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    Translations of Eric Shahan

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    Hissho

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    Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Hissho on Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:52 pm

    Any of our erudite Japan/Jujutsu/Judo researchers here aware of or care to comment on the quality of the translated work of Eric Shahan?

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=eric+shahan&sprefix=Eric+shaman%2Cstripbooks%2C200&crid=2SG4EMB1A3Z6Y


    I picked up the police Kenpo book and it seems decent. Some of his footnotes are a bit flippant and casual so it's not scholarly in nature, but doesn't't seem to pretend to be.


    Hissho

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Hissho on Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:54 pm

    Oops - Mods - if you think this would be better placed in Books please move and accept my apologies.
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    NBK

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by NBK on Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:50 am

    Disclaimer - eric shahn (as he always puts his name in lower case) is a budo bud of mine in Japan.

    It's funny you the word 'decent'. That police manual is straightforward- it is not high literature, it's a policeman writing for other policemen.

    Sometimes he does insert humourous or curious, informal notes, but the translations are 100% serious. As you said, he's not an academic but rather a very talented amateur researcher. I've asked him about some of the footnotes and he'll shrug his shoulders, just say 'it's what I thought about it.'

    He is brilliant at these translations. He's translated about twenty books covering a range of subjects and self publishes at very reasonable prices. And has more coming as he does projects in parallel. He makes these often very obscure but very interesting books available to a global audience. I follow him on Facebook and don't think I've ever seen a negative comment, but many many complements.

    There's not much money in it for him as he keeps the prices low, and some have limited appeal, but they provide insights into aspects of Japanese martial arts that even modern Japanese have difficulty finding. Even very few Japanese can read them, much less have the deep and broad martial arts background of Eric to make good, practical translations that modern Western martial arts fans can read and appreciate.

    Beyond deciphering those very difficult to read old texts, he also does the entire layout, artwork, etc. it really is impressive.

    Also, he always publishes the orignal text along his translation, so anyone can try their hand at a better version. My money is on Eric. The more he learns the faster he goes.

    I highly recommend them. I have a dozen or more myself.
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    finarashi

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by finarashi on Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:24 am

    I have only read "The Complete Martial Arts of Japan Volume One: Gekken (Volume 1)", ~1898, by Sugawara, Sadamoto transl. Shahan, Eric, Seatle, United States, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014, 122p, ISBN13 9781495915048
    I am not fluent in Japanese and can not comment on the accuracy of translations, but as the text is there you can translate yourself Smile and check.
    The usability of the texts to a general martial arts practitioner is extremely high. Translating matrial arts texts is not easy. Just try to figure out what one is supposed to do in the "Judo on the ground : Katamewaza - the Oda method : An interpretation of the Oda system comprising numerous drastic immobilizations, necklocks and dislocation methods hitherto unknown in the West" attempted translation by Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961) from original by Oda, Jōin (Tsunetani) (1882 - 1955), London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1954, 199p. It is not easy to translate if you do not know (or can not envision) the movement the original author is describing. In this regard I think eric shahan succeeds.
    There is no cross reference, no nomenclature and no critical notes; so not academic, but highly enjoyable reading!




    _________________
    ... even professors make mistakes!

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:08 pm

    Hello

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:00 pm

    Hello

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:01 pm

    Hello My name is Eric Shahan and my hobby is translating books about Japanese martial arts (and Ninjutsu). Feel free to ask any questions!

    umetarosan

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by umetarosan on Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:47 am

    NBK wrote:Disclaimer - eric shahn (as he always puts his name in lower case) is a budo bud of mine in Japan.

    NBK--I would like to use a short quote from eric's latest book, with attribution, on a website. Are you able to put me in touch with him? I can't send PMs yet but I'm sure I can receive them. Thanks for any help.

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:28 am

    Sounds interesting! If you are attributing it to me and hen no problem. I suppose you could pm me on Facebook.

    umetarosan

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by umetarosan on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:32 am

    Meitetsu wrote:Sounds interesting! If you are attributing it to me and hen no problem. I suppose you could pm me on Facebook.

    I've PMd you on facebook, reply when you see it!

