There are few books printed in english on the subject of Japanese traditional boats and their uses, so I was intrigued when a search on the Internet came across this title and just a couple pictures from the book’s interior that showed a rough sketch of a traditional Japanese fishing boat and provided a little basic text description in both english and Japanese.
I wanted to look into it further, but it’s a fairly rare book that was apparently published in 1958, and the asking price for used copies hovered around $75 – a bit steep for a book I knew nothing about. Fortunately, I was able to look over a copy that was at the San Francisco Maritime Research Center and it was enough to determine that I wanted the book. I looked again for the book, this time on Abe Books, and I found a copy in Spain. But, the price was good. So, even with shipping, it was only $41.
Well, it’s exactly 30 days later, and I’ve got the book in my hot little hands! I looked it over again, and I’m very happy with it. My copy is a little different from the one in the library, as it says 1961 on the cover, not 1958. But, the preface is essentially a letter from the Director of the Fisheries Agency, and it’s dated September, 1958.
About a quarter of the book covers modern fishing boat operations, but it’s fortunate that the Japanese also used traditional fishing techniques well into the 1950s and 60s, so they are well covered here. Below is a sample of some of the details in the book.
A lot of fishing gear is covered, and I’ve seen a lot of it in museums in Japan. But, unlike in many museums, things are explained in english, so I can better understand their use.
Hopefully, this will allow me to not only better explain how the boats I model are used, but also to help me model some of the gear; possibly, to start creating some interesting and accurate dioramas. Of course, it will take me a while to read through the book, and to develop any diorama ideas and convert them into actual projects. But, watch here for them! Ω