Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|NOVA Secrets of the Samurai Sword|
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 01/29/2008 Run time: 56 minutes
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NOVA: Secrets of the Samurai Sword
J. Brad Hunter | Calgary, AB Canada | 03/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very interesting documentary on the art and science involved in manufacturing a samurai sword. The journey begins with the selection of the metal and the viewer then follows craftsmen producing a sword using the same techniques as their ancestors. Interwoven are scenes with swordsmen demonstrating their skills on bamboo targets and a brief history of the samurai and historical use of these weapons. Modern science is used to explain the strength of the sword and the reason behind the shape of the blade. My only criticism is making the handles, which can be quite ornate, was not explored. The focus is on the blade.
Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in martial arts and weaponry in particular."
The Soul of the Samurai
Terry Tozer | Reading, Bracknell, Brighton & Hove, UK | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roughly an hour long fascinating documentary of how the infamous sword of the Samurai, the Katana, is made. Learn in detail about every interesting facet of the history and the amazing amount of work and skill that goes into making what is, I believe, the best sword in the world for over a thousand years.
Starting at the very beginning with the smelting of the special high grade iron sand that is only found in certain stream beds in Japan, to the 36 hour forging process involved by a skilled master in making the initial block of iron called Tamahageny. Pieces of which are passed onto another forge master to make the sword template and then to yet another master craftsman who polishes & sharpen and embellishes the blade with engravings etc.
Seen recently on the National Geographic Channel and featuring Dr Stephen Turnbull and Ian Bottomley, this major work is made all the more captivating with many clips of some of the last master sword makers around.
To see the amount of the physical work & effort and time and labour that goes into making one of these masterpieces is truly amazing. Modern day metallurgists are astounded and even baffled by way these swords are so perfectly made without relying on computers or robots or the use of complex formulas, chemistry or other measuring equipment, just the naked eye to measure the temperature of the flame and years of experience.
UK Viewers: WARNING!! Please make sure that your DVD can play with Region 1 DVD's and that your TV is NTSC compatible first.
If you enjoy this then do look out for "Samurai: The Last Warrior. The Path of Honour, the Sword of Revenge" which is also a REGION 1 + NTSC DVD. This documentary explains the history, evolution and final demise of the Samurai."
Joseph L. Brady | Lancaster, CA United States | 03/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very interesting documentary on the making of samuai swords. Particularly the more technical parts concerning the metallurgy and what happens to the molecular structure of the steel and carbon during the forging process. I learned something there that I had not known before. I would recommend this to anyone who has a curiousity about sword-making, particularly the Japanese process."
The sword making documentary is worth the price of admission
Munawar Ali | Toronto, Canada | 05/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The most impressive and interesting part of this documentary, was the comprehensive documentation on how a sword is made, from the refinery to sword polishing.
The documentary includes extensive background, and excellent cineography of the whole event. I found it alot of fun and interesting to boot."