Furthermore, I have been disappointed over and over to find out the latest "must have" is just a militarized comic book with the same drawings, same photos, and the same nearly useless English captions (if they have them).
I love the 1:200 scale plans produced by Takami. They are a high quality product, and they are something real in the illusory world of Japanese military technology history. Most of the pretty hobbyist items they produce would be considered lightweight in the west (but we are so desperate we put up with their antics). I am not interested in photos of models.
I have not known anybody who is fluent in Japanese since university (I once, in desperation, took a model instruction sheet to the Japanese department at my university---a professor was baffled by "pom pom").
Really good material in English is released so infrequently that when it is, it's the modeling equivalent of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
So much of the "stuff" in these books is not scholarly or systematic, like what a Dulin or Garzke would do, in English.
There must be at least one bilingual Japanese whom is a genuine expert. I wish that she or he would start a for-pay blog with detailed information on the hundreds of matters concerning Japanese warships for which so many of us crave to find answers.
Until the, thank God for the j-aircraft forums.
I have to say I am, at 67, finally well and truly fed up by the Japanese military history and technology racket, and their stupid, pretty-but-useless, stunningly expensive picture books. I won't play the game any longer.