The Old and the New

The Old and the New

The Winds of Inspiration

For me, this is how I understand it. The Old doesn’t become the Old without first being the New. The New has a hard time becoming the Old unless it has innovation, or it is swept in the winds of inspiration. It is the latter that I find myself comfortably following. Since boyhood, I have admired the lines that disappear seemingly into nothing on a crystal smooth terrain. I am speaking about the beauty of the Sword, which was left behind for me to see from the masters of old. Their true heritage however was innovation. It was through their innovation that today I can still see their work in all of their beauty. But is this enough for me to continue my passion of the sword? It is in truth much too little to rely only on the innovations of the past. I am dictated by an unseen wind to look forward into a mysterious future and contribute a bit of myself into this current.

And so this is where I find myself today, waking up each morning with a dream in my head. Not really knowing where it will lead me, I look for inspiration from the objects all around me. As I open my shop each day, I hope to leave a bit of me behind in my work.  The time passes well for me in this way, and at the end of the day, I can hold something in my hands that was once in my head.  Sounds odd, but it’s what keeps me going onto the next day. Through the years I have learned at least one thing, that there is no certainty through my efforts.  Sometimes I find myself going in circles that seem to lead nowhere, but the current I am comfortably following always puts me at ease.



  • Parrish Posted May 4, 2018 7:10 pm

    Very nice commentary and expressing of thought and feelings. You seek harmony instinctively and it shows in your art….

    • James Dinh Posted May 4, 2018 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving a nice comment. Please stay tuned for future blogs that discover the dynamics of the Dao blade. Cheers!

  • Thomas Posted May 5, 2018 5:52 am

    True Budo. Fine expression.

    • riverreedcrafts Posted May 5, 2018 12:10 pm

      Thank you Thomas! It’s always nice to hear from you. Don’t forget to send me photos of your current bokken projects if you get a chance. Love seeing your handiwork. Thanks!!!

  • Eugene May Posted July 5, 2018 5:40 pm

    The old and the new, like you I too had a vision of the old in my head that I could not see out here. Like you, I too set out to manifest it, the first time I saw your swords I knew I was to buy a pair. My new swords cut my time line in half, one day soon I hope to do another recording. But right now these swords are helping us progress much faster than I would with my first pair. So thank you for being here when I needed this pair. When using your swords, a person can never be correct and incorrect at the same time, so choose correct over incorrect thanks again for your passion.

    • riverreedcrafts Posted March 29, 2019 1:54 pm

      Thank you Eugene for your encouraging words and for your patronage.

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