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Thread: Library of Knowledge?To everyone. Please read.

  1. #1

    Library of Knowledge?To everyone. Please read.

    Ive been thinking over the past few days about this forum. I am a huge fan of japanese blades and culture, and living in a small town in Tennessee, its been hard to find info and resources about it. After I received my first live blade, I became obsessed. I wanted to do many things to it myself, but had no clue where to start. The internet helps but has its limitations.

    Then I discover this site. I see so much knowledge and experience in so many people on this site, and I wonder how you all found this information. But my main concern is this: this is a dying art. In todays throw away culture, no one gives a damn about this particular niche. And the people who do, like myself, want more info but its hard to come by.

    So here is my proposal to you, ALL of you, to help preserve this particular way of life. I wish all of the collective knowledge and expertise here could be united for a library of knowledge perhaps. This is what I mean:

    There could be threads of only customization techniques, with step by step instructions with detailed photographs. There could be threads of pure information only, say blade geometries, historical resources, metalurgy, etc.

    What Im proposing is a much more simplified and easier to navigate way of searching for a particular set of knowledge or instruction. Has anyone thought of this? I know it could be a massive undertaking, but I belive that the end result would be fantastic. I belive it could help aspiring customizers or fanatics like myself take a bigger step toward keeping this love alive.

    Would anyone agree? Would anyone be willing to help make this a reality? Thank you all for reading and possible consideration.

  2. #2
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    the search button is your friend.

  3. #3
    Cody: have you checked out Richard Stein's Japanese Sword Guide?: http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm

    I'm all for more info being on SFI, but Stein contains a lot of good stuff to get you going ...

  4. #4
    Yes I understand the search button is my friend. And Mark, I didnt previously know about that page, but that is my point exactly.

    Instead of searching or word of mouth, it could be made to where it could be effortless. Say I wanted to rattan wrap my saya for example. I could just go to a customization thread, look up saya, look up rattan wrap, and boom! Pics and instructions galore. You see what I mean?

    I just think it being 2010 and all, this type of information should be readily available should one be inclined. And many people with different styles or methods of operation could show how THEY do it. I think it would be a wonderful source of knowledge.

    Trial and error is a great way to learn alot of things, but not when your test material is 100-300$ a pop. I really think this site should expand in a way to make all of this collective knowledge available to everyone, at all times. Its akin to the library. What if you wanted to know about the Mayan culture for example? Why search for tidbits here and there when you can go right to a book(a metaphor for a collection of knowledge in one place). You see what I mean? Why cant this be a reality?

  5. #5
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    Try Walter Sorrells website, while the information is not free, his DVDs are pretty informative, and his koshirae DVD details how to wrap a saya with rattan. There are also some knife websites with some good how to info, but I can't recall their addresses right now

  6. #6
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    Hi Cody,

    Have a look over at the SBG forum, lot's of customization photo's.

    http://sbgswordforum.proboards.com/i...rd=swordcustom

    Cheers,

  7. #7
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    Cody I disagree colecting/studying Japanese weaponry is a dying art.
    Books are a better source for the type of info you want. Remember the internet is a place where anyone cand post anything almost, so that means a lot of wrong things become gospel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark T View Post
    Cody: have you checked out Richard Stein's Japanese Sword Guide?: http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/nihonto.htm
    I'll Echo Mark's recommendation. I found this by clicking the link in Richard's signature while lurking the forum. I have spent hours pouring through all of the info there. Unfortunately, I was at work at the time, and didn't get much done that day!

    As for a "How To" section, in my opinion, customization of a sword is as much an art as it is a science. It's not so much a straight drop-in type arrangement that you may get with, say, firearms or automobiles. Plus, I believe there are not a few individuals on this forum who make their living doing customizations. They may not want to share their tricks of the trade!
    Last edited by Tony Vannelli; 07-21-2010 at 05:53 AM. Reason: bad forum code

  9. #9
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    Cody, on the surface, not a bad idea, but ...
    - Japanese sword and culture, in particular, is not a dying art. It is very much a niche, however. There are thousands of people in the US alone that train in Japanese arts, hundreds that collect, dozens that study forging, metallurgy, polishing, mounting. Many that are exploring new paths and many that are learning the traditional ones. Some are do-it-yourself-ers and some apprentice under masters. A large volume of that information is here on the forum, and there are many here willing to share and assist. There are probably 50 different threads on how to wrap a handle. Some of the info is bad, some of it is ok, some is good enough. Some of it is very good. hmmmm
    - the one-stop idea is ok, but someone has to manage it.
    - effortless in general is just a bad idea, IMO. Lots of reasons, examples, especially in a martial arts training context, but no lecture here.

