Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

The site has been moved to Drupal 5.1. This means that the first stage of site construction is over, things are settling down and I guess it's time to introduce myself and tell a little bit more about Nihonto Club.

About me

I'm Stan Nazarenko, living in Ireland. I'm studying Japanese swords (as a hobby), martial arts and everything related to it.

Japanese swords have always been my interest. With the rise of Internet in 90s I was looking at sword catalogues on the first Nihonto sites from 'far-far away' thinking of times when I would be able to have a closer look at real blades or even have one (or two) in my possession.

In 2001, after moving to Ireland, I joined Dublin Kendo Club and it put a new spin on my interest.

Usual advice given to beginner researchers and collectors of Ninonto is: don't buy any 'authentic' stuff to start with. Buy (and read) good books instead. And the importance of advice can never be overestimated!

One of the problems most beginners are facing is to find peers who share the same interest and (what's more important) are willing to share knowledge. Nihonto is a very special area by itself and, taking into account that it's not one of the most affordable hobbies either, the task of finding comrades-in-arms (literally :-) ) becomes even more difficult.

It was a great help to me joining the Yahoo group which is frequented by people, meeting with whom is unavoidable if you follow the path of Japanese sword studies. What I found there was a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm, which kept me going ever since.

Since then I got few swords and sword parts, read few good books, started learning Japanese and (as many others) surely made few mistakes (no swords damaged or hurt, just my wallet :-) ).

My level of knowledge is still a beginner's level, and probably still would be after next 20 years, as this area is vast. It's never enough to study just blades: it includes all sorts of arts, cultural and language studies as well. The world of Nihonto collectors (as well as martial artists) is full of people who admire Japan and Japanese culture, but the more I look the more I see that (for non-Japanese) study of Japan always helps an individual to understand his/her own culture deeper and pay more respect to it.

Nihonto Club

Recently I realised it's about time to reconcile my experience, bring some order into growing (slowly but surely) collection and make few new contacts. The most obvious idea was to create a website but then I started to think: hey, in the end web technologies is something I'm supposed to be good at (that's my primary occupation), so why not create something which can be useful not just for me but for somebody else too? The needs of every Nihonto enthusiast are (at least in some extent) similar and there is a chance somebody would like using the tools I like to use and have them all put together in one place.

I spent some time looking at what modern technologies can offer to build a robust and inexpensive internet platform (I'm specialising more in enterprise solutions) and found some good solutions. That's how the idea of Nihonto Club was born. My requirements were to build a site where people could post articles, organize discussions, upload images and even create some more sophisticated content, like sharing information about collections (in the way specific to Nihonto), buy/sell/exchange items or simply advertise themselves and their services.

We'll see how it goes. Enjoy!

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

I am very impressed with the site and I am sure it will develop to be very popular, you have started off with a good product, keep up the good work




Thanks for your kind feedback JF,

There's a great deal of stuff which can be done with the technology I'm using for the site at relatively low costs. I'm going to put some of the new ideas into the Support section of Discussion Boards, so we can discuss whether they are useful or not and, in general, what can be done to improve the site.

If you have any ideas or wishes about the site, please share it.