3 sword study groups in the west: The Japanese Sword Society of the US, The NBTHK American Branch, and The NBTHK European Branch have pooled resources to translate from Japanese to English and publish what will become a very important reference on the history of sword fittings.
For 18 years, noted author and scholar Fukushi Shigeo wrote a monthly article on Tosogu (sword fittings) titled “Toso: Tosogu Shogaku Kyoshitsu” that appeared in the NBTHK's “Token Bijutsu”. Our 5 volume book Tosogu Classroom is a translation of the complete 18 year run. As a whole, these 5 volumes will present today's understanding of the history of Tosogu and easily will be the most comprehensive treatment of the subject ever in English.
Volume 1 is hardbound with a dust jacket, 8 ½ x 11”, and more than 500 pages of text with hundreds of black & white pictures. It includes an introduction to fittings, materials, design, surface treatment, carving, inlay, coloring, early tsuba (both iron and kinko), and begins a discussion of artists and schools who worked in iron, going into great detail on the artists and the work they produced. Volume 2 continues the discussion of iron, volumes 3 & 4 cover Kinko, and volume 5 will be illustrations in color. This is a great reference at a great price; don't miss out.
The 5 volumes are being released serially (Volume 1 is available currently; we hope to have all 5 out by the end of 2017) and for the next few months only to members of the 3 organizations and at cost of printing plus post. If you are a member of one of these 3 you can buy one set at cost: $40 plus post each for volumes 1 to 4 and $80 plus post for the color Volume 5. Midway through 2017 anyone can buy the volumes for $60 each for 1 to 4 and $120 for #5.
Again, you must be a member to get the member price, members can purchase only 1 set at the member price, and non members won't be able to buy any of the volumes until sometime in 2017. After you have joined one of the groups contact the group for instructions to buy the books. If you join the JSS/US (jssus.org) you can contact me (grey at japaneseswordbooksandtsuba.com) for instructions.
I have read all 5 volumes and can highly recomment the set; you won't be disappointed.