“At around age 6 while living in Korea, I somehow came to have a spiffy catalog from America that listed all Fisher-Price toys that were available for mail-order. The catalog had all these incredible toys that neither I nor any of my friends have ever seen. I read that catalog so many times, imagining playing with those toys, until the catalog eventually disintegrated in my hands one day.

“The catalog was the book that confirmed to me—who was six, mind you—that America must be the best and the greatest country in the world. Later when I came to America, my faith was validated.”

— Influential Books, from Ask A Korean

Coming Soon: Samurai Redressed

I have a few notes somewhere on odoshi, the braids or leather strips used to assemble yoroi armor, and had made a note to ask Makiko Tada about it if I got a chance. At the Retreat, someone happened to mention a recent post on the AKS Facebook page announcing a new Jacqui Carey book on the subject:

I did discuss it briefly with Tada-sensei at dinner, and she promised to introduce me to one of the few remaining armor-makers sometime when I’m in Tokyo.

From Thanko, but if it actually works…

Bug Zapper with fan and light, for when the tennis-racket style zapper just isn’t doing the job.

“I wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers…”

“​…but she’d better not touch my Honeycomb!”

(the sign, if you can find it, reads, “I snitched the snacks”)

Shigeuchi on Marudai

At the retreat this afternoon, we were discussing Makiko Tada’s adaptation of Shigeuchi for the marudai, and I pointed Randy to the tips page on Braidershand for the PDF instructions and photos of Tada-sensei making the braid.

But when I checked, the photos weren’t online anymore, and neither Google image search nor Tineye could find copies anywhere. So here they are, after the jump; click to enlarge.


She’s no Su-Metal, but…

…Mayu Yoshioka gives it the old loli knight elf try.

And here’s the OP animation for comparison.

The “full length” versions of these songs suffer from the usual problem with padding out something that was carefully designed to be 90 seconds long, but they’re not bad. Hers works better than his.


Been too busy braiding to watch this week’s Cop Craft episode, but the phrase “Tirana goes undercover in a high-class brothel” has definite potential.

Also a bit of a surprise, since I was pretty sure that they finished off book 2 last week, and book 3 has her going undercover in a high school. Side story? Leftovers from the end of book 2? Dunno. Maybe she does both as part of the same story?

The hotel wifi objects…

It’s a fair cop:


Miyako Messe in Kyoto hosts the Museum of Traditional Crafts. It’s small, fascinating, free, and quite expensive, because many modern examples of the various crafts are for sale. I ended up buying two Shingen-bukuro (Samurai Man-Purse), a handmade orin (the Japanese version of the popular “singing bowl”), a bottle of saké (that I should have bought more of; who knew matcha worked so well as a saké flavoring?), and an assortment of gifts. We’ll be visiting again in March.

One of the crafts on display was kumihimo, with some finished braids shown in their usual context as kimono ties, and some small sample braids next to illustrations of the equipment used to create them. There were two I’d never heard of, so I grabbed a quick pic with my phone and promptly forgot to look them up.

One was a special stand for making the Naiki-gumi (内記組) braid, with the appropriate name Naiki-dai. I know how to make that one on a marudai, so it was mostly of academic interest.

The other sample was called Chiyoda-gumi (千代田組), a loose chain-like structure that was more weave than braid, and the stand was an elaborate construct that looked vaguely like a warp-weighted rigid heddle loom that used kumihimo weighted bobbins for tension, called a Kago-uchi-dai (籠打台).

Last night I googled it, and the one non-BL result in English was a scanned PDF of a 1985 weaving journal article by Noémi Speiser, detailing her discovery of this device while working on her long-out-of-print book The Manual of Braiding, which, it turns out, just came back into print last November, and which includes instructions for the Naiki-dai (and, apparently, the Ayatakedai).

The text, pictures, and clear instructions in her article revealed that the Kago-uchi-dai is… a warp-weighted rigid heddle loom that uses kumihimo weighted bobbins for tension.

Well, alrighty then.

Coincidentally, a few months back, I got the idea of setting my card loom up vertically so I could use kumihimo bobbins to provide tension and allow the strands to freely untwist; I’ve been too busy to try it, but it seemed like it would work well, and now I know it will. 😁

Oh, and the kagouchi braid? Speiser identified the structure as identical to #2918 in The Ashley Book of Knots, and speculated that the rounded version the artisans told her about but didn’t show was likely #2919.


Is there a bag limit on Antifa? Asking for a friend.