Two New Books in My Wasen Library

Yesterday, I finally got two more books from Japan that I found on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. I’ve found most of Japanese language wasen books I have either on the auctions or on Amazon Japan. The searching of these sites has become much simpler with the advent of a website/service called Buyee. This time, I didn’t use the Buyee service to make the actual purchases, I simply located the books through their website, which links into other Japanese retail sites, and asked a friend in Japan for a favor, and he got the books for me and shipped them to me.

The first of these is a book on river boat construction tools of the Tama river middle basin. It’s a large format book that’s fairly thick, but really mostly a large catalog of tools. However, it does have a few pages on some Tama riverboats and construction that I figured would be interesting, and includes a few drawings in the back that may prove useful.

The second book is more of a winner. This book is on fishing boats of Aomori prefecture, located at the northern end of the main island of Honshū. Leafing through this smaller, thinner book, it’s clearly full of drawings, photos, and diagrams, and should prove very useful.

I’ve never modeled an Aomori boat, though boatbuilder Douglas Brooks details the construction of a one in his book Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding, as well as providing an overview on his website.

By the way, if you don’t have Douglas Brooks’s book yet, it’s now in its second edition, which is a softcover book, which is only $50 plus shipping. Though it might be cheaper through cut-rate book sellers, buy it directly from him if you would like to support his efforts. And, it’s the only way to get a signed copy.

In any case, I’ll be studying these books in the coming weeks. But, with these, I realized that I’ve amassed a pretty good library of wasen related books, mostly written in Japanese. So, I decided to take a photo of each of the books and put them together in a collage…

The 30 books that make up my wasen library. The actual relative sizes are not shown here. The different sizes you see are a function of the collage making software I used.

Some things are available only in digital format, so here’s my digital wasen library…

Another 10 books in my library in digital form.

Those with a keen eye, might notice that there is one book that’s in both collections. I have a book on Ōta ward boatbuilders, but someone sent me a digital copy, as the physical book is out of print. I decided to keep both, as a digital copy is far easier for me to search and to translate.

Later this year, I’m hoping to see the release of a new english language book on the cormorant fishing boats of Gifu prefecture, by Douglas Brooks. Of course, I’ll post news of the release here when it happens. Ω

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