Northern California Japanese Sword Club

The featured artist this year is the group” Northern California Japanese Sword Club”. The Northern California Japanese Sword Club was founded in the early 1960’s as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of Japanese swords, sword guards, fittings, armor and related works of art. At its inception the Club was fortunate to be under the guidance and tutelage of the late John Masayuki Yumoto. Mr. Yumoto was an internationally respected authority on the Japanese sword. In June of 1976, NJCSC was incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization.

The club meetings generally consist of lectures and discussions on various aspects of the Japanese sword. For the novice, particular emphasis is placed on the etiquette of handling the sword as well as its maintenance and conservation. For the more advanced there are in-depth study sessions on the connoisseurship and evaluation of the sword and its fittings. Members are encouraged to bring swords, fittings and associated items to meetings for study and discussion. Non-members are welcome as well.

“The uniqueness of the Japanese sword lies in the technical innovations devised by the Japanese in an effort to resolve the three conflicting practical requirements of a sword: unbreakability, rigidity, and cutting power. Unbreakability implies a soft but tough metal, such as iron, which will not snap with a sudden blow, while rigidity and cutting power are best achieved by the use of hard steel. The Japanese have combined these features in a number of ways which have given their swords a very distinctive character.”

…most Japanese blades are made up 11 {two different metals: a soft and durable iron core is enveloped in a hard outer skin of steel which has been forged and reforged many times…the cross-section, widening from the back to a ridge on both sides, then narrowing to a very acute angle at the edge, combines the virtues of thickness for strength and thinness for cutting power…a highly tempered edge…The result is a steel which is even harder then the rest of the outer skin and can take a razor-sharp edge…the distinctive curve away from the edge, owes its origin to another practical demand: the need to draw the sword and strike as quickly as possible and in a continuous motion.”

“But to the Japanese specialist the beauty of a sword lies in more than just its fulfillment of practical requirements or its almost mechanical peifection of finish and cleanness of profile. …”(excerpts from the book, THE JAPANESE SWORD, by K. Sato).

Come see this fine exhibit of Japanese swords, sword guards, fittings, armor and related works of art on display in the Cupertino Room in the Quinlan Center. Club president Fred Weisberg will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Visit NSJSC's website: http://www.ncjsc.org