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Book Cover for: Japanese Sharpening Stone Heaven: Narutaki Toishiyama, Emiko Gilmore

Japanese Sharpening Stone Heaven: Narutaki Toishiyama

Emiko Gilmore

Japanese Sharpening Stone Heaven is the first and only book in the English language that addresses the full subject of the culture and historic use of the stones that sharpened Japanese Samuri Swords for 850 years. Thru craft and thru war these were the finest gritted natural stones for sharpening the chisels for carpenters who built the largest wooden buildings in the world, and for sharpening the Samuri swords of warlords and their troops.
Narutaki Awasedo is a scientific name ascribed to volcanic sedimentation in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan where these stones were mined from the mountains above Narutaki village and the associated valley of Umegahata. Those same types of stones are still coveted by sword polishers (Togi), artisans in all fields & crafts, barbers for honing razors, museums for the correct restoration and the maintenance of historic katana weapons, sharpening scalpels for surgery and the list goes on and on. Chapters on geology and chemical analysis are for the first time included on this subject.
Although just a stone, a rock, so to say, the Narutaki Awasedo has played a role in every war that Japan has engaged in from at least, if not earlier than 1165 to the era of Tokugawa Shogun, and the second world war, beginning for Japan in the mid-1930s. The culture of using sharpening stones in Japan is well established, while at the same time, their sedimentary sources are close to extinction. Museums holding historically important examples of Samurai weapons have stockpiled Narutaki Awasedo sharpening stones for future generations of restorations. Museums outside of Japan and worldwide are concerned that there are no replacements for the unique qualities of these natural sharpening/polishing stones, and fewer Togi sword polishers to maintain the swords.
The mineralogy of these natural stones is a field in itself, with experts, scientific papers being vetted, and chemical equivalents being promoted. So far, a replacement has not been certified or acknowledged. The end of an era is approaching.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publish Date: May 18th, 2023
  • Pages: 190
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 11.00in - 8.50in - 0.40in - 1.00lb
  • EAN: 9798429116747
  • Categories: Woodwork - General