1903 Japanese paipo

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bgreen
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1903 Japanese paipo

#1

Unread post by bgreen »

I was sent this link courtesy of the L’association Surf Art Festival. Never seen reference to early Japanese surfing, so this is doubly interesting: http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 0963539056

Something for the well-heeled.

Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#2

Unread post by rodndtube »

If your command of French is not good (such as me where it is nil):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1903-Japanese-S ... 3cc2a39870
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#3

Unread post by bgreen »

And more: http://www.tias.com/8984/PictPage/1922205935.html

1911 but way cheaper.

Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#4

Unread post by rodndtube »

Interesting. This postcard features one girl dressed in swimming attire and board similar to the 1903 figure with identical appearing background landscape and seascape.

Who knew that the Japanese were paipo boarding back in the early 1900s?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#5

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy »

Matt Warshaw's book The Encyclopedia of Surfing claims Japanese fisherman were prone riding small belly boards as early as the 12th century.
Paipo surfer in repose,
Nose on the nose,
No grunting he-man pose.
See how fast he goes!
What is it he knows?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#6

Unread post by rodndtube »

Uncle Grumpy wrote:Matt Warshaw's book The Encyclopedia of Surfing claims Japanese fisherman were prone riding small belly boards as early as the 12th century.
So it does! Warshaw uses the qualification of "evidence suggests..." but no reference to the evidence in the text of the entry. To be fair I have not poured through the book's bibliography.
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#7

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy »

Found this on Joe Tabler's Surfbooks site,

Regarding the Japanese postcards from last Blurb:

Skipper Funderburg:
I have several vintage images in my North Carolina collection that look "identical" to the piece of wood in the 1911 image. My images are taken on the beach at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, about the same era or before with swimmers and lifeguards.

In my book, Surfing on the Cape Fear Coast 2008, I wrote, "It may be correct to surmise that swimmers sustaining themselves on wooden floats existed long before written records on the Cape Fear Coast. It is only common sense that wooden floats had a very important place in the life of those that lived by the sea. So it cannot be interpreted as something disingenuous, let us say for documentary proof, your author presents what is in the written record."

Most surf historians interpret my images, as more related to swimming, like a kick board. At this point, I would venture to say, the 1911 images may be considered flotation device too. During my many oral history interviews with nonagenarian natives of the Cape Fear Coast, I identified the word "boards."

John Elwell:
The Japanese girls in the photo have a simple wooden rectangular plate that has been milled and will plane in small waves. What is not known is the who, where, and when of the photo which is really intriguing.
They were indeed ahead of their time!

Desoto Brown:
1) "Glasgow 1903", written on the back on the back of this card, is in ballpoint pen. Ballpoints were not common until the 1950s, so that means this was written in that decade at the earliest. Thus the writing is not as old as the card itself.

2) My own suspicion is that, judging from the bathing suits the two girls are wearing, this image dates from the late teens at the earliest and might even be from the early 1920s. That they also have traditional elaborate Japanese-style hairdos suggests it's not from too much later, because short hair became popular in Japan for young women by the middle to late 1920s. But the point is, I do not think the photo is from 1903.

3) The presence of the "paipo" (which I'd use advisedly, since this looks like just a plain unshaped plank of wood) is pretty much just a photo studio prop, I believe. Pretty girls in bathing costumes were going to be a popular subject for postcards in Japan and everywhere else in the world, and like every other photo studio setting, props could be added whether they were relevant or not. So while I doubt that these particular 2 girls really had anything to do with swimming or surfing at all, I do think it's interesting that a photographer in Japan would be familiar with any kind of surfing items at all. It does suggest that surfing existed in some form in Japan at that time, or at least the awareness of it.
Paipo surfer in repose,
Nose on the nose,
No grunting he-man pose.
See how fast he goes!
What is it he knows?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#8

Unread post by rodndtube »

Good stuff you added here Uncle Grumpy.
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#9

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy »

There's quite a bit more been added on the Japan Paipo Girls at Joe's Surf Blurb.
http://www.surfbooks.com/misc.htm
And a whole bevy of bathing beauties here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N ... 130143141/
swimsuitgirlsofoldjapan[1].gif
Paipo surfer in repose,
Nose on the nose,
No grunting he-man pose.
See how fast he goes!
What is it he knows?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#10

Unread post by bgreen »

NOBUHITO "Nobby" OHKAWA, has begun compiling a history of Japanese surfing that starts earlier than the standard version that web-sites say begins in the 1960s. See: http://www.nobbywoodsurfboards.com/cn74/itako.html

Nobby seems to be adding to it all the time. John Clark of Hawaii has a Japanese friend who has also began researching this history, which it seems dates back to at least the 1880s.

Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#11

Unread post by SURFFOILS »

Uncle Grumpy wrote:There's quite a bit more been added on the Japan Paipo Girls at Joe's Surf Blurb.
http://www.surfbooks.com/misc.htm
And a whole bevy of bathing beauties here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N ... 130143141/
swimsuitgirlsofoldjapan[1].gif
This photo proves they invented paipos,
fluoro boardies,
the "dont drop in on me' look,
and the camel toe.
------------------------------------------------------------------
surffoil@gmail.com
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bgreen
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#12

Unread post by bgreen »

About a week ag I met Nobby ay Noosa and we surfed soem very samll waves at Ti-Tree, He'll be adding to hissite soon, when he returns to Japan. Seems like there is all sorts of interesting stuff. Yusuke Motohashi, a friend of John Clark's has found information about early stand-up paddling boards & hollow wood boards. There was apparently a link between Hawaii & Kamakura boat builders.


Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#13

Unread post by Poobah »

Ahoy, Mr. Mike. We need to build us some itagos...

http://www.nobbywoodsurfboards.com/webp ... itago.html
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

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Unread post by mrmike »

I'am on it not to much to it
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#15

Unread post by Poobah »

No actual measurements yet on the vintage boards in the photos. The painted rectangular boards with the nose handles, appear to have a length to width ratio of approximately 3.75 to 1. Plus the handle slot is about half the width of the board. If we let the material drive the width, like say a 1x2 sandwiched between two 1x6's, then we net 12.5 inches...still narrow enough to run through a table planer. The 3.75 L to W ratio would then give us a board about 47 inches long. So those colored boards on Nobby's site look to have proportions very similar to traditional British bellyboards.

I'm thinking a surface block on the nose for a handle, rather than a hole. Maybe a routed handle at the tail. And possibly high rails along two edges, one long and one short edge. That way the board could be ridden long or short.

I'm also curious about the rental boards with the rounded noses. Nobby...do they really have that dramatic taper, or did the photo angle distort the shape?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#16

Unread post by Poobah »

My wife the nurse just informed me that the Itago looks like a modern day "slide board" for wheelchair transfers. They also come with one or two handles. Here's a two handled slider with sanded nose kick on each end.
slideboard.jpg
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#17

Unread post by bgreen »

Poobah,

I don't think Nobby checks the paipo forum. I should get my new computer next week. I'll try to remember to e-mail Nobby with your questions.

The slide board has a name suggesting it wants to be surfed.

Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#18

Unread post by bgreen »

Poobah,

Info Nobby sent me. He's done a great job with the modern version. The taller board is clearly "flared"as Nobby describes it. Click on the middle photo to see the full shot.

Bob
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#19

Unread post by rodndtube »

What unit of measure is used in the drawings?
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Re: 1903 Japanese paipo

#20

Unread post by kage »

Nobbets.
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