Rewriting Budo, with Eric Shahan

Mar 26, 2024
Eric Shahan

Episode 3: Uncovering Martial Arts Wisdom: Eric Shahan's Journey into Translating Japanese Books

Visit and listenShugyo Podcast
Subscribe oniTunes, Spotify

In this episode, I have a coffee with Eric Shahan, a dedicated translator of martial arts literature. Eric shares his passion for translating ancient martial arts books, shedding light on his fascinating work and the impact it has had on his own martial arts journey.

From uncovering the philosophy of maintaining awareness in combat to delving into historical punishment methods and tattooing in Japan, Eric's deep dive into these ancient texts has brought valuable insights to the English-speaking world and book-by-book has shifted much of way the western world understands Japanese martial culture. Join us in this conversation, as we journey through Eric's exploration of traditional martial arts literature and the influence it has had on his life and practice.

Episode take-aways:

  • The World of Translated Martial Arts Books: Eric's passion for translating martial arts books has led to a deep understanding of the philosophies and historical significance of these texts. His work includes impactful translations that shed light on the complexities of Japanese martial arts and culture. Find out how these translations have impacted his own martial arts journey and the significance of these timeless texts.
  • Rare Insights into Edo Period Martial Practices: Eric's work has brought to light the lesser-known aspects of Edo period martial arts, from punishment methods and tattooing to the practical knowledge and magic prevalent during that era. Learn about his extensive translations on the history of tattooing in Japan and the overlap with other works, offering new and intriguing information for tattoo artists and enthusiasts.
  • New Avenues in Traditional Martial Arts Research: Eric's commitment to exhaustively researching and translating hard-to-find books from Japanese archives is not only commendable but also incredibly valuable for traditional martial arts practitioners. His dedication to unveiling detailed descriptions of spear fighting techniques, as well as exploring new translation technology for old handwritten Japanese documents, promises to significantly enrich the understanding of traditional martial arts.

If you're passionate about traditional martial arts and eager to delve into the hidden depths of Japanese martial history and culture, this episode is a treasure trove of insights. 



Shinobu Books

Twitter: @ShinobuBooks

Instagram: @Shinobu Books