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Taira Sawada's book "Nihon no Furuju"


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#1 estcrh

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

Piers has referred to the author of this book as "Sawada Sensei" (is it Sawada Taira or Taira Sawada?), Ron has called him "The only real Japanese authority ( scholar ) regarding the Tanegashima", which shows the high regard he is held in some Japanese gun related circles, but in the USA, he and his book are virtually unknown. With his book being hard to find and expensive as well as being written exclusively in Japanese I thought it might be a good idea for some of the forum members who own this book or who might have some knowledge of Mr Tiara to give us some insight about why he is considered to be an authority on the subject.

Searching online does not bring up any information other than a few books he has written, it would be nice to know some personal details, what does the title of his book mean, how old is he, how did he gain his knowledge, is he a collector, researcher, any information would be helpful, any pictures of him or from his books, also some comments about his book or books would be nice so that interested forum members who do not speak Japanese will be able to gain some understanding of why his is so highly regarded.

Books by Taira Sawada.

和時計 : 江戶のハイテク技術 /
Wadokei : Edo no haiteku gijutsu (The Japanese Mechanical Clock: the Advanced Technology of the Edo Period)
by 澤田平, 1935- Taira Sawada

桜町鉄炮 /
Sakaizutsu
by Taira Sawada;

日野鉄炮 /
Hinozutsu.
by Taira Sawada;

鉄砲からハイテクへ : 江戶時代の科学澤田コレクション /
Teppō kara haiteku e : edo jidai no kagaku sawada korekushon.
by Shigeta Yoshimura; Taira Sawada; Shibunkaku Bijutsukan.;




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#2 Justin Grant

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 05:07 PM

He is a physician, born in 35, and is the head of the Sakai Research Association on Japanese gunnery. He is also a specialist on Japanese Edo period clocks.

日本の古式銃 translates into Japan's Traditional Gun, I think
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#3 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

Eric, sometimes you make things too black and white.

Please do not put this guy on a pedestal like some shining god. He is human like the rest of us, and entirely fallible. You will find opinions about him sharply divided within the J community, but he is a very persuasive character, a collector and researcher with boundless energy, and he has studied metallurgy, oriental medicine and chiropractics, clocks, guns etc. Whenever a sword, some armour or a gun comes up on the TV antiques roadshow "Nandemo Kanteidan", he is the expert usually called to their panel. He tends to model all his own photos, dressing the part, and is one of very few people in Japan who have Dan in ancient gunnery. He is head of the Sakai Teppo Kenkyu Kai, 境鉄砲研究会 which publishes much of his books and papers.

Be careful if he offers to sell you something; he strikes a very hard bargain, as people have told me ruefully after the fact!

Personally I like his book(s) and refer to them again and again, for the quality of the pics and for the ease of understanding when so many other books on the subject are older and drier and use old fuzzy photos or drawings and old-fashioned Japanese) but this is entirely my personal opinion and not that of many around me, who prefer to be more intuitive with the guns they are handling. He has studied Tanegashima Hinawa-Ju more professionally and historically, more thoroughly than Sugawa San, in my opinion, and taken it to another level, so if I had to give a personal score out of 100% I would give Sugawa San 60% for his book in English and Sawada San (some call him Sensei because he has his own clinic) maybe 85% for his in Japanese. There are still many places in his book where I would like more detail or more information, but if it is out there he has not discovered it yet, or has not written it down. I have five of his books here.

When I had a Hino gun I found his nicely illustrated pamphlet on Hino very exhaustive and informative. He has written a similar edition on Sakai guns, his pet love as he lives there in Osaka. Nihon no Furu Ju is the one I use most, although the gunsmith lists at the end of each geographical section are limited in scope and not as thorough as other material out there.

PS The follow-up to Nihon no Furu Ju is a green hardback called Koshiki Ju Nyumon, nice pics which you have largely copied here and there, but difficult text. Published in Heisei 13.