    VR,
    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Drawdy; 07-21-2010 at 08:51 AM.
    Dave Drawdy
    "the artist formerly known as Sergeant Major"

  10. #10
    it would be cool to have a site or sticky that had all the information on katana's you would ever need to know. I my self and new to katana's and have been looking all over the net for good information on them. It easy to find info on the next if you know what you are looking for but if you dont know you are screwed. Its too bad there is no one stop shop for information on katana's. It would be nice. Someone should start a sticky with info in the first post and keep updating it as they go. I would do it but in very inexperienced and dont want to post false information I got off some site

  11. #11
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    To some respondents, instead of suggesting more work, the front page of www.swordforum.com is a good start for any to begin with. While some links and information may be a bit dated, much is often copied more or less verbatim by other existing resources.

    Have many that are learning at the start actually read through all the threads on Japanese style swords that are either pinned to the modern katana room and the Nihon-to room. Somehow I see some replying in this very thread that have apparently not taken those first steps themselves. View any subforum index back to the beginning and not the default view. That alone is a real time waster for some because they may see little activity. Still, the extant sticky and announcement threads are there to read and point to information.

    There may in time be a wiki sub-routine incorporated on this board but that is down the road a piece. In the meantime, sites carry links. Links lead to more links. Self learning is what has become a lost art and tradition as the fast food desires of many simply don't or can't put that first foot forward for their own benefit.

    If learning how to use search functions has become a hurdle for some, I can sympathize but not agree they are less than helpful. Most internet search engines can be employed by searching a site itself. Look for those advanced options, just as the search engine here.

    The internet is indexed pretty well and despite some not being able to navigate aisles, it is more a matter of their own ability and interest in learning instead of parroting. A real problem is that so much listed expertise as the loudest noise is often the least accurate of the information but gets passed on by others without actually learning the differences.

    Rather than look at existing books and information, the trend to overlook what is in plain site and available continues to prevail in many early students of any topic (swords or not). I am not looking down my nose at young scholars these days but rather weeping that so much self ability to learn has been lost.

    I'm sure someone could program a smart keyboard for the languishing neophyte of any subject but building one for oneself is really the way to go.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; The hue and cry of "How come no one will do this for me (for free)?" baffles me at times and I can sympathize without agreeing with it. What was the question again?
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-22-2010 at 01:58 PM.

  12. #12
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    When you start trying to collect information you also start disregarding information that is not in the collection! Who makes the call? What happens when the *right* info is not as popular as incorrect info? What happens when long held beliefs get changed by new research?

    There is some value in the hunt and some harm in spoon feeding people info.

    With the freedom of the net you are welcome to try to do what you want; However I date back to the WarAngel days here and will continue to use this site.
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    To some respondents, instead of suggesting more work, the front page of www.swordforum.com is a good start for any to begin with. While some links and information may be a bit dated, much is often copied more or less verbatim by other existing resources.

    Have many that are learning at the start actually read through all the threads on Japanese style swords that are either pinned to the modern katana room and the Nihon-to room. Somehow I see some replying in this very thread that have apparently not taken those first steps themselves. View any subforum index back to the beginning and not the default view. That alone is a real time waster for some because they may see little activity. Still, the extant sticky and announcement threads are there to read and point to information.

    There may in time be a wiki sub-routine incorporated on this board but that is down the road a piece. In the meantime, sites carry links. Links lead to more links. Self learning is what has become a lost art and tradition as the fast food desires of many simply don't or can't put that first foot forward for their own benefit.

    If learning how to use search functions has become a hurdle for some, I can sympathize but not agree they are less than helpful. Most internet search engines can be employed by searching a site itself. Look for those advanced options, just as the search engine here.

    The internet is indexed pretty well and despite some not being able to navigate aisles, it is more a matter of their own ability and interest in learning instead of parroting. A real problem is that so much listed expertise as the loudest noise is often the least accurate of the information but gets passed on by others without actually learning the differences.

    Rather than look at existing books and information, the trend to overlook what is in plain site and available continues to prevail in many early students of any topic (swords or not). I am not looking down my nose at young scholars these days but rather weeping that so much self ability to learn has been lost.