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:06 pm

    finarashi wrote:I have only read "The Complete Martial Arts of Japan Volume One: Gekken (Volume 1)", ~1898, by Sugawara, Sadamoto transl. Shahan, Eric, Seatle, United States, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014, 122p, ISBN13 9781495915048
    I am not fluent in Japanese and can not comment on the accuracy of translations, but as the text is there you can translate yourself Smile and check.
    The usability of the texts to a general martial arts practitioner is extremely high. Translating matrial arts texts is not easy. Just try to figure out what one is supposed to do in the "Judo on the ground : Katamewaza - the Oda method : An interpretation of the Oda system comprising numerous drastic immobilizations, necklocks and dislocation methods hitherto unknown in the West" attempted translation by Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961) from original by Oda, Jōin (Tsunetani) (1882 - 1955), London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1954, 199p. It is not easy to translate if you do not know (or can not envision) the movement the original author is describing. In this regard I think eric shahan succeeds.
    There is no cross reference, no nomenclature and no critical notes; so not academic, but highly enjoyable reading!



    Hi, just trying to follow up on some of the comments made here. I find old Japanese books on martial arts fascinating and try and translate ones that I find particularly engaging (especially when extensively illustrated). I didn’t cross reference anything because I...didn’t know of anything to cross reference it to. Does nomenclature mean a breakdown of terminology? And I tend to try and let the books speak for themselves so I didn’t include any discussion of the techniques. Also I’m not sure I’m qualified to evaluate a school based on a book of their techniques.
    I guess I’m asking, “What would you like to see more of?”

    I appreciate that you took the time to write your opinion!

    eric

    johan smits

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by johan smits on Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:59 pm

    Hi Eric,

    That is a great hobby, I hope you will stick with it!
    I have got several of your translations and I really like them a lot.
    Is there any chance you can let us know what you got in store for the future?

    Happy landings.

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:56 pm

    Hi Johan,

    The last few projects I did sort of influenced the next one.
    Bokuden Ryu Jujutsu By Otsuka Nobuyoshi

    The Hundred Rules of War
    By Tsukahara Bokuden

    The Eighteen Weapons of War
    By Fujita Seiko and Hirayama Heigen


    I got interested in Bokuden Ryu after doing that illustrated Jujutsu book and that led to the Hundred Rules of War. There is a lot more material available but it is really hard to read. The Hundred Rules of War led me to the Eighteen Weapons of War (Bugeijuhappan) which is a very interesting subject. I had so much left over material that i had collected to define all the terms in that book that I am going to release a series of short works on different kinds of bows and arrows as well as one on medieval archery ceremonies. There are still quite a few late Meiji era books on Jujutsu and general martial arts that I plan to do at some point.

    johan smits

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by johan smits on Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:38 am

    Hi Eric,

    That is good news. Especially about the books on jujutsu.
    One thing leads to another that sounds familiar.
    I think there is still a serious lack of good books on jujutsu. Anything you can do to fill that gap will be great.
    Thanks to your translations we are able to get to information that would otherwise be not available to us.
    For me, the last book I got is the one on the Matsumoto system of bojutsu. It is a curious wonderful little book and I am glad to have it in my library.

    Happy landings.

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:12 am

    johan smits wrote:Hi Eric,

    That is good news. Especially about the books on jujutsu.
    One thing leads to another that sounds familiar.
    I think there is still a serious lack of good books on jujutsu. Anything you can do to fill that gap will be great.
    Thanks to your translations we are able to get to information that would otherwise be not available to us.
    For me, the last book I got is the one on the Matsumoto system of bojutsu. It is a curious wonderful little book and I am glad to have it in my library.

    Happy landings.

    Im always open to suggestions for future translations or interested in talking with people that have old documents regarding Jujutsu.
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    noboru

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by noboru on Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:27 pm

    Hi Eric, here is one interesting book for possible translation http://www.budogu.com/v/vspfiles/photos/MBi126-2.jpg Description

    Bugei Ryuha Daijiten By Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten is the first book on the shelf of any serious student of the history of budo in Japan. Watatani and Yamada collected data on thousands of different ryuha from throughout Japanese history, and created this incredible resource. For each ryuha there is a list of weapons used by the ryuha, detailed tree charts showing the lineage and branching of the ryu, as well as connections to other ryuha it may have had. For ryuha where a great deal of data is available, there are also lengthy entries describing the ryuha and notable events and people concerned with it. The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the history of budo ryuha. 971 pages, hardcover, Japanese language.

