Today, I got the first ever TenkaraUSA print catalog in the mail. Daniel was kind enough to not only autograph it for me, but also write a nice message. This is a truly special item and as soon as I opened it, it reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time–establishing a tenkara museum.
It might seem too early to start thinking of dedicating a museum to something that’s only been in the states for a few years, but I realized that right now, we’re all privileged enough to be exposed to a lot of “firsts” in what will no doubt become a long and rich fly fishing tradition in this country.
Most of the things you see in museums today were preserved by accident. How much clearer of a view into history would be able to see if the people of the past had had the foresight to realize the worth of the things they took for granted that future generations would cherish? Twenty years from now, wouldn’t it be great to walk into a museum and be able to see a lot of unique tenkara gear that document the history of tenkara in America like a TenkaraUSA Ayu that was labelled 6:4 before it was reclassified as a 5:5?
Or, an autographed first edition of the first book written in English on tenkara…
A TenkasaUSA Iwana with the original handle…
As someone who is always looking to the future, I am making a diligent effort to preserve whatever history-worthy tenkara artifacts I come across in the hopes that one day, they will end up in an American Tenkara Museum somewhere.
Anyone who is reading this is right now is an early adopter of tenkara and almost anything we do as American tenkara enthusiasts is a “first”. I propose that we have a responsibility to all future tenkara anglers to preserve this heritage and start saving anything we think will tell the story of tenkara in America. It could be anything from a T-shirt from the first Tenkara Summit to a horsehair line hand tied by Christopher Stewart. I know I’ve already got my own little collection going.
I’m not exactly sure when this would happen, where it would exist, or even how it would be funded. But I would like to be instrumental in making it happen one day. So don’t be surprised if ten years from now I come knocking at your door asking for donations.
I will save my GEN 1 Tenkara USA/Backpackinglight Hane rod. I’ve had folks offer to write me a check “on the spot” to get my rod, which is no longer available. That short, stiff rod has caught a LOT of brookies, browns, and cutts.
Paul, the Hane is a great choice! Very unique item that deserves to be in a museum.
Jason, good point – I never really thought about it like that. I need to be more careful with my tenkara gear – maybe even “retire” some of it. I have a 6:4 Ebisu, I don’t know how many of those are floating around. Also I should probably set aside the swap flies.
Good idea about the swap flies. I can’t remember who but someone on the T-USA forum is dedicating fly boxes to each of the swaps. That could be a display on its own. Nice call.
Daniel better be careful or we will all be requesting on own museum quality signed copies of the print catalog.
As an Aussie who is trying to spread the Tenkara word, you might even like to devote a section of the museum to “Tenkara International” and how people fish Tenkara around the world, including fly selections and major trout rivers.
Got a couple of horsehair lines, One being sent in for repair. Love these lines! Before my next trip to the Guadalupe River in late Jan will have a few backups…
Someone needs to contact the guy with the Tenkara Tatoo on his arm for a donation to the museum. OK, maybe not. But I like the museum consept and hope it oneday becomes a reality.
Jason, glad the catalog made it – quickly it too! The mass mailing is going out on Monday, so I hope people will get it by the end of the week.
About the museum, very cool!
I thought I would share that I actually started a museum last year. I took the picture in the link below in June of 2010, but it has grown considerably since I started it, particularly after my trip to Japan this year and the inclusion of tenkara nets to it
June 2010: https://picasaweb.google.com/104186311877564882803/TenkaraMuseum#5484716140478448098
With nets, picture taken in February of 2011:
One day we’ll have to get together to put up an exhibit somewhere.
Wow, that is awesome! Should have known you already had something going like that. Yes, one day I’d like to see a public exhibit somewhere.
Glad to hear you got the catalog!
Hehe, I might have been the first to break the Ito….
I too have a lot of memorable tenkara gear that i plan to put in shadow boxes. The first fly swap flies, ishigaki flies, Single fly comp fly, etc…
PS your thumb is on my casting arm!
That’s you in the picture?