DISCLAIMER: The sites linked below are provided solely as a convenience. The accuracy of the information contained on these sites has not been verified. Most sites try to provide accurate information; however, translation difficulties and various levels of knowledge by the writers play a significant role in the accuracy of the information contained on these sites. This is true for all sites on the Internet - in all subject areas.
Websites of Japanese sword clubs are listed on the sword clubs
Some of the sites on the commercial sword sites page also have excellent educational material.
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Northern California Japanese Sword Club website has a wealth of information on Japanese swords.
See especially the "visual glossary" section. Outstanding educational site.
Blade Shark - Jim Meyer's Kanji Tables for smith's names, dates, provinces and more.
(Acrobat PDF reader required)
Nihonto Club - site of Stan Nazarenko, Japanese sword information exchange; dedicated to the study of the art of Nihonto. Swordsmith database, blogs, glossary, much more useful info.
Registration required (Ireland)
Meiboku - Alan Quinn's site has a wealth of information on all aspects of Nihonto. (England)
outstanding educational site
Kanji Styles - Click on any Kanji shown and see common Kanji stylistic variations.
Japanese font enabled browser required (Japan)
Japanese Art Swords - Kenji Mishina has information on sword polishing, "Nagayama's Diagrammatic Oshigata", polishing services, sword events in Japan, his latest book and a Kantei of the Month feature. Kenji Mishina was awarded the rank of Mukansa Polisher at the 2003 NBTHK Sword Making Competition.(Japan)
Nihonto Random Thoughts - Dr. Alex Takeuchi has numerous articles on Nihonto, martial arts and Japanese culture. Japanese character enabled browser recommended
Japanese Shin-Gunto Swords - the definitive site on WW II shin-gunto swords by Ohmura Tomoyuki
Mantis Sword Fittings - Ken Wilson's site is devoted to sword fittings with the praying mantis theme. Lots of examples and explanation of meanings.
Tsubame Project - Carlo Giuseppe Tacchini's site has lots of information on a variety of aspects of the Japanese sword.
Sword Fittings.com - Chris Godfrey presents all variety of sword fittings, reference books, database of kodogu and links to auctions. (England)
Barry Hennick Swords and Fittings - swords, tsuba, fittings and armour. (Canada)
Nihonto-no-Bi - Malcolm Cox's site covers swords from Mino and Kashu, but also various tetsu tsuba mainly Echizen Kinai, Yamashiro Tenpo and various sukashi testu. (Australia)
Arms and Armour UK has lots of information on Japanese sword collecting in the U.K. (England)
The Japanese Sword - Paul Martin has excellent gallery of traditional oshigata of some major swordsmiths and articles on Nihonto. Also offers services to sword collectors. (England)
Stefan Sebregts has posted over 50 styles of tsukamaki (handle wraps). (Netherlands)
Nihonto Collection - Fredrik Persson exhibits some tsuba, swords and swords fittings.
Kyoto Museum article on sword mounts. From their home page,
"the collection" search engine (enter katana) shows swords in their database. (Japan)
Social History of the Sword - Emmanuel Sanvito has done a pictorial history of Nihonto. (France)
Making of a Japanese Sword - a special section from the N.Y. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tsukamaki.net - Tom Buck has articles on saya lacquering and on tsuka-maki and does restoration work.
Nodachi - history and examples of Nodachi (long Japanese battle swords)
The Boone Collection of tsuba and swords from the Field Museum in Chicago.
Also information on Ainu culture and weapons.
Koji Takeda has information on the technique of making modern swords (shinsakuto). (Japan)
John Eliyas has an article on a Kanemune, other swords, kozuka and an analysis of swords appearing on Ebay.
Stibbert Museum Kabuto Collection - a museum collection of Japanese Kabuto (one of the largest collections in the world). (Japan, Italy)
Making the Japanese Sword - brief description of the process of forging, tempering and polishing of Japanese swords. (Japan)
Gavin Hougham has a beautiful Chinese theme tsuba. Site also has lists of museums and other places to visit in Japan, US and other countries to see and study Nihonto.
Naginata Federation Good information on Naginata and its use.
This site has good explanations on the construction, tempering and polishing of the naginata and Japanese swords.
Shiogama Museum - the swords of Miyagi Province including several nodachi.
Chris Husar has articles on the aesthetics of Japanese swords, sword forging and a glossary of Japanese sword terminology.
Special Exhibition of swords from the 7th Century in Japan. Excavated swords of the earliest periods of Japanese history. (Japan)
Japanese Armour - brief history of styles of Japanese armour and armour manufacturing. Glossary of armour terms.
Wakagashira Japanese Armour - history of Japanese armour and armour manufacturing. Glossary of armour terms.
Military Collectors Resource has articles and graphics of WW II Japanese military swords.
Tsuba are the guards on Japanese swords. They are used to prevent the hand from sliding onto the blade during combat. They were usually made by artists separate from the swordsmith, but some tsuba were made by either swordsmiths or armour makers. Tsuba are works of art in their own right and are studied and collected by many people. Several of the sites listed in other catagories also have information about tsuba.
Tsuba collectors should check out the commercial sites linked on the martial arts page to see what is available as modern reproduction tsuba. Some are very well executed and could be mistaken by collectors for antique tsuba.
Tsuba: Art of the Japanese Sword - Jim Gilbert has excellent material on early iron and sukashi tsuba as well as other major schools of tsubaka. An extensive and authoritative site on tsuba.
Tsuba Kanji, style, parts, schools - (excellent site on technical aspects of tsuba)
Kod˘gu no Seka (The World of Kodogu) - site of Rich Turner on various aspects of collecting Japanese sword fittings (in blog format). (Australia)
Shibuiswords - Robert Haynes site on tsuba (excellent material)
Tsuba Ka - A nice collection of tsuba (Russia)
Tsuba-no-bi - site of Marc I. Le Pelletier. Sells fine tsuba, books and articles on tsuba. (France)
World of Tousougu - description and examples of most schools of tsuba makers.
Toban Art - Martin Hellmann focuses on tsuba and Japanese swords.
The Beauty of Tsuba - Kim Allen has lots of graphics of iron and soft metal (kinko) tsuba.
Tsuba and Yanone - George has nice graphics of tsuba and yanone (Japanese arrow points).
Brief Notes on Shaduko - by Charles Lewton-Brain describes shaduko and recipes for repatination.
(Caution - for high quality fittings this should only be done by an expert, if at all).
Japanese Patination Tutorial - Jim Kelso's article on patination (coloring) of Japanese metals and alloys.
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Samurai Archives - excellent site on samurai history and all things related including family mon.
Kyuba no Michi features info on samurai history, legends and weapons.
History of Ancient Japan - the history of the early periods of Japanese culture.
History of the Samurai - brief history of the samurai and samurai timeline.
Samurai Legends - Stories of the samurai and their way of life.
Japanese Family Crests (Mon) - various family crests (mon) used by samurai clans.
Japanese Mon - selection and history of the Japanese family crest (mon or kamon).
Japanese Cultural Glossary - from A to Z for all things Japanese.
History of Japan and the Samurai - major historical periods and influences on the samurai. (Japan)
Japanese Historical Maps - from ancient to recent times (very graphic intensive).
some require special browser plugins
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