a
symbol of strength and as a weapon.