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The Japanese Sword Video Magazine


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As some of you may already know, and already contributed support to, Paul Martin is embarking on a new project to bring the world of Japanese Swords to life. I'll let Paul describe what he's planning, I'll be adding what bits I can also.

 

We are aiming at first starting as a quarterly video magazine, then as the team comes together, we hope to post more frequently. Our segments will include educational items, a regular fittings koza/review by Ford Hallam of Following the iron brush, interviews with the many sword craftsmen and scholars working today, explanations of great swords by top Japanese scholars, top sword martial artists, reports on sword events and news in Japan, and from around the world. It is an chance to get a regular peek into the sword world. With your support, it could be an exciting project.

 

This is essentially an educational project and one which I believe will provide valuable insight into the subject both from a historical and contemporary perspective. With Paul living, permanently now, in Tokyo he has unparalleled access to the leading scholars and artisans in the field. Having Paul as our guide and translator into this world I imagine we may all be in for a pretty exciting journey.

 

As I mentioned, some of us have already contributed support to get this project up and running and now there's a fundraising site on-line to make donations easy. Please consider what this Video Magazine might be worth to you and if you can consider helping know that every amount however small will be much appreciated.

 

Here's the link to the Fundrazr page.

 

Thank for you time and consideration,

 

Ford Hallam

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I'm making this worthwhile project a sticky for a while, let's support this as much as we can.

The resulting videos will be available to everyone I assume...via Youtube?

I am sure someone can send cd's of a few episodes to those unable to view them online.

 

Brian

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This is a highly worthwhile project, and to support it, I'd like to offer up a tsuba I made recently. A copy of a kyo-shoami tsuba in sukashi with a crane motif, it's made from mild steel and also comes with a custom-fit kiribako.

 

I'm selling it for $350USD plus shipping - if sold by the end of September, I'll donate $150 toward's Paul's startup costs. To sweeten the deal, I'll also donate $50 to the NMB if bought by an NMB member. Everyone wins!

 

Thanks for looking, and please consider supporting this project.

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Hi All,

To show my support and help fund this great project of Paul's I am offering $500 of the proceeds of the sale of this tsuba to the project if it sells by the end of September!

Shoami Denbai utsushi $1100

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If interested please contact me via yugenganearts@gmail.com

Thanks and good luck to Paul!!!!!

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Hello Everyone!

 

Many thanks to Ford and everyone for all your support, and encouragement. I am sure it will take a few tries to get my editing/filming skills up to scratch, and figure out what works, and what doesn't. It will cost money, as I am also having to purchase the best equipment I can, and outsource some elements to improve the quality, as I simply cannot manage it all by myself.

 

I was going to start a Kickstarter, but was foiled on one side as they do not sponsor projects based in Japan. Also, to be completely honest, I did not want to gamble the possible funding I could lose if I didn't reach the target, as the project will go ahead regardless. It's just a matter of how much funding will reflect the quality of the finished product.

 

So far, we have had tons of 'like' clicks, but out of the 4400 members on my Facebook page and the however many thousand members of the NMB, we have had less than 30 donations. If you think that you would enjoy an insight into the Japanese sword world, even if you can donated one dollar, we would be getting somewhere.

 

Below is the link again,

 

https://fundrazr.com/stories/e4xO6c?psi ... 0384ec9434

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My deepest thanks and appreciation to all who have donated. I have tried to thank everyone personally via the fundrazr page, and via email for direct donations. If I have missed you, my apologies, and please let me know that you haven't heard from me.

 

Stephen, thanks for your donation. It's not the size that counts ;) I realize that it may feel like a gamble for some of you to donate. However, without the start up funds it also makes it harder to achieve, but we are getting there. I have already been speaking with several people who are willing to talk about interesting subjects. As I first stated, we are aiming at a quarterly edition first, to get the ball rolling and improve our skills. I don't want to rush and put out a half-assed effort that no-one will find interesting.

 

There are several factors to consider. TV presentation has evolved over the years, to the point where we have the likes of youtube, and anyone can put out videos. Someone sent me a link to a TedX talk by a Youtube representative speaking on what makes videos go viral. Whilst it mainly didn't apply to the TJSVM, it was interesting to note video/online presentation is different to most things that have gone before, now it is mostly kinda personalized into a vlogging style. I have to take this element, combine it with the traditional Japanese sword world, also incorporate elements of Japanese up-beat presentation styles, appeal to a wide demographic audience. I want to put out something good. It's a tough trail, and probably another labor of love, but I think it needs to be done.

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Paul, I'm wondering how in depth you plan to go. I mean, will it be directed more at beginner type info, or will it be more advanced. I assume it will have to be a balancing act to try and put in content that will keep both the experienced and inexperienced viewers interested. Sounds like a challange... :D

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Hi Paul M.,

 

This sounds like a good project and I will make a donation at the end of the week. I hope you will take time to profile modern Japanese sword fittings makers in Japan. I am still in the process of learning more about them as most of my recent interest has been with antique works. Here is a really nice Yagyu utsushi at a Japanese dealers website as an example: http://www.shoubudou.co.jp/tuba-408.html.

