lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on Japanese martial arts and weapons

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Earle, Joe
Lethal Elegance The Art of Samurai Sword Fittings
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2004.
Quarto; gate-fold paperback; 256pp., colour illustrations. Remainder. New.
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Haskel, Peter
Sword of Zen Master Takuan and his Writings on Immovable Wisdom and the Sword Taie
University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu HI, 2013.
Octavo; paperback; 182pp. Remainder. New.
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Kenrick, Doug
The Book of Sumo Sport, Spectacle, and Ritual
James Weatherhill Inc., New York NY, 1969.
Octavo; hardcover, with silver-gilt upper board and spine titling and decorated endpapers; 171pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; lightly toned and faintly spotted text block edges; one or two scattered spots to the early pages. Dustwrapper with tiny tears, chipping and scrapes along upper edge; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Lewis, Peter
The Art of the Ninja
Ward Lock Ltd., London, 1988.
Quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards; 128pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; boards a bit rubbed. Dustwrapper rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine.
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Munroe, Alexandra (ed.)
Spectacular Helmets of Japan 16th-19th Century
Japan Society/Kodansha International, New York NY, 1985.
Quarto; hardcover, full cloth with gilt spine titles; 193pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Laid in: a page of Japanese calligraphy. A masterpiece of fantastic and fantastical helmets of the Samurai Lords.
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Robinson, B.W.
Arms & Armour of Old Japan Victoria & Albert Museum
Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1963.
Reprint: octavo; paperback; 18pp., with 26pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; covers lightly rubbed. Very good.
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Robinson, B.W.
The Arts of the Japanese Sword
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 1970.
Reprint: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles on a black label; 110pp., with 8 colour plates, 104pp. of monochrome plates and many other monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; spine heel softened; some minor spotting to the text block edges; previous owner's name in ink to the flyleaf. Price-clipped dustwrapper is lightly rubbed and edgeworn; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This book contains detailed information about the making of blades, and also about guards and other sword furniture; there is a highly technical chapter on how to judge a blade, another on the chief schools of Japanese swordsmiths and lists of swordsmiths with their names in Japanese characters, and the schools to which they belonged, along with a thousand other items of information about, for instance, care and cleaning, evolution of styles, year periods, nomenclature of parts and places of manufacture. Indispensable for the collector.
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Sasamori, Junzo & Gordon Warner
This is Kendo
Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland VT, 1972.
Octavo; hardcover, with metallic red spine titling; 159pp., with many monochrome plates and illustrations. Mild wear; offsetting to pastedowns and endpapers; faint spotting to text block edges. Illustrated dustwrapper with chipping and wear to edges; tiny tear on lower front edge; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Tanaka, Fumon
Sword Techniques of Musashi and the Other Samurai Masters
Kodansha International, New York NY, 2013.
Quarto; hardcover; 233pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. In this book author Fumon Tanaka uses the life and accomplishments of sword master Miyamoto Musashi to look at the history of swords and sword fighting, and to discuss their role in Japanese history and in the development of traditional Japanese martial arts systems. The book opens with an introduction to Musashi as a real-life figure, not just the legend we've come to know. Musashi was born in 1584, a time of transition in Japan that saw centuries of violence and war give way to an era of peace. In his early years, Musashi studied kenjutsu (the technique of the sword) and trained as a warrior. Before he turned thirty, he had fought and won sixty-six duels, proving himself a truly gifted swordsman. When he was in his thirties, however, warriors were no longer called upon to do battle, and many, like Musashi, turned to the inner secrets and theories of kenjutsu as a way to find a deeper meaning to life. He became a first-class painter and wrote Zen poetry. By 1629, he had gone back to his ronin ways, and opened a kenjutsu dojo, where he taught two-sword fighting, the technique he perfected although didn't invent, as is widely believed. In 1643, when he was sixty years old, Musashi wrote his classic work, The Book of Five Rings. In the second chapter of the book, Tanaka introduces Musashi's major rivals, while the last two chapters go into great detail about the various traditional martial arts systems including the development and characteristics of each, as well as the techniques themselves.
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Turnbull, Stephen
The Samurai and the Sacred
Osprey, Oxford, 2006.
Hardcover, small quarto, 224pp., colour plates. Dustwrapper. New, remainder. Most works on the samurai of Japan focus on the martial aspects of the culture; in this work, however, Stephen Turnbull - a world-renowned expert on the subject - chooses instead to expand upon the spiritual roots of the warrior caste. The samurai trod a narrow path between military function and the Buddhist constraints imposed by society; the blending of these philosophies - and also of such ideologies as Confucianism and even Christianity - led to some extraordinary intellectual and spiritual athleticism. Turnbull discusses the various individuals, texts, sects and cults that have shaken the Japanese swordsmen across the ages.
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