ToShoW history

Hi All,
I just joined up here, after being "inactive" in the Nihonto world for several years.
I'm the author of the ToShoW database app, and my wife and I did all the original data entry (later, a couple of other folks entered a bunch to get us to over 10,000 records). My wife manually entered nearly all of the kanji ON/KUN readings, etc., in the kanji database. For a long time, it was perhaps the best computer-based kanji 'dictionary' available, without spending big $$$.

I see that both the NC database and NKB (on the JSSUS site) are based on ToShoW imports. I'm glad to see that our efforts have been useful this far in the future! And, to brag just a bit, I'm pleased to find that the original ToShoW app still has the best overall functionality of anything I've found so far ;-) . It's too bad that it's not easy to port the entire app into a web-based version... However, I like the search options that NC has - especially the ability to search on arbitrary strings.

The very first version of the ToShoW app ran as a DOS app. It displayed kanji (slowly) using CGA graphics. That was in about 1988, I think. I had an early Epson 'laptop' with a monochrome CGA display, running DOS 5, which I would take with me to the Colorado Token Kai meetings in Denver.

So much for history...

I haven't done anything related to Nihonto-collecting for years, but I recently got interested in poking around on the Web, because there is now so much info online.
My favorite school is Mishina, but I'm no expert.
I also like 'kogatana' (a.k.a. kozuka blades), and 'tosho tsuba'.
Also like watching 'chanbara' dramas on TV Japan. Of course, I really liked the 'Musashi' series a few years ago, and also 'Shinsengumi!'.



Hi Pete,

I'm sorry for being quiet for last week or so. My house got broken into and all the PCs got stolen. It's not good for the website either, as I had some valuable Nihonto related materials which weren't backed up in time.

I'm glad you found NC. The Swordsmith Index is indeed a grandchild of ToShoW, with addition of few features that modern web-enabled software can offer. With ToShoW providing a sound data model as a foundation for swordsmith directory, I'm still in process of establishing a framework which ensures that data can be validated and its sources can be traced. It's been a great exercise to look at the ways other directories were organized (both electronic and hard copy ones) and build something suitable for my needs (and, hopefully, useful for others). I also have some new ideas to experiment with (unfortunately they are now affected by the burglary...)

I guess some tasks are much easier these days. E.g. entering Kanji is almost as simple as plain English, there's no need to develop databases from scratch, and most importantly, so much more can be found in the internet.

Please stay and enlighten us with some good old-timer experience, and maybe your interest in collecting Nihonto will be revived as it never goes away for good ;-)