All serious collectors (and not only of Japanese armour) will say the same: start your collection with a good book library, where you can learn and train your eyes.
As I’m lucky to live in Japan and to be an active member of the Japanese Armour Society, I have had access to see many rare (and often old) books when I get invited to see private collections. In order to help people to build a good library, I will review the books I encounter. In order to give the best objective overview of a book possible, I will use video. I’ve seen too many online auctions or sales listings where the seller highlights the four armours in a certain book and catalog, giving the impression that there are many more inside, while in reality, that’s it. I hope that my browsing gives an honest overview on the content of the books. Once in a while, I will add some pictures to highlight some specific points of a book. I will however keep the resolution of video and pictures low, in order to make sure I don’t run into copyright issues. I only want to give you an idea what is in the book.
The library will be in constant flux as I will make the info available while I’m adding reviews. You will be able to access the reviews via the blog (while I add them) or in an alphabetic list for title and author, and even a searchable index. Be aware that the great plugin I use has (for my purpose) one flaw. It expects a author’s name to have first and last name, while some books have only an association listed. So instead of Nihon Katchū Bugu Kenkyū Hozon Kai (The Japanese armour society) as author, you will see Kai, Nihon Katchū Bugu Kenkyū Hozon. But so be it.
Some books will be only about tsuba, swords and kamon… If there would be a certain book you look for, let me know.
Shortcuts to the different lists will be available in the menu and a permanent post at the top of the front page, but if you want to have a look already at what is available: