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Owarikenshi
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Heard of this book? Reply with quote
Has anyone here seen Invisible Armor by Serge Mol? He seems to be a Belgian who sells the book on his site and through BudoVideos, Canada. The book is said to be a rigorously researched introduction to Mikkyo-based aspects of feudal warrior culture.

His site lists a number of legitimate sources, including Otake Risuke Sensei, but nowhere any credentials for the author.

Anyone know if this is on the "up and up" or just more fantasy ninjer blather?

Owari.
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This isn't literature--it seems to be more about martial arts, so this is where the thread is being moved.

I'm skepical of Serge Mol. Please read this rather ridiculous thread.
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Owarikenshi
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks, Obenjo.

(Yep, that was ridiculous, alright!)

Owari.
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onnamusha
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
This isn't literature--it seems to be more about martial arts, so this is where the thread is being moved.

I'm skepical of Serge Mol. Please read this rather ridiculous thread.
A while back, I found the weapons book discussed in the other thread on Google preview, and it allowed a perusal of the endnotes, although all of it was notes and no real bibliography I could find, no written works, just references to certain masters of certain martial schools. That seems to be the difference between books written for the martial arts market and those written for serious scholarly study--no way to check sources. After all, if Yoshinobu had been so gaga about shuriken, surely Shiba Ryotaro would have given it a line in his bio of the man...if he mentions the silver messkit, surely a fondness for throwing darts and such would be a point of interest. That was the first I had heard of Yoshinobu's secret lust for ninjer weapons. Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
This isn't literature--it seems to be more about martial arts, so this is where the thread is being moved.

I'm skepical of Serge Mol. Please read this rather ridiculous thread.
A while back, I found the weapons book discussed in the other thread on Google preview, and it allowed a perusal of the endnotes, although all of it was notes and no real bibliography I could find, no written works, just references to certain masters of certain martial schools. That seems to be the difference between books written for the martial arts market and those written for serious scholarly study--no way to check sources. After all, if Yoshinobu had been so gaga about shuriken, surely Shiba Ryotaro would have given it a line in his bio of the man...if he mentions the silver messkit, surely a fondness for throwing darts and such would be a point of interest. That was the first I had heard of Yoshinobu's secret lust for ninjer weapons. Laughing


You must have only found the "Acknowledgements" page then, since both the End Notes and Bibliography contain multiple book references.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZzIXkFec0e8C&pg=PA207&lpg=PP1&dq=Classical+Weaponry+of+Japan#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Scroll down to page 10 of contents and click on the Bibliography link.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kuseru Satsujin wrote:
onnamusha wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
This isn't literature--it seems to be more about martial arts, so this is where the thread is being moved.

I'm skepical of Serge Mol. Please read this rather ridiculous thread.
A while back, I found the weapons book discussed in the other thread on Google preview, and it allowed a perusal of the endnotes, although all of it was notes and no real bibliography I could find, no written works, just references to certain masters of certain martial schools. That seems to be the difference between books written for the martial arts market and those written for serious scholarly study--no way to check sources. After all, if Yoshinobu had been so gaga about shuriken, surely Shiba Ryotaro would have given it a line in his bio of the man...if he mentions the silver messkit, surely a fondness for throwing darts and such would be a point of interest. That was the first I had heard of Yoshinobu's secret lust for ninjer weapons. Laughing


You must have only found the "Acknowledgements" page then, since both the End Notes and Bibliography contain multiple book references.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZzIXkFec0e8C&pg=PA207&lpg=PP1&dq=Classical+Weaponry+of+Japan#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Scroll down to page 10 of contents and click on the Bibliography link.
I guess you've pointed out the bad part of relying on Google preview to draw a conclusion. Pages 6-165 weren't available, so I couldn't scroll to the area you note. I guess I'll have to own the book or find it at a library (not likely in my backward area) before I can really test the old Yoshinobu theory then! Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've seen the book, actually held it in my hands and skimmed the pages, and while I can't speak to its accuracy, it has nothing at all to do with "ninja" or "ninjutsu" and it seems to be a good faith effort at reliable information. And as a bibliophile I can also say that it's a very nicely produced book, almost Kodansha quality (Kodansha's books are beautiful). Hope that helps.

Don
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Owarikenshi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi!

Yes, I concur; took a flyer and bought it, and while the book has a few minor production issues (typos, slightly awkward grammar plainly from translation), most of the information seems to be congruent with that from other more "scholarly" sources on these topics which are widely recognized.

Mol does rely to a large degree on documents of one particular Ryu (the one he apparently studies, no surprise), but as a martial artist rather than an academic I have no problem with that as a primary source. All the traditions he cites are extant so the information is easily cross-checked.

This is actually the only book I've seen in English that goes into this much detail about matters like castle-site planning and divination by "gunshi," as well as more familiar aspects such as personal protection spells. Readers with a working knowledge of Mikkyo Buddhism will find much here to enjoy.

Verdict: Not perfect, but definitely not bogus.

Owarikenshi
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