    I'm sure someone could program a smart keyboard for the languishing neophyte of any subject but building one for oneself is really the way to go.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; The hue and cry of "How come no one will do this for me (for free)?" baffles me at times and I can sympathize without agreeing with it. What was the question again?
    + 1 This is precisely my view as well.

  14. #14
    Personally, I would rather read a book than search through the card catalouge all day. If you know what im sayin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Myers View Post
    Personally, I would rather read a book than search through the card catalouge all day. If you know what im sayin.
    The quick expertise you seek is going to begin when you actually open a book, not wonder which book to open while overlooking the one on the entry table that is entitled "Start Here".

    Someone posted Stein's page for you and you mention never having seen it. I would have to say you did miss the book you are avoiding to read. The same thing goes for your admitted self discovery of handling swords. Searches as simple as looking for a tsuka maki tutorial seems to baffle your quest but simply plugging it into an internet search yields buckets.

    Click for Google results regarding tsuka maki tutorial

    On the other hand, you could actually look at the links offered at Stein's pages and do a little browsing instead of ordering a cheeseburger, hold the fires, no drink with that. Me, I bookmarked one I suggest to others and probably did bookmark it after browsing Stein's links. That was a decade or so ago and I have never been one to ignore a bookshelf I already have built. I have roughly 100 books on my Google bookshelf, a good many sword related but as many simply regarding history. Other sites as well offer voluminous resources and are going to be useless for someone that is going to plead for the librarian to find the best book for you.

    http://www.montanairon.com/tsukamaki.html

    One of many you would likely encounter by clicking that search result now handed to you, likely to be unused and uncared for. Others go another route and start to cut and paste from Stein's pages and SFI. They then call it something like a Library of Knowledge without acknowledging others efforts.

    Ya, gee, cool some tsuka maki tutorials for you. Which are really any good? Well, that is what requires a little more than just selecting double cheese on your next pizza and expecting your needs and wants will be fulfilled. Sometimes just a plain pizza can be the best you will find.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; of course, some have already read all those sticky posts in various subforums and found nothing to suit his taste. More likely, they haven't bothered to

  16. #16
    I had not seen Steins page, but I went and looked immediately after reading. And as for your google link, everything that came up was highlighted purple, been there, read those.

    The question was really meant as a collective question. For all members and all future members. In such a digital age, why not have all this information collected, categorized, and easily accesed in one place?

    It seems to me that all things aside, you are just flat out disrespecting me by implying that I am lazy or ignorant. Correct me if Im wrong.

    You should spend less time criticizing a total stranger, and more time thinking about the evolution of this love as a whole. You can have all the knowledge you want, but just holding it and using it to look down on another person isnt right at all.

    People should not feel intimidated to learn. EVER. This is a group of highly respected and skilled people, and everyone has something to learn from everyone else. But without the love, youve already lost the art.

  17. #17
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    Hi Cody,

    My initial post regards the possibility of adding a wiki sub-routine to this site. In essence, that is what might help this one particular site to perform as you may like it to. There was a site that projected some of your same interests and it became http://swordwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page Folk got busy and it is still there but with little/few additions. Similar Japanese interests pages are on the web as well and truly, if someone looks through link pages and links of links, the information is as exponential as any serious internet search.

    These interests and labors of love reflect exactly what one might put into the effort. What I continue to read from your perspective is hoping someone will do the work for you. I truly admire those that take the time to further build sites. I can also appreciate the hurdles some feel might make accessing information easier but in the end, it seems some would rather have the information on a hot key or mouse gesture to bring up exactly what they want to read. The suggestions for search engines continue to be the next best thing. There are bibliographies in the non=fiction section here. There are lists of information in the posted at the heads of many subforums. Have you read those and continue to search for the same information?

    This is hardly the first time such suggestion has been put forward and not the only topic of information requested. What it still appears to me is that you want a collective to build or create this for the benefit of all. However, you seem to still disregard what is already in place for any to learn.

    Your request for participation has been moved to the beginners section because that is where those looking might learn at their own pace.

    I have to ask again if you have ever run through the front page of SFI here, the spotlight section of the General forum, on and on. A great deal of information is at anyone's fingertips.

    You are no real stranger to me Cody and having your age two-fold and more could share more than a few keggers of learning any might care to read.

