Our Muse, that will guide us through these times of political darkness

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

J-BIRD, Japanese aircraft register 1921-1945

 It is absolutely commendable and welcome that a publisher decided to release a book on CIVIL aviation, and on top of that including in the vast contents the trimeframe of the Golden Era.
I just got my copy -that I purchased through Arawasi-, thanks to a tip that Master Schubert from Pugetland dropped.
The acquisition of the book was easy and it arrived well-packed and well-protected, and super-fast.
This is a high-quality hefty book, printed on good paper and extremely comprehensive, with a large amount of photos (but more on that later).
However, there are three important caveats:
1) It is absolutely all in Japanese, a fact that is not disclosed anywhere in its presentation. The title is translated on the book cover, so I (incorrectly) assumed (and didn't ask) that the book would have at least some excerpts in English. Well, as it is, all the info -even the types' names- is inaccessible to me and it became a "nice little pictures" book.
2) Most of the images (of which there are plenty) are small. Although some pages show bigger, more useful photos.
3) There are no color profiles and any color info that may be given in Japanese -if there is any I can't tell- is lost to me.
Since I am not an historian, the value of this book for me as a modeler stems from the photos and color information, therefore it falls kind of short in its intended use (just for me of course).
Do I regret buying it? not at all.
But I would have liked to be told that it was an all-Japanese publication. I would have also liked, given the high quality of the printing, that much more of those photos were given a larger space.
The price is not bad, considering that it comes from Japan (where I find things are almost invariably more expensive) and the quality and the research involved, but at $50 + S&H it's not any kind of bargain either.
Why a publication of this importance, quality and interest was not translated into English escapes understanding. It would have created a much wider market/readers' base and help to popularize Japanese types and aviation history, both of which are rich and meaningful.
I would really like to know the answer to that question.

1 comment:

  1. Bought this book just before Christmas. I incorrectly assumed that there would be some English captions with the pictures. Not so. Pictures are small. Very nicely printed. A picture book for me.