It all started when I bought my first sword at the age of 19. Dissatisfied with the available references, and an internet which was still in its infancy, I started to study Japanese two years later, in 1998, followed by studies on Japanese history and culture, also in Japan. Soon it turned out that I was not a collector and so I concentrated first of all on etymological and ancient studies, with a focus on the Shōsō’in repository (正倉院) in Nara and on calligraphy. Thus, my basic research is also reflected in my publications. In 2005 I became a member of the European Branch of the NBTHK, the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords. By communicating with collectors and other enthusiasts it seemed logical to offer a translation service, which lead to a regular translation of selected parts of the monthly Japanese Tōken Bijutsu magazine. From 2008 to 2018, I was working as a freelance translator and author in the field of Japanese arts and antiques and have published several relevant books in both German and English. From 2018 to August of 2021, I was Visiting Researcher in the Department of Arms and Armor of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which resulted, with September of 2021, in a permanent position as Associate Curator of Asian Arms and Armor.
About this Blog
I want to welcome everyone who found the way here. The idea for this blog was born from my everyday work as translator when often interesting finds suggest themselves to be shared with other interested parties. As I am mostly working with texts on swords, sword fittings, and armor, the vast majority of this blog will be about these subjects but I reserve the right to post from time to time other things which might be of interest (or are at least for me). Since English is not my mother tongue, I politely ask the reader or commenter for forbearance. However, I am always open to suggestions and corrections if certain passages are ambiguous or completely incomprehensible.
Thank you for visiting, and I wish you a pleasant reading!
Japanese Arms and Armor
Oak Ridge, North Carolina