Another Sawada book which you may like describes the Bunka-Tempo inventor/scientist from Shikoku, Kume Michikata/Tsuken, "Kume Michikata no Tsuho", Heisei 14. Describes evolutions of, refinements to Tanegashima guns, and other new inventions, but whether those ideas came from overseas or arose spontaneously is up to the reader to decide, in my opinion.
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#4 Justin Grant

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:21 PM

Eric,

I copied a few pages of his book, and attached links to the PDF's here. My intent is to show you, if you have not seen it already, the difference in the material you get in his book(s). This is just a sampling, and the book is far greater in detail than I show here.

http://www.alexander...t.com/book1.pdf

http://www.alexander...t.com/book2.pdf

http://www.alexander...t.com/book3.pdf

Copyright is 澤田平
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#5 Viper6924

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:56 PM

Just as a clarification. This book with blue cover is called?

From your PDF:s Justin this is "book 2"?

It´s always helpful for us non-Japanese speaking if the cover is also included with pictures of the content.


Jan

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#6 Justin Grant

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:08 PM

Just as a clarification. This book with blue cover is called?

From your PDF:s Justin this is "book 2"?

It´s always helpful for us non-Japanese speaking if the cover is also included with pictures of the content.


Jan


Sorry Jan, et al,

Yes, the book I have scans from is 日本の古銃 (Nihon No Furuju -Japanese Antique Guns). The Blue Covered Book.

There is only one "Blue Book" like above, the Book 1 and Book 2 are a different Author Shigeo Sugawa, he made these two books

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Sugawa-San is the collector, and author, Sawada-San (Blue Book) is more of a scholar/educator. (IMHO)

Sorry..
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#7 Viper6924

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:28 PM

No worries what so ever, Justin! This thread
and your scans has been very helpful indeed.
It's now clear as a glas of water :D

Thanks Justin!

Jan

#8 Anthony de Vos

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:54 PM

Hi!

Regarding Sawadas blue book, is it really that rare and expensive?
I bought mine, brand new, on Yahoo for 7000 yen.
Just the other day there was a new one up for sale.

Regards,

Anthony
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#9 estcrh

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:03 PM

Eric, sometimes you make things too black and white.

Please do not put this guy on a pedestal like some shining god.

Piers, I am writing what I write for my own knowledge and for people who may read what is on this new section of the forum in the future. I do not understand why people are taking some simple questions so personally. I can not put him on a pedestal as I know nothing about his knowledge and teachings on the subject of Japanese guns. People review books and authors qualifications all the time.

Most of what I know about him is what you, Justin and Ron have written, Ron and Justin have called him a scholar or scholarly, you have made it clear that his writings are more in depth and reliable than his competitors so why not provide interested people which some useful information in order to help them form an opinion. Since you speak English, live in Japan, are a member of a Japanese gun troop you would have a much better idea of why he should be included in the small list of acknowledged experts, which does not mean that he is perfect. You would also have some idea of what he does not know and what he has not included in his books which may help someone in any future book writing attempt. Ron has extensive knowledge on this subject and would also know how his book differs from other books on the subject, Justin has this book as well and can add some personal insight to this book review as well.

Since the idea of translating his book has been brought up along with the idea of writing a new book.......if that were to ever happen it would be nice to have some additional information which is deemed important but has not been included in his book/books added as an appendix in order to create a better book in the end. In order to fully understand what is currently not in his books and in the other books that will undoubtedly be discussed here it would be helpful for all interested parties to state what they would like to see in a "dream book" on Japanese matchlocks.

#10 estcrh

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:09 PM

Hi!

Regarding Sawadas blue book, is it really that rare and expensive?
I bought mine, brand new, on Yahoo for 7000 yen.
Just the other day there was a new one up for sale.

Regards,

Anthony

Anthony we will be expecting your review soon? If you happen to see another copy for sale it may be helpful to add a link. First you have to know that the book even exists, which the average person would not know, second you would have to know were to look and most people would not spend that amount of money on a book written in a language that they can not understand, reading people comments and seeing some of the contents my help other people decide to purchase this book.

#11 estcrh

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:18 PM

A quote from Justin on this book.