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Hi Sword Brothers (and Sisters),

 

As you can see by the page we have made some progress, and with the money, I have been able to buy some of the equipment necessary to get the project going. However, we are still far from a project target, and I need several things. Such as, a second camera body, a (at least) prosumer level tripod, spare batteries, and spare SDXC cards. Also, a special bag to put the cameras and lenses in so that they are protected when I go to various locations. Even if we can reach the halfway mark of the original project goal, I think it will be a good start. Please encourage other sword enthusiasts to donate so we can really get a good launch.

 

Also, in the meantime, I have been to visit the Youtube partner facilities in Roppongi, and it is excellent. I have also been spreading the word within the sword world here in Japan, and there is a very positive response. We already have some features ready to be filmed lined up. Now to hone those filming, editing and subtitling skills.

 

Yes, the program will be an uncontrived balancing act of basic and more advanced information hopefully presented in a way easily understandable for most people. And yes, it is my intention to interview many different modern sword craftsmen. Naruki Issei was already on my list (if he will agree) as he is probably the most famous tsuba maker in Japan at the moment (next to Ford ;) ).

 

Best

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Paul, crowdfunding like this has a tendency to be fast at the onset, slowing down considerably after the first week or so. So at only 16% of your goal, I suggest a slightly modified approach.

 

Please provide us with a detailed list of what you're looking for in video & still camera(s), lenses, memory cards, accessories, etc. It may be that one or more of us would be willing to contribute or purchase all or part of one item, rather than just sending money, which may be in short supply. For example, as a long-time video shooter/director/producer, I have 3 or 4 professional-level Bogen tripods that I haven't used in the past year, one of which would save you about $500.

 

Ken

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Thanks Ken,

 

Tripod ;)

3 x spare batteries for Canon EOS 60D. (I have 2 Cameras)

Multi-charger for above

2 x Scan DisK Extreme Pro SDXC 64 GB SD cards

Azden Wireless mic system (two mic sets)

Wide angle lens for Canon (good for video)

Camera top stereo mic with muffler

Specialist rucksack for camera equipment

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Paul, how can we get things to you? Tokyo? London? U.S. somewhere? The tripod isn't light, so the closer the better unless you want to pay for shipping. I also have a 0.5X wide-angle Kenko lens that will work on your Canon if it has a 52mm adapter.

 

From my experience, if you're shooting full HD (1920 X 1080 interlaced) with the 60D, you want to be careful of heat buildup, both in the camera circuitry & the battery. I've seen DSLR cameras literally go up in smoke, so please be cautious. The 60D's optical stabilization is a bit jittery in HD video recording, & it's darn near impossible to auto-focus while you're recording, but you can focus manually with some practice. I eventually went for an inexpensive 3-CCD video camera for video, leaving my DSLR for still images most of the time. You're also stuck with a maximum 29 min 59 sec of recording time at about 330 MB/min, or around 10 GB per file. So I suggest that you save your money & get 16 GB SD cards instead of 64 GB. If you're anything like me, you'll swap out your SD card after each shoot, anyway, to minimize glitches like overwriting.

 

Canon DSLRs do produce pretty decent HD video using H.264 .MOV files, which should work great with your Mac workstation, Paul. I've never had any trouble integrating the output with that of my video cameras, but be sure to do a white-point balance on both cameras before each shoot. You're right that audio capture isn't all that great with a DSLR, but rather than buying a camera-top stereo mic (which truly screws up the handling!), I suggest that you check out the Zoom H4n audio recorder (http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/h4n). It can be tripod-mounted, & does a superlative job of audio recording, much better than anything camera-mounted (& cheaper, too).

 

Okay, enough words of wisdom today.... :phew:

 

Ken

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This is a highly worthwhile project, and to support it, I'd like to offer up a tsuba I made recently. A copy of a kyo-shoami tsuba in sukashi with a crane motif, it's made from mild steel and also comes with a custom-fit kiribako.

 

I'm selling it for $350USD plus shipping - if sold by the end of September, I'll donate $150 toward's Paul's startup costs. To sweeten the deal, I'll also donate $50 to the NMB if bought by an NMB member. Everyone wins!

 

Thanks for looking, and please consider supporting this project.

 

PM sent

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Many thanks to Fred and Kevin. The project is moving along. It will take a bit of time as I am learning as I go along, and want to put out the best product that can within my limits as an amateur. I am not promising, but am aiming for something to go out early next year. I will probably disappear from public view for a while, so that I can concentrate on the project later in the year.

 

In the meantime, I will also see many of you at the All Japan Taikai in October, and the Dai Token Ichi on the Friday only. Thanks again for all of your support. We still need donations though, some more equipment to buy, and there are other overheads to cover for other aspects. However, we are getting there. I have had some very positive responses from the Japanese side. Exciting times.

 

Best

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  • 9 months later...

Wondering if there has been any progress on this online video magazine.

I know there was the insert on Keith Austin, but wanted to make sure I am not missing any further episodes or news?

 

Brian

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

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