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Anyone heard from Markus Sesko?


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Hi all, I am trying to make contact with Markus Sesko. 

Many of us have forked out big bucks to help him research and write a treatise on GENDAI SWORDSMITHS, and to pre-purchase an edition.

I write this on behalf of many people who have contacted me with the same request. 

Firstly, I hope nothing untoward has befallen Markus, but if things are OK with him, I think we are at least owed a progress report, a copy of what we paid for, or if the project has been aborted, a financial refund. It has now been years in the making.  

First prize is, as far as I am concerned, is a completed edition. As this work would be great reference material. Failing that, well, I would like my money back. 

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Alive, still.

 

@Neil: I saw that you wrote me a PM and apologize for not having replied (looking at the board on a regular basis, but hardly logging in, and the notifications go to my old email address, so I have to change that).

 

I am still working on the Gendaito Project, but I wish I had met the full goal of donations back then to take that time off to bring the project to the finish line. About 1/4 was met, for which I am very grateful, and after so many years, I totally understand all the frustration, so if anyone wants a refund, I am happy to to do so.

 

I have mentioned at some other occasion that at the moment, and going forward, I am working on what I call my "legacy," which is, newly researched monographs on each of the swordsmith and sword fittings schools published as individual (smaller, and thus less pricy) books. This will not be chronological and I have decided to make the Gendaito Project part of it and publish it as one of the first books in the series. Due to the number of Gendaito smiths, there might even be two volumes, and the website with all the pictorial references that can not go into the book(s) will be there as well. 

 

Now working remotely for the museum a full year (and 2,5 years in total), and living in a small town in North Carolina, going back to NYC becomes less and less attractive, also because no decision has been made yet if my position becomes permanent, as Assistant Curator, or not. This means, if that does not work out, and it might be so as it currently appears, I will have full time again to 100% focus on the backlog.

 

 

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... and if you open a new donation slot, I’d be happy to donate for that most necessary project. Thank you for all you do for the sword community, Markus!

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Markus as for me i would need not every swordsmith mostley with the background of Yasukuni, Minatogawa and RJT smiths + Oshigata would help a lot.

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Markus, thankyou for your reply. I realize the enormity of task at hand. However with books by Kishida on Yasukuni, and Wallinga on Minatogawa, Slough on hundreds of Gendai smiths and the latest works of Malcolm Cox, a book covering those missing from these publications would be a great start. Most of us have these books already, or access to them. 

You could also put out a call for any missing oshigata that we could could supply from our collections. 

Hope this helps, and I am sure that the enormous burden you have undertaken could be somewhat relieved. 

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I wasn't even aware of this project.

I thought I was strictly a Koto lover, but I fell in love with the work of a particular gendaito smith and researched the heck out of him at one point across several of the books mentioned. Remembering the pain and pleasure of that, I'd contribute to this project just out of respect for Markus' work. I don't need final product. I simply want to support the efforts of someone who has already helped my own knowledge beyond that which I think I have given in return.

 

Moreover, I understand the NYC difficulties as close to my own heart and mind these days. Hell of a year or two. The Immortal American City seems to have broken.

 

Markus-    my respect for you is great. Your translations have greatly added to my tosogu knowledge, including a very recent deep dive into Ko-Nara and subsequent artists. Without your translations, I would have taken weeks more to learn as much as I did. Life being what it is, I don't know if I would have done it without your works.

 

Communicate to us and let us know how we can help.

 

CURRAN

 

 

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I agree with Curran and John. But that said, it's important to communicate regularly on projects like this. Even if just to say "No news yet guys, but I'm still on it"
We have people form over 32 countries and the only way they know what's happening is through updates. So maybe once a month just add a quick sentence somewhere that you are alive and well and the project is proceeding. I get a lot of inquiries and no-one is up in arms, they just request an update.
All good, and best of luck with the employment.

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I dislike being in the position of "piling on," and I too appreciate all that Markus has done to bring nihonto information to those of us who cannot read Japanese, but there is also an issue with "Tosogu Classroom" -- ostensibly a five-volume direct translation project, of which two have been published and three more promised to those of us who paid for the full series.  An update would be much appreciated.

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I can say that the two of three volume set that Les refers to has kept me fascinated, and enriched my tosogu knowledge tremendously.

Thank you very much, Markus. I wish I could help somehow, but my skills are only good for editing.

To save time, perhaps any updates can be added to the Markus blog for broader  community update. 

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Hi Les and Mark, and y'all of course.

 

In the meantime, and experimenting with proof copies from Lulu.com, I decided to entirely redo the first two volumes and ship these new ones – at my own expense – to all who have purchased any of the them, including, of course, those who have prepaid for the entire set, and the remaining ones the same way.

 

I know, this all is a nuisance, but I need to get this right going forward, that is, I do not want the print quality being an ongoing issue for me/us years to come. 

 

That said, I know that Grey and Barry are kicking their heels to proofread the remaining chapters –which I am working on every single day in any case, and they are accumulating on my end – so I apologize for being such a dinosaur, meaning, I suck badly at switching tasks and my reptile brain can only work off stuff in big batches. 

 

Now the broken record is being put on again, but I can promise you that as long as I am alive and not turning into a vegetable, I am working constantly on all outstanding projects as their non-completion does really gnaw on my soul :) :sorry:

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also would love to contribute to this project.   Markus: would it be useful to you to get info on/pictures/oshigata or see in person a (murayama) Kanetoshi gendaito that got 70 pts from NTHK (Long Island shinsa ~1997)?   In very good WWII polish.

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Markus,

You efforts are greatly appreciated by the community, and me personally. I visited the high country of NC last week. I can say it was a pretty place, and hope you have found some respite there apart from the bustle of NYC in these times. Regarding the print quality of the Tosogu Classroom. Yes, it suffers some, but an invaluable reference and well well worth the investment and effort. I may consider an upgrade but the original volumes have opened many doors for historical study and I continue to pour through them weekly. Personally speaking, I think an upgrade could be something I would consider as "in addition to" rather than "instead of", and at my cost not yours. 

 

Best,

 

Mark  

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