LEON KAPP is a molecular biologist at the University of California in San Francisco. He has studied swordmaking in Japan at the forge of the swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara. HIROKO KAPP was active as a graphic artist in Tokyo for ten years and is now a correspondent for the Tokyo-based Senken news organization. The Kapps live in San Rafael, California. YOSHINDO YOSHIHARA is a tenth-generation swordsmith who is ranked among the top sword craftsmen in Japan today. He began forging blades at the age of twelve and has exhibited several times in the United States. His son is currently working with him and will become the eleventh generation of the family to carry on the tradition.