For the beginning sword enthusiast, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the many new words that must be learned because most of them are names for things and parts where no "English" word will work as a substitute.
It's been my experience that many newcomers, often new owners of swords become embarrassed when trying to pronounce some of the strange foreign words and if this describes YOU, do not be embarrassed when talking to US because all of US, who are either "sword collectors" or are actively involved with Martial Arts, etc., all fumbled our way through these very same Japanese words (some more easily than others).
I have been guilty of calling a 'SAYA' a Scabbard and a 'Tsuka' a handle because they are one and the same. I feel that where an English word works better, be comfortable with it! (WE SPEAK ENGLISH HERE ! )
As anyone that knows me will tell you, I am not one of those jerks who will purposefully talk over your head in an attempt to impress you. (Please note! Many, but not all non-Japanese who speak fluent Japanese are guilty of the above.)
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Call for details: 503-282-4567
-or- write to:
FRED LOHMAN - 3405 N.E. Broadway -
Portland, OR 97232-1818 U.S.A.