B877. Kokuho Token Zufu by Dr. Homma
B877. Kokuho Token Zufu By Homma Junji. 1936. Loose plates in 16 folders inside a cloth bound, bone or ivory clipped folding case, 12 1/4 x 15 1/2 x 5", in Japanese. This is a very important and difficult to find reference. 164 heavy paper plates with the swords that were ranked Kokuho (National Treasure) before WWII. Between the plates is a sheet of lighter weight paper with descriptions, history I bet, and other information. Almost all the plates are crisp photos (remarkably crisp for the time) but there are a few oshigata.
After WWII all National Treasure designations were erased and the pieces were reevaluated, some to continue as Kokuho, others to be demoted to Juyo Bunkazai or Bijutsuhin. As such, this set presents swords that don't appear in the later book of Kokuho and it also shows the Kokuho that were lost during and after the war. Imagine the effort in the 1930's to gather and document all of these treasures; this is a most impressive book.
Since I started my website I have had maybe 3 or 4 of these sets; this is by far the one in best condition. I have found a bit of foxing along some edges but nothing else of concern; the book looks to have hardly ever been read or even looked at. Note: some of my pictures show plates with a bent corner. These pictures are from a different set sold earlier; corners in this set aren't bent. I'll be surprised if this copy remains unsold for long. 25 pounds, 11 ounces. $995.
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