Well over a thousand years old, the tradition of swordmaking in Japan is one of the most highly regarded metal crafts in the world.
When all sword manufacture was prohibited in Japan for seven years after World War II, the age-old techniques were in danger of being lost forever.
Today, in the hands of a new generation of practitioners, the craft is making a startling comeback.
Connoisseurs say that the swords being produced now are the equal of anything made in Japan in the past few hundred years.
This book takes the reader into the workshops of four of Japan's