    Here are some of my thoughts on learning again

    Rather than look at existing books and information, the trend to overlook what is in plain site and available continues to prevail in many early students of any topic (swords or not). I am not looking down my nose at young scholars these days but rather weeping that so much self ability to learn has been lost.

    I honestly don't know if you feel you are in that bracket or not but if not, then asking others to do the wiki for you is senseless contribution of your own. It is grand to wave a flag to promote something and entirely different to actually contribute something on your own. Passing the hat really doesn't cut it by more or less demanding something you feel lacking.

    I will not give you a count of how many times (both before and after being handed a blue suit and assignment as an archivist here) I have posted Welcome To Sword Forum International, how many times I may or may not have been helpful and giving someone a leg up, how many times I have offered searching tips and pointing to what is in plain view. You and some others may have a real issue with my personality but it has always been cordial nudging to man up in one's own initiative to gather what they need.

    My background includes both teaching and hands on instruction, I am certainly no teenager giving someone a hard time or a superman such as yourself that may wane a bit by the time you double your age. Save some of the hate and vitriol for your thirties and then maybe learn a bit of diplomacy in your forties.

    Have a good one

    Hotspur; these are the good old days if any chooses to
    Last edited by Glen C.; 07-23-2010 at 05:41 AM. Reason: syntax and typos

  18. #18
    It seems this has now been made a sticky......

    On the back of that Cody, why not start searching through the site as a whole and start compiling all the references you can. Copy and paste entire sections or just link what you see as relevant and others can do the same if they so choose to.

    Having a crusaders attitude may not help; I have been there also only to loose the battle and find myself on the business end of a righteous beatdown by Glen that resulted in a productive thread being closed and I feel that in my conduct back then that I completely vilified myself. I then went and trawled the forum and other avenues open to me and have learnt a great deal.

    You on the other hand, have been given this fantastic opportunity to build on what you have asked for which is a good idea although I echo Glen, Jason and Thomas in the vain that a good bit of leg work never really harmed anyone and with some tenacity you can yield some good knowledge.

    I started by looking at certain respected industry craftsmen's past posts and went from there; taught me to engage my brain before my mouth, so to speak and has limited the amount of questions that I now ask.

    I feel the whole purpose of forums are for people to share but sometimes you just end up with a bunch of people just asking question after question and never contributing and when you see how long some of these guys have been here and see this on a week by week basis (I am noticing it after only 2 years) you can kind of understand the jaded responses you may be getting.

    Well done on your sticky status mate, I really hope you (we) can make it work.

    Kris

  19. #19
    I will kick of this game of knowledge hoarding with a link to a post on how to rectify a tight saya

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=101789
    Last edited by k.moralee; 07-23-2010 at 05:16 AM. Reason: replacing vitriol for diplomacy (cheers Glen)!

  20. #20
    That is what initially gave me the idea. I was aking questions. I was searching through forums. Personally, I dont have a problem searching through the net. Ive been doing it for awhile. But I hardly think Im alone in the thought that what I propose would be a worthwhile effort.

    Maybe I have nothing to contribute. I have never said that I am anything more than a beginner. I am here to learn. I dont want the "work done for me".
    But indeed, I feel I am only ending up a villain, for really nothing more than proposing an idea.

    Was I the first one to do so? No. Ok, my bad. But Im not here to battle with anyone. And yes, I AM a stranger to you Glenn. My age indicates nothing. Im not a "whippersnapper". Ive had more than my share of real world, so I could care less what you think I do or dont know.

    I happen to love this forum. Maybe as I aqquire more knowledge, I can be a contributor as well. I hope to be. But until then, Im just learning day by day. Im not here to try and be a "superman",or a crusader, to flex my brain muscle, or to villify myself. I truly just thought that I had a decent idea that might have been shared by others.

  21. #21
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    I feel I am only ending up a villain, for really nothing more than proposing an idea.
    Actually Cody, I do believe that you are getting a hard time not so much for the idea you proposed, as for how you went about proposing it and your attitude in steadfastly defending it.

    Just my observation.
    Paul Smith
    "Keep the sharp side and the
    pointy end between you and
    your opponent"

  22. #22
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    Beginning with header when it read

    To everyone!! Please read!!



    I am not sure how it migrated to the General forum from the modern katana room and then had a more informational addition to the header but I'll admit the first thing I did in seeing it before even reading the thread was to remove the URGENCY of the exclamation marks.

    A real truth from my reading perspective is that someone obsessive about a specific interest felt everyone needs to participate.

