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Markus

Any publications desired?

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Discussing with several members of the board and from elsewhere on my tameshigiri book,

I would like to use this opportunity to ask freely what information might be desired?

Not that I have much time at the moment anyway but I am really interested in what you

guys think is still a white spot on the map of nihonto or tosogu and what might be worth

it to talk about a tangible future project.

 

Well there will be a big project published later this year and for my part, I want to publish

a final supplement to my Kantei volumes. Also I am asked about doing the same I did with

the kinko signatures for swords, i.e. a classic but English and thus accessivle and available

meikan. Of special interest to me is the connection of Hon´ami Koetsu, his Takagamine

artists´ village, his connection to Umetada Myoju, and the whole context of Momoyama culture.

 

Anyway, what I tried over the recent years was to fill gaps and to make information easily

accessible. With this in mind, I want to start a free discussion here for everyone free to

give me some input on this matter. Thanks guys! :beer:

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What I would love to see is a Connoisseur's type book, but done with actual photos instead of drawings. A Nihonto Encyclopedia, so to speak. Photos of actual hamon and examples of the smith's works. Actual photos showing all the hataraki and hamon types.

It would make for a much easier to use book than Connoisseurs.

And since that book is out of print, I think there must be a decent market for it. It would easily become the first book any Nihonto enthusiast must purchase.

 

Brian

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Dear Markus,

 

In addition to Brian's suggestion, I think an English translation of the two-volume Nihonto Zuikan would be tremendous, although from a business perspective, I don't know if it would make sense.

 

Regards,

Hoanh

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What I would love to see is a Connoisseur's type book, but done with actual photos instead of drawings. A Nihonto Encyclopedia, so to speak. Photos of actual hamon and examples of the smith's works. Actual photos showing all the hataraki and hamon types.

It would make for a much easier to use book than Connoisseurs.

And since that book is out of print, I think there must be a decent market for it. It would easily become the first book any Nihonto enthusiast must purchase.

 

Brian

 

Like to see what Brian mentioned but in a computer format. It would allow easily search capabilities and the option of printing out particular pages for use and as a data base the ability to compare swords. Realize that would be a super major undertaking but you asked.

 

I also like to see IImuras books translated into English

 

JDromm

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How about a gendaito kantei to finish out the series?

 

And I've always wished "Connoisseurs..." Would have contained a section on gendaito.

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How about a Mintogawa sword book like the Kishida Yasakuni book! I have the Herman Wallinga book, but I would like something more extensive.

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I would like to go a step farther than Joe, Chris & others;

I think the biggest hole that needs to be filled is with Gendaito swords. I would love to see a book, like the Gendai Toko Meikan (only bigger, both in size and content) that devotes a least a page to each smith’s work (pictures), and a page to his bio: born & died, where he worked, who he studied under, who his students were, etc. On major smith’s Gassan family, Toshihide, Shigetsugu, Okimasa, Yoshindo Yoshihara family, etc, you could devote a chapter to each one; set up more like the Gendaito Meisaku Zukan, with tanto, wakizashi, katana or tachi pictures, and pages for each smith as well as their students, their teachers, genealogy chart, etc. I would like to see Chris Bowen write a detailed chapter or two on Tokyo smiths. As the book progressed you could have newer smiths, like those featured in the Dentou Sennen No Bi book put out by the NBTHK, including a picture of their work, their bio, etc. There could be a chapter on all the winners of each year All Japan Swordsmith Forging Competition, of course fully indexed both Romanized & with kanji and page numbers where their work can be viewed. At lot of this work could be gleaned from existing books in Japanese, and the newer smiths from the web, or directly from them or the Association. Maybe the book could be published with the Association’s approval, sort of ‘see what smiths are working today and show off their work’ section in the book. Maybe it needs to be a series- Meiji- WWII, post War, modern smiths. Thanks, Mike

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Yes..good points made. There is definitely a gap regarding Gendaito, and with interest only growing every year, this should be a popular book.

 

Brian

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My suggestion might be in a bit more general book. I think Nihonto Daizen 1-2 are awesome books, and something similar to them in English would in my mind help a lot of people. I think books like these in English would be a great addition to available books in the market. The format of these books is something I like very much, and I think they are easy to approach, yet still have a lot of more advanced information too.

 

Nihonto Daizen is titled currently as Encyclopedia of Japanese Swords in English. I think they would make a great general book to the world of nihonto that would cover wide variety of subjects and would be something to recommend both for beginners and advanced readers.

