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    Translations of Eric Shahan



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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?


    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.


    Posts : 21
    Join date : 2016-11-08

    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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    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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    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!

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    Re: Translations of Eric Shahan

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