In a discussion of Japanese swords I like to think of “lookers” and “swingers”.

The “lookers” are those who collect swords to appreciate their beauty as works of art. They are guardians of swords that they intend to pass down.

The “swingers” are those who practise Iaido or an older system of sword training. They use the sword as a tool of self-perfection.

Of course, an individual may be both a “looker” and a “swinger”.

Personally, I have an “Iaito”, a sword with an unsharpened blade, which I use to practise Battojutsu as a supplement to my Aikido practice.

In previous months I have written about swords and other aspects of samurai arms and armour.

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