Nihon no Furuju is far superior (to "THE Japanese MATCHLOCK" by Shigeo Sugawa), even if you can't read Japanese, the detail photos, drawings, and classification are well worth the extra money. He goes into construction methods, how parts are made, how they fit together, tools used to make the bisen threads, etc. How locks are made, what they do, etc.

This book can be understood if you memorize about a dozen or so Kanji and then you can figure out what he is saying, or you can scan the page and then use an online translator to help you with the translation. Not perfect, but you can get the drift.



#12 Anthony de Vos

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:30 PM

Hi Eric!

Regarding the review, since I am, as you know, not a Japanese speaker, it will be short and of no value;
Beautiful colour photos covering a huge range of guns, useful for me since I can compare details in the pictures with my guns.
As you already said the next step is to copy and paste for the info, not easily done when using dysfunctional on line translation alternatives.

If you have the interest, then you find the existing books and where to buy them, a forum like this and NNK with your contributions is of great help.

I got the impression that people where looking for them, I just point in the right direction.

Anthony
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#13 estcrh

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:34 PM

Some info on the author, hopefully I got it right, from a recent interview.
http://sankei.jp.msn... ... 005-n1.htm

He is a martial artist and learned ninjutsu 40 years ago under Nawa YumiTakeshi who is a master of ninjutsu, he started a Ninjutsu Academy in Yagyu district of Nara Sakahara town were many different ninjutsu skills are taught. He is an appraiser on a popular television show (Kanteidan) which seems to be the Japanese version of the Antiques road show. Born in Osaka 1935, went to Kinki University School of Law, Kansai Medical School, and served as director of Sawada Osteopathic Academy of Osaka Higashinari Ward, presided over Sakai gun Study Group and is a student of science and technology in the Edo period.

#14 estcrh

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 02:02 PM

A couple of questions, is it Taira Sawada or is it Sawada Taira, I have seen his names spelled both ways, when was his book first published? Thanks to Justin for providing these images, for Non-Japanese speaking people its important to be able to see if there is something in this book that would interest them despite not being able to easily understand the text. From these images I think this book would be a great candidate for a translation project.

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#15 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 03:46 PM

Eric, if you follow the Western order of naming, he is Mr Taira Sawada, but within Japan it is reversed with the family name Sawada coming first. You often hear people referring to him as Sawada San, or Sawada Sensei, or by one of his nicknames.

To help you remember his first name, it is one character 平, as in the family and the great battle between the Taira (平家 Heike) and the 源 Minamoto (源氏 Genji).

Be careful of the top left pic of the man on the horse. That is a clever photoshop of two Chinese MS source images.
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#16 Brian

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:37 PM

Would love to know what it would cost to initiate a translation. Markus or Piers...are you out there? :)
Might be worth a group project.

Brian
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#17 watsonmil

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:45 PM

Dear Brian,
Indeed, ... although there is not the same amount of interest as Nihonto or Kodogu, ... many many books have been translated from Japanese into English, German, French on these two subjects ... and when one considers that in the world, Samurai Swords are not exactly at the top of everyone's list of Best Sellers list perhaps it is a feasible idea.
... Ron Watson

#18 Justin Grant

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:26 PM

Here is my drama-

Take it for what it's worth, and it is not an indictment on anyone-

For swords, we (NMB) have pressed it upon many to memorize certain kanji, names, etc in the translation section, Jean is a fanatic about this. Why don't we have the same set of rules for Tanegashima

If you can determine the province is was made in Hino, Omi, Goshu, etc, you can narrow it down a bunch. Smiths used a lot of the same kanji, so if you know the Togishi mei, I am guessing it won't be hard to figure out the Hinawaju mei.

If you memorize the parts of the gun in Japanese kanji, that too will aid your ability to figure out what is going on in the book(s). The book in question is less a story and more a narrative on specific parts.

Look at this page (larger version on page one of this topic). It lists the kanji for the parts of the gun, then he talks about locks, names them even, then he talks about ama-ooi, etc.

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This page he identifies guns by school, specific size, and maker. Again, a few kanji memorized will enable you to make serious headway into the book.

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Will the book be fluid? No, but you will make more use of it than simply a picture book. I'd use this section for help in translation of pages if needed. We have a lot of people that can read Japanese on here, so I am sure they can help.

