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Readings on Arms and Armors

 
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narukagami
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:40 am    Post subject: Readings on Arms and Armors Reply with quote
So to help with some ongoing research/hobby reading, I want to get the SA community's recommendations on a few things:

1) What are your recommendations for books on weaponry that aren't all about swords or are "90% swords 10% everything else lumped together into one small and unhelpful section." I've got enough books about swords. Most alternatives I've seen are bunk ninja weapons books.
I understand if that's asking the impossible seeing as its the katana that makes money. And I don't mind if I have to look into ones specializing in particular weapons instead of general collections.

2) Is "Samurai: The Weapons and Spirit of the Japanese Warrior" by Clive Sinclaire any good? It has some decent reviews on Amazon, but so do books by Stephen K. Hayes, so I don't usually take that as a real indicator of accuracy or usefulness.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Having met Clive and attended some functions with him in Japan and knowing his circle of smiths and polishers, I can assure you that his book is accurate. He is not in a group with Hayes and is really good at drawing oshigata. I wish I could help with non-sword books that are very good, but, except for books like Knutsen's my focus is swords and fittings. You want books detailing kusarigama, tessen, jutte, sai, etc. I believe? I have some by Cunningham that are not so bad. John
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject: Re: Readings on Arms and Armors Reply with quote
narukagami wrote:


2) Is "Samurai: The Weapons and Spirit of the Japanese Warrior" by Clive Sinclaire any good? It has some decent reviews on Amazon, but so do books by Stephen K. Hayes, so I don't usually take that as a real indicator of accuracy or usefulness.


It's somewhat of an entry level coffee table book with lots of really nice photos-kind of what you would get in a museum catalog. Some of the history in it is iffy but it does have the variety of artifacts you're looking for. For what it costs, well worth it.

This series is good but concentrates mainly on armor-still a lot of info and drawings of various types of weapons.

Trevor Absolon's armor books are excellent, but can be tough to find-nothing about weaponry in them, though.

Other than that, in English, museum catalogs are likely your best bet, and even they only normally have a few pages of weaponry. There are lots of these types of books and catalogs in Japanese, many of which just concentrate on a single weapon (spear, arquebus, bow, etc).
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narukagami
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the tips, all.

I've seen Mr. Sinclaire's book for fairly cheap so I might pick it up. And Japanese language books aren't too much of a problem, but I need a dictionary to trudge through most of them (if mainly for the kanji...). I guess I could count them as language study aids!
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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
narukagami wrote:
I guess I could count them as language study aids!


My Japanese acquaintances are always impressed when I can drop a "oh, yeah, that old iyozane-do? Love it" in casual conversation.
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estcrh
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Readings on Arms and Armors Reply with quote
narukagami wrote:


1) What are your recommendations for books on weaponry that aren't all about swords


There are only a few options, I would recommend these books, they are the most comprehensive books on the subject of Japanese weapons other than swords.



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