Just a bit that somebody told me about tenkara, tenkara rods and keiryu rods....
Hey all - I don't post this as a way to stir anything, or cause problems, but only because it was eye opening to me personally. It was something that I wasn't really aware of.
A Japanese cyber tenkara friend of mine posted a picture of a "non-tenkara" rod that he was modifying with a wrapped handle. I curiously asked him about it and an interesting little conversation developed. I'll share this below. He gave me permission to share it here. He wanted me to clean up the language - but I think it is perfectly understandable as is and I don't want to change any meaning accidentally. I think we can all appreciate the difficulty of translating back and forth from English to Japanese, and I'm sure we wouldn't hold anything against any errors or awkward language. So I'll present it as he wrote it.
Me: what kind of rod is that?
him: so-called "keiryu-rod".in Japan, there are so many kind of keiryu-rod,soft,hard,5:5,8:2or many.as so,not few of Japanese use keiryu-rods for tenkara.my rod is about 6:4 and bit soft type.
me: I have a Daiwa Soyokaze 24 SR that I like for very small brushy streams. I have thought about making some kind of handle for it.
me: I am trying to understand the way tenkara is in Japan. I want to make sure that I understand what you said. Did you say that many tenkara anglers use keiryu rods in japan? And if so what is the main reason? Is it cost compared to tenkara rods - or is it because of the variety of keiryu rods?
him: as my english wouldn't explain exact,so will write roughly,ok?#"many tenkara anglers" is not correct,"not few of tenkara anglers" is right. #some new to tenkara who have no knowledge about fishing would get a tenkara rods,coz there are rods for tenkara and text or some recommend so.it's easy way to start,I think so too.#keiryu rods have really a lot of variety,there are a lot of types much for tenkara method and much for feeling of each person or each persons rivers or fishes,as so some who particular to feeling choose or remodeling keiryu rods for tenkara and it's not difficult.#it's relate to the line.I think it's better than using tenkara rods if you use fluoro level line,but if use other lines,it's not sure.#cost.yes,it's cheaper than tenkara rods and keiryu rods can tenkara in fact.#tenkara rods didn't make tenkara,tenkara made tenkara rods.and as keiryu rods are standard in Japan,so not few people do tenkara with keiryu rod.#and just my thought,the rods named tenkara rods are only a kind of rod,so we can choose what we want to use.#now,tenkara is chained by the name tenkara,but tenkara is not done with tenkara rod & tenkara line & tenkara fly,the tools which can tenkara as well are tenkara tools.#tenkara is quite free on tools.#too long,sorry.using keiryu rods for tenkara is not so unnatural for Japanese anyway.
him: remodeled keiryu rods are able to see Japanese blog often.Masao Migeta or some tenkara anglers in old times also used.however if they live now,I don't know which rod they use.
Then he posted this picture and said "as evidence for just in case"
me: Is that a remodeled keiryu rod?
him: yes,keiryu rod attached bamboo handle.old gamakatsu keiryu.
Cool post Anthony. I guess that means the 1 seiryu rod and 2 keiryu rods that I have put grips on are now tenkara rods. To quote one of my favorite 70's bands, Queen, "Its a kind of magic"
Last edited by John Vetterli; 02-20-2013 at 05:16 PM.
I don't think it's the handle that makes a tenkara rod. That you're using a rod for tenkara makes it a tenkara rod.
That's been my way of looking at it too.
Originally Posted by b1gr3dd0g
But I posted this mostly because I am constantly learning that I don't know the whole story. I thought it was an interesting view of tenkara in Japan, that I hadn't had before.
This is a very cool exchange, Anthony. And I know the tools don't make the activity. But I'm not seeing here (or elsewhere...maybe you or others can direct me to it) that shows a required connection between philosophy and technique in tenkara. Something that indicates "what is not tenkara". I mean, are there people in Japan who criticize these guys for using the rods they do and say why "that is not tenkara"? Again, not poking a stick here. Just trying to understand.
Originally Posted by Anthony
Maybe this will make it easier this is what Tenakra is taken from a TUSA Blog:
Originally Posted by thegreatclod
So, what does tenkara mean? Tenkara means the “traditional Japanese method of mountain stream fly-fishing where only a rod, line and fly are used”. Tenkara is a very narrowly defined word used exclusively to describe this exact method of fishing where only a rod, line and fly are used to catch trout in mountain streams.
Knowing what Tenkara is should make it easier to discern what it is not.
Thanks, Craig. I've seen this quote, but two things: 1) The quote doesn't discuss a required connection between the philosophy and technique of tenkara, it just presents one person's opinion about "what tenkara means," and 2) Despite this quote coming from a well respected and respectable voice in tenkara circles, it's coming from a company's web site, which in and of itself isn't bad, but I'm wondering if there are 3rd party Japanese voices out there who do not have a material investment in the activity that have expressed a clear connection between the philosophy and technique that makes up tenkara.
Originally Posted by Craigthor
Neil - I don't know about in Japan but there has been quite a bit of discussion in the US about what type of rod is appropriate for tenkara. I don't know where that stands currently and I really do not want to stir that up. That is definitely not why I posted this.
I'm personally very interested in tenkara in Japan - irrespective of how that may apply to discussion in the US. I want to get as full and complete a picture of what tenkara in Japan is as I can. It is purely based on my interest in the topic. I'd like to know as much as I can.
So with that in mind I posted this conversation because I thought that it provided another piece of the puzzle. It fills in another little bit of the full picture of Japanese tenkara.
Is it the end-all, be-all on the topic. No. It's just a conversation with a specific angler about his specific observations.
As far as how it applies to philosophy and technique - my take away is that this angler is saying pretty clearly that he believes tenkara is not defined by the rod. So that just fishing with a tenkara rod does not make it tenkara.
More than that I can't say. I'll have to ask him what his definition is.
Also just to be clear - i am not saying that what he says is the final word, or the end-all, be-all. It's just what this specific angler says. You can do what you want with it.
Like I said I'm just digging and trying to find out what I can - not trying to be an arbiter of what anybody else believes.
I believe Tenkara is a form or style not a philosophy, though you can turn the simplistic style into a philosophy of simplisticness or less ness of your daily life. Tenkara fits me as I prefer to be as simplistics as possible and not rely on the material things that most take for granted. I was this way long before learning about Tenkara though, so it is a mere accompaniment to the way I choose to live.
Fair enough - it may be a matter of semantics.
Originally Posted by Craigthor
But I think that as soon as fishing of any kind is done for sport and pleasure rather than sustenance then it begins to enter the realm of ideas.
What I mean is you choose fly fishing over bait fishing for a reason, and then tenkara over fly fishing for a reason - it is in those decisions where your "philosophy" lies.
I guess that is the kind of philosophy that I'm thinking of.