As I slowly catch up belated congratulations to Arawasi, a quality provider of English language Japanese Aviation esoterica and publishers of Arawasi magazine for starting their own blog here (and a link has been added to the links in the sidebar). 2011 has seen the arrival of much for Japanese aviation enthusiasts to be pleased about but I especially welcome this addition as I especially favour the blog format over the forum format. Information can be imparted in a more permanent and accessible form, questions can still be asked and answered, but the forum free-for-all is avoided. Valuable data is not so easily undermined or obfuscated by those opinionated contrarians who appear to increasingly celebrate ignorance as a form of counter-culture to serious interest (passion really). In a blog the validity and diversity of discussion is not diminished by their bluster, the owner is more editor than moderator. The linking system allows a handy network of interest to be created for readers, not just for the subject but to pull in other subjects of interest as well. Compared to forums it is a lean and focussed format. I hope that more modellers and enthusiasts embark on this format to create friendly, data sharing networks that the serious and passionate can enjoy without the intrusion of the forum gangs.
So far the content of the blog looks to be every bit as diverse and interesting as the magazine with a nod towards cultural iconography in the form of colourful vintage art and even contemporary aviation manga - and the passion for the subject that permeates the magazine is to be found there in spades.
Yours truly gets a mention here in an interesting and thought-provoking article stimulated by one of my soapbox rants. It was a useful basis for reflection and a guide for responding (or not!) in the alternative reality of the forums.
Both Arawasi and this blog could benefit from more models being featured. They are a mechanism for both inspiration and information sharing. Excellent Japanese model aircraft are still being posted on forums where they disappear after a few days with the usual trail of sometimes inane comments. The code of politeness often discourages positive criticism and therefore limits the spread of knowledge (any well meaning critics are usually set upon by the resident "It looks great" gang). This is a pity because some of the builders read these blogs and must be aware of the focussed interest here. There are some truly superb model aircraft featured on Japanese blogs which are difficult to find for Western readers and I do hope that in future Arawasi are able to link to and obtain permission to show some of these.
When models are shown I do encourage readers to take the time to add comments, appreciative or otherwise. There is seldom anything more demoralising than working hard to create something, sharing it and then finding only a couple of people have bothered to comment. The same goes for blog posts.
Image credit:- © 2011 Arawasi