Well, 2016 passed quickly and this is gonna be an outlook for 2017. As for myself, 2016 was very busy and also what I would consider successful, although it felt like “bit off more than I could chew” over many months. As far as trips are concerned, I met some old friends and great folks in Florence in February, so in Orlando in June, and had a great meeting with sword friends in New York in November just recently. Talking about trips and meetings for the coming year, I will be in Berlin in February (therefore I can’t make it to Tampa, sorry) and maybe I can manage it to attend the Nihonto-Club meeting taking place around that time, what would be really great, followed by a lecture I give at a Michigan university in April and I will be at the Chicago Sword Show at the end of that month. I will also be in Orlando again and this time, I really want to make it to SF in August. Also Japan and the DTI are overdue after skipping a few years.
Before we continue, I want to point out that my friend Joachim from the Nihonto-Club Germany is going to have his entire collection available online with hi-res pics of the blades. The site is work-in-progress at the moment and an English version will be available down the road. The link is:
Regarding translations and ongoing/upcoming projects, first of all, I want to have out the second Fukushi volume as soon as possible and finish the series by the end of the year (as mentioned in the announcements of the societies/clubs). I’m both happy and relieved when this epitome of a standard work on sword fittings is completed and I ask for your patience as this here is still a one-man-show (except of course for tireless Grey who is correcting my bad English).
As far as my own projects are concerned, I have mentioned before here on my site and on other occasions: The Gendaito Project is still going strong and I have received an abundance of references throughout the year. As this all is not gonna fit in any physical book, there will be a two-pronged approach: 1) A book, of course, but which will focus on an as comprehensive as possible list of gendaitô swordsmiths and their biographies. 2) Prior to publishing, I will start a crowdfunding because I don’t want to have all the references I received rot on my HD. That is, I want to create a freely accessible online database that contains on the one hand all the stuff from my book and on the other hand concrete references for all the smiths (i.e. oshigata, blade pics, etc). Also, this online database approach is easy to update. So whenever new references or new info comes in, I will update the corresponding entries accordingly. This all takes quite some time and a continuous effort and that’s why I need to have this crowdfunded but I will make an annoucement when I have a minute of peace and when everything is ready to go. That all is planned before the release of the book so if you are donating a small amount to the project, you will get some kind of goodie and from a certain amount on you will receive the book of course. You get the idea.
Last but not least, what I want to start in 2017, and what goes hand in hand with the ongoing Kantei series (i.e. I get constantly asked about when I will published the series in book form), is what I would consider as a “mini Taikan series.” That means, I want to publish specific books on certain artists and schools, both in terms of swords and sword fittings, and which will all have to same layout. In other words, I want to create something like a humble sword and sword fittings library where everyone can pick the specific school or artist he wants. So you can build up the entire library or just get the ones you need. That’s why I’m going to have this out as b/w paperbacks so that the venture is not going to become (again) some steep investment. Keeping it real and affordable so to speak. The library will not be tackled on chronologically. I will start with the more famous schools and smiths/artists and then fill in the gaps down the road.
I have some other stuff up my sleeves but the above mentioned points should do it for the time being. In this sense, I wish all my (sword) friends and readers a good start into a hopefully healthy and succcessful 2017! Looking very much foward to an exciting year in this world of Nihontô 🙂