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:51 pm

    That would be an interesting (and colossal) project. Unfortunately that book is not in the common domain, it would require negotiating with the authors/publishers. Thats one benefit of translating books that are a hundred years or more old.

    johan smits

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by johan smits on Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:18 am

    I agree with both of you. Many years ago on another forum I brought up the subject of translating this book. I was told it was way to difficult to translate and nobody would be interested. Could not be done. I guess the gist of the message was mine was a silly idea.

    Commercially it may not be the most profitable undertaking. So big publishers might not be interested.

    On the other hand when cooperating with fellow translators who are also practising budoka one might be able to pull it off. If it is not a commercial undertaking maybe the Japanese government can help with (for a part) financing it under a cultural programme. Maybe Japanese (or other) universities with Japanese language students can play a role in translating.

    *walking around searching for his opium pipe*

    Another interesting title, which might fall into the right category , is the Jujutsu Gokui Kyoju Zukai by Iso Mataemon and Chiharu Yoshida published in 1894.
    This one is on Tenjin Shinyo-ryu. Quite some older titles on jujutsu are available as pdf or cd on ebay for a couple of €/US$.
    In case you need an actual book to translate from I could lend you my copy of the JGKZ.

    Or you could pick out a ryu (for instance Sanshin Araki-ryu which is one of my personal interests Very Happy ) and make a compilation of info from several old enough sources
    Add some illustrations and these sort of things, maybe an interview with a teacher or practitioner and you got something really special.
    Just my thoughts.

    Eric I have send you a pm on this board.

    Happy landings.
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    noboru

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by noboru on Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:39 am

    Here is list of links to old bujutsu books from National Diet Library
    http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/forum/kendo/media/21742-old-bujutsu-books-1880-1910

    It could be interesting to you.

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:09 pm

    noboru wrote:Here is list of links to old bujutsu books from National Diet Library
    http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/forum/kendo/media/21742-old-bujutsu-books-1880-1910

    It could be interesting to you.

    Surprisingly I wasn’t aware of some of those, thanks for the link!

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:19 pm

    johan smits wrote:I agree with both of you. Many years ago on another forum I brought up the subject of translating this book. I was told it was way to difficult to translate and nobody would be interested. Could not be done. I guess the gist of the message was mine was a silly idea.

    Commercially it may not be the most profitable undertaking. So big publishers might not be interested.

    *walking around searching for his opium pipe*



    Happy landings.

    Actually I looked into getting a grant to do a project like that but you have to, uh, have a certain number of pages published by academic journals in order to qualify.
    What I would like is [picks up opium pipe] someone of means to set up a company that would get all the paperwork and permissions, find a publisher and leave me just to do translating.

    johan smits

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by johan smits on Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:57 pm

    Eric,

    I am just being curious. When talking about translating the BRD, could you give an estimate what would be the expected workload in hours?

    Happy landings

    Meitetsu

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Meitetsu on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:08 pm

    johan smits wrote:Eric,

    I am just being curious. When talking about translating the BRD, could you give an estimate what would be the expected workload in hours?

    Happy landings

    Probably two hours a page. Some would probably be simple but that would be offset by the ones that would grind my bones to dust.

    johan smits

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by johan smits on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:25 pm

    So that would be a rough estimate of 2000 hours first translation alone. Then proofreading, editing, etc.
    That means full-time work for a year for one person.

    I do not see that happening, not even with my opium pipe dangling from the corner of my mouth.
    Sure it can be done, but not by one person within a reasonable amount of time. And that is apart from the issue if an agreement for a translation would be reached.
    It is something to think about though.

    In the mean time Noboru send a list with very interesting books, of which some have very few pages.

    Happy landings

    Hissho

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

    Post by Hissho on Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:53 pm

    Meitetsu wrote:
    noboru wrote:Here is list of links to old bujutsu books from National Diet Library
    http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/forum/kendo/media/21742-old-bujutsu-books-1880-1910

    It could be interesting to you.

    Surprisingly I wasn’t aware of some of those, thanks for the link!

    Here's my vote for the Maeda book. I've been enjoying your work eric, thanks for doing all of that.

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