 

I think a more general book like this one would have larger target audience than more special books, even though we as a community might be more into very specific books.

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I keep wondering when it is coming Chris. Looking forward to it, should be awesome! Thanks, Mike

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For my money the most useful reference is Nihonto Kenkyu to Kantei by Tsuneishi. This two volume book never ceases to amaze with geneologies, legends and histories, and work-style descriptions that make sense in the real world. The descriptions of the artists work often contain tidbits not found in other works and the author includes second and third generation artists not found or not extensively covered by other references.

 

There are oshigata, photos, and mei included for comparison but the photography is of an earlier time and could use updating. If you are looking for a book with general appeal this will have something for everyone.

 

I would also second Henk's call for a good reference on armour - seeing Trevors effort faulter was a real disappointment. Hoping we can see that come back to life or something like it.

-t

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Hi,

 

I wish to have Basic Knowledge about sword related Terms,

 

especially The Edo Period.

 

I think there is a strong interest by Nihonto/ist's ( the Immortal Edo Period corner, Duel ),

 

and there is a BIG Chance to Lead " interested Parties " to Nihonto.

 

May be You Start a Whole line of books like the Time-Life Series!

 

Best Regards

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Thanks so far guys for the input! :bowdown:

 

What I see is a tendency to Gendaito and one to another comprehensive book on nihonto. I was already thinking about a follow-up Nihon-Gendaito-shi but did not tackle this so far because of the lack of reference material. Not that I don´t like Gendaito but I had to draw

a line somewhere and that line was Shinshinto. Thus also my library is lacking any reference books on Gendaito so I have to get these first and work through them. And then I need someone like Chris who can tell me more about characteristic features of Gendai-tosho workmanships because such a book will be incomplete without addressing basic and individual styles.

 

As for a new "Nihonto encyclopedia", I did kind of such a thing in German but was always hesitating to write something introductory as the Connoisseur´s Book and the Facts and Fundamentals are already quite good. That means you can find all the Nihonto nomenclature and parts explained and I don´t have to show again what is a bohi, what a kurijiri, and what an o-kissaki. On the other hand, just because this info is already available does not render useless a new big encyclopedia with all the terms and features.

 

I was also thinking about what Brian suggested, i.e. something with more pics to support oshigata. But for this, I probably need one of the dealers in the background who supports me with data and a publisher who gives me a decent offer. High-quality color pictures is what you don´t do with Lulu. For example my Natsuo volumes are probably the top you can get there and the quality is not that bad, but the printing costs are so high that I almost earn nothing with them.

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I would like to go a step farther than Joe, Chris & others;

I think the biggest hole that needs to be filled is with Gendaito swords. I would love to see a book, like the Gendai Toko Meikan (only bigger, both in size and content) that devotes a least a page to each smith’s work (pictures), and a page to his bio: born & died, where he worked, who he studied under, who his students were, etc. On major smith’s Gassan family, Toshihide, Shigetsugu, Okimasa, Yoshindo Yoshihara family, etc, you could devote a chapter to each one; set up more like the Gendaito Meisaku Zukan, with tanto, wakizashi, katana or tachi pictures, and pages for each smith as well as their students, their teachers, genealogy chart, etc. I would like to see Chris Bowen write a detailed chapter or two on Tokyo smiths. As the book progressed you could have newer smiths, like those featured in the Dentou Sennen No Bi book put out by the NBTHK, including a picture of their work, their bio, etc. There could be a chapter on all the winners of each year All Japan Swordsmith Forging Competition, of course fully indexed both Romanized & with kanji and page numbers where their work can be viewed. At lot of this work could be gleaned from existing books in Japanese, and the newer smiths from the web, or directly from them or the Association. Maybe the book could be published with the Association’s approval, sort of ‘see what smiths are working today and show off their work’ section in the book. Maybe it needs to be a series- Meiji- WWII, post War, modern smiths. Thanks, Mike

 

 

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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I would like to go a step farther than Joe, Chris & others;

I think the biggest hole that needs to be filled is with Gendaito swords. I would love to see a book, like the Gendai Toko Meikan (only bigger, both in size and content) that devotes a least a page to each smith’s work (pictures), and a page to his bio: born & died, where he worked, who he studied under, who his students were, etc.

 

That is my general plan, only though for Tokyo smiths. Also, I plan to include the results from all the war era sword exhibitions, as well as many other tidbits from period literature.

