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J101. Kokan Kaji Biko by Yamada Asaemon

$150 + Shipping & Insurance

J101.  Kokan Kaji Biko (The Reference of Smithery from Old and Modern).  Originally published in 1830, this is a reprint from 1900.  7 volumes, softbound with traditional sewn binding, 7 1/4 x 10 1/2", lots of pages (the set is 3 1/2" thick) in Japanese.  Inside the front of volume 1 is the table of contents in English: Volume 1 is an introduction, miscelaneous, a few illustrations, and the start of a long list of sword smiths; volumes 2 to 4 continue the list; and volumes 5 to 7 are oshigata.  Normally these old woodblock books contain less than wonderful oshigata; this one is different: nicely done oshigata with very clear signatures.  Don't know that I've ever had an older book on swords.

The covers are fragile paper; lots of little pieces here and there are gone.  The bindings are all fine, though, and the insides of the volumes are in remarkably good condition.  There is some pencil writing (smith names and provinces mostly) inside some of the books.  Also included is a printed wrapper that is in 2 pieces and tattered.  3 pounds, 6 ounces.  $150.

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