Just my thoughts
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#19 estcrh

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 11:26 PM

Eric, if you follow the Western order of naming, he is Mr Taira Sawada, but within Japan it is reversed with the family name Sawada coming first. You often hear people referring to him as Sawada San, or Sawada Sensei, or by one of his nicknames.

To help you remember his first name, it is one character 平, as in the family and the great battle between the Taira (平家 Heike) and the 源 Minamoto (源氏 Genji).

Thanks Piers, any idea of the original date this book was published?

#20 estcrh

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:58 AM

Here is my drama-

Take it for what it's worth, and it is not an indictment on anyone-

For swords, we (NMB) have pressed it upon many to memorize certain kanji, names, etc in the translation section, Jean is a fanatic about this. Why don't we have the same set of rules for Tanegashima

Justin, there is a big difference between someone looking for a particular mei in an already created list with the kanji there for someone to find as opposed to attempting a translation of a complicated book, especially if the book is written in older style kanji. Since you have already translated some of the tanegashima related kanji maybe you could post a list so that people who are interested in doing their own hunt and peck research could learn from what you have already learned.

#21 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

Eric, if you follow the Western order of naming, he is Mr Taira Sawada, but within Japan it is reversed with the family name Sawada coming first. You often hear people referring to him as Sawada San, or Sawada Sensei, or by one of his nicknames.

Thanks Piers, any idea of the original date this book was published?


Eric, the publication date is not mentioned. His books come off the press of a private study group. No ISBN that I can see. The author signs his afterword with Heisei 7, May. (1995)
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#22 Spiridonov

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 06:32 PM

Greetings! Does anyone know what was the structure of Japanese wheel-lock pistols? Have someone photo of inside view of it?
With the best regards, Alexander



#23 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 01:32 AM

Alexander, there were almost no wheellocks in Japan, but you can see six rare examples nine posts above, on this same page.
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#24 Spiridonov

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 09:48 AM

Alexander, there were almost no wheellocks in Japan, but you can see six rare examples nine posts above, on this same page.

Thank You, but I know this. I've seen this photos. Unfortunately it does not shows inner side of this locks. Are these pictures does not exist?



#25 IanB

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 12:58 PM

Alexander, I once tried to make a Japanese wheel lock based on the images and diagrams from the above publication. I had no trouble with the wheel and its release but could not arrange the dog properly. I made the wheel from a section of steel tube with a brass disk set into both sides. This turned on a short spindle fixed to the lockplate and had a spiral brass spring inside that fastened to the spindle and wheel. The same sear as on a matchlock engaged with a hole in the rear disk of the wheel when wound up. All that worked great, it is the rest that I had trouble with. The wheel is positioned just behind the pan and the dog holding the pyrites was in front reaching over the pan to contact the wheel.The wheel has to rotate anticlockwise - but I couldn't get the thing sparking properly and gave up.

Ian Bottomley



#26 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 04:31 PM

Try contacting Sawada Taira directly to ask for internal diagrams...?
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#27 Spiridonov

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 02:20 PM

Alexander, I once tried to make a Japanese wheel lock based on the images and diagrams from the above publication. I had no trouble with the wheel and its release but could not arrange the dog properly. I made the wheel from a section of steel tube with a brass disk set into both sides. This turned on a short spindle fixed to the lockplate and had a spiral brass spring inside that fastened to the spindle and wheel. The same sear as on a matchlock engaged with a hole in the rear disk of the wheel when wound up. All that worked great, it is the rest that I had trouble with. The wheel is positioned just behind the pan and the dog holding the pyrites was in front reaching over the pan to contact the wheel.The wheel has to rotate anticlockwise - but I couldn't get the thing sparking properly and gave up.

Ian Bottomley

Thank You for this interesting story. Do You have diagrams of this wheel-lock pistols? May You show your replica? Has the wheel winding manually or with special key?
Best regards, Alexander!



#28 Spiridonov

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 02:23 PM

Try contacting Sawada Taira directly to ask for internal diagrams...?

Thank You for advice. Do You have contacts of Sawada Taira?






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