    This is certainly not a town square pillory of prosecuting some miscreant but ringing the town bell and then throwing cabbage at folk in open windows puts a really lousy context forefront in any discussion and suggestion from others.

    Anyway, current solutions and opportunities have been suggested for any to move forward in their studies.

    Ed Royce and Mark McMorrow are in the process of updating things here a step or two at a time and the wiki function eventually a possibility. In the meantime, serious suggestion could be fielded to either of them. At the front of the forum index one might just note a heads up posted a couple of months ago. Umm, added to the announcement section and also copied to the General forum.

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho....php?p=1116858


    What else might be right out front to read?

    I honestly don't know how everyone else browses the board but I search for new posts at that link, then check out the main index and subforums of interest. Most probably register here after getting an internet search hit and registering directly on the board instead of beginning at the main page of www.swordforum.com

    It is human nature to scroll past the dross of sticky posts and announcements and many of those are never seen, perhaps because a forumite is too narrowly focused on a particular interest and missing a great deal of informantion posted in reminder and faq sections. However, stuff like the Japanese Sword Index is in the links page (although outdated) of the front page of SFI and widely posted in a lot of conversation here including the link above this thread in Adrian's old Welcome post. I updated the link(s) in that post last night but I cannot change some of the dead or outdated links of the main page. Have folk new to the site spent any time on the main page? I don't know but many have never gone through it, even after being here for a long, long time. A good many may also have never read the dross at the heads of each forum index, indeed even the main announcement section.

    Kris was the one to coin himself as villainous and I honestly don't recall the moment I pointed out to him that he was contradicting behavior he himself was critiquing. No valiant conquest for me, just a reminder that many do remember.

    A nice full moon in a day or two as well

    Cheers

    Hotspur; where was I? oh yes, Hockenheim!!!!!!! Other interests have called in a reminder

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    Kris was the one to coin himself as villainous and I honestly don't recall the moment I pointed out to him that he was contradicting behavior he himself was critiquing. No valiant conquest for me, just a reminder that many do remember.

    [/i]
    I was just getting back to the thread about blades and the law, I was a complete arse and was lost on one at that point. Seeing that thread get closed gave me a wake up call as I was new to forums in general, wasn't looking past my own nose and looking at every bit of constructive criticism as insulting or demeaning to the vast knowledge I had acquired over those few weeks of looking at the interweb.

    I would hate to think Cody thinks I am pointing the finger at him as that is not the case, I was just highlighting my own shortcomings at that time and where an overly defensive attitude lead to.

    I have been plugging away at this now for 2 years and still know Jack in the great scheme of things. I have started tinkering to a lesser degree, asked a few questions but on the whole I have put in the effort and tried to find out for myself by trawling the hallowed search function and linking links. Again echoing earlier sentiments, I feel that it is all out there within grasp if you are willing to look. Sometimes it is all part of the fun and makes it worth while when you do find that pearl you were seeking and get it in your bookmarks, it increases your knowledge at the same time also as there is a lot of reading involved. I think that is the point when you can start giving something back.

  24. #24
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    Folks: may I suggest perusing "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" and thinking on all the different paths to enlightenment described there and how one path does not necessarily work for another; one can't spoon feed enlightenment to someone else not even with grandmotherly kindness!
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

  25. #25
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    The big question underlying this is, why should people do it?

    At the end of the day, collecting and collating all that information is a lot of work. Who should do it, and to what end? It's all well and good to say that it's for the benefit of the public, but people have jobs and families and other things to spend their time on.

    The very people who can contribute most are likely to have the least time to spare.

    I know that if I had an extra hour I would prefer to spend it training than doing this kind of work. Maybe I'm selfish but I only have a finite amount of time and I have to prioritize. And I'm sorry but a pat on the back is not going to be enough return for me. Fact is, most people won't even give that pat on the back. How many are really grateful for the amount of work put in by the people who run this forum?

    Anyone with a helpful suggestion should put their money where their mouth is. Doesn't matter if you don't have the sword knowledge. Contribute by setting up the website, paying for the hosting, doing the gruntwork of trawling through the threads... oh wait a minute, you didn't want to do that, right? So why should anyone else want to do it for you?

    There's already plenty of information available, spend some time and effort looking for it. If you really believe in the project, put your time and effort there. And if you're not willing to put it in, well then the question is do you deserve to have those resources?

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