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Markus,

I am sure Gendai-phobes would be more than happy to loan you their reference material. If you decide to pursue a Gendai book, let me know. I have all of the big titles and probably about 90% of the lesser known references (primarily for collection as the Japanese texts still elude me).

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"Uchigatana Goshirae" by the National Museum Tokyo would be a worthwhile project. I have a copy of the translation myself but there are not many available and count myself very lucky.

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From the kodogu crowd:

 

I can only second Pete's recommendation on Goto and the machibori.

 

It terms of easier books that you [specially meaning Markus and his workhorse power] probably could burn through in a fortnight

is the Soyo-Somin book. They influenced so much after them, and the book is not terribly complex or long. Pictures explain many things, but the there are many passages beyond my ability to

understand the finepoints of why is authentic and [A] and [C] were not.

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@Joe: Thanks for your offer!

 

@Pete, @Curran: Something big is released later this year which goes towards that direction.

So please hold on. :D

 

Apart from that, I was asked off the board to write something like my Handbook of Sword Fittings related Terms,

just for swords and more detailed. I know that there is Hawley´s 1100 Japanese Sword Terms so I don´t want

to rewrite something what is already available (at least not when in English). I never owned this book by Hawley

so I would greatly welcome any info on that, maybe one or two scans from the inside of the book to get a

general idea and to see if that is something to think about or if Hawleys´ is still up do date. Thanks.

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Hawleys 1100 terms and other Hawley terminology books are very basic. I've used it a lot in the beginning but I have now better replacement for them.

 

6et6.jpg

ukd9.jpg

 

But there is Zusetsu Nihonto Yogo Jiten, which is amazing resource. For me it pretty much covers the terminology part.

 

ydein.jpg

c5769.jpg

 

And as I'm posting pics here are 2 of Nihonto Daizen too. I just like the format of it with foldouts and great pictures and very varying information.

 

s2wq.jpg

ctfhp.jpg

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Thanks a lot Jussi! :thanks:

That helped me a lot as I can now forward the info that writing another glossary doesn´t make much sense.

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Hello:

Many interesting suggestions have been made and who can say that any are without some merit.

It seems to me that what we don't need is any more fleshing out of the standard "shop manual" type books as most of us will have them all and what one might be light on another might be covering in more detail. I also don't think we need any further elucidation of on the great comprehensive studies such as Koza, except of course for the volumes Harry Watson has not done, and of course we have Fujishiro, as sketchy as it is, already done by Watson.

Post 1876 swords are begging. The Boston Museum monograph on the Gassan's visit is great, Wallinga's monograph on the Minatogawa probably has no equal in Japanese to translate, but a lot of other smiths are uncovered. We should remember though that there are sheep and there are goats and that issue comes up with casual use of "gendaito". Chris Bowen promises something on the most important gendai, but after 1945 it is shinsakuto time, about which there is some stuff out in English, but the who is to be of lasting worth area is very fluid and it will take years to imagine an even approximate rank ordering between them.

Kantei: well we look forward to more of your excellent translations Markus, and some such are already done additionally and selectively in the two journals of the NTHK and NTHK (NPO).

What I would like to see are some of the works of Dr. Fukunaga translated, which I believe Tom Helm mentioned, as well as some of the long textual studies of Drs. Homma and Sato. To add to that I would add a selection of some of the articles, which seem "scholarly" to this non-Japanese reader that appear in Token Bijutsu and the two Token to Rekishi journals. Some deal at great length with locations, events, well known and less well know smiths, but what on earth are they saying??? Finally I would like to see what the Japanese have written about their great collections and collectors, what they think in prose makes a great sword or smith, where their world of collecting appreciation is going, in Japan and elsewhere - you know, insider stuff, the real skinney that we never seem to get much information on - I suppose because we are not "insiders."

Just thinking out loud.

Arnold F.

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As I got so much support and feedback in the field of Gendaito, I have decided that this will be

the subject of my next big project but what might not be tackled until fall. I will go through all

relevant references, let them suggest, and decide then if it should be something like an advanced

Nihon-gendaito-shi (with details on workmanship), as follow-up to my previous "shi´s", or if it should

be something on its own and in a format of its own.

 

Apart from that, I will also publish my sword signature data base, split into a koto and into a

shinto/shinshinto volume. Just because I have the files on the PC anway and it makes no sense

to have them rot there.

 

Thanks again to all of you!

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