Linda Meredith, Editor
International Netsuke Society Journal
Linda was raised in Los Angeles and defines her education as “some college.” The limited family resources were for her brothers’ education. “When I got out of school I planned to be a secretary like my girl friends.” She said “In later years, I attended college where ever I lived: Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington state.”
Linda has been in the field of Japanese netsuke for 37 years. She says “I fell into it in 1972 in Honolulu, when I answered an ad for a secretarial position for an art dealership that specialized in Japanese netsuke. I learned to catalog, photograph, and do a bit of sales.” After five years, Linda joined their subsidiary which published a quarterly magazine, The International Netsuke Collectors Society Journal. It was the first magazine publication about the Netsuke art in the USA, although there had been previously published books and catalogs in the USA, Europe, and Japan. Linda worked as production manager and then as editor until the journal ceased publication in 1985.
From 1991 to current, Linda has been editor of a similar publication, The International Netsuke Society Journal. She says, “My job as editor is to fill the pages of the Journal every quarter, keeping it fresh and new. I am responsible for the advertising and for soliciting articles. I also receive unsolicited articles from scholars or collectors wishing to publish their latest research, or from collectors who simply want to share their latest “find” like a proud new parent. I review articles and send them to our copy editor for grammar and everything that I may have missed. Then it goes into layout. I review every stage of production four times before each issue is published, and I involve the authors along the way to ensure everyone is happy before it goes to press.”
Linda says “the biggest work related challenge we face is getting everything accurate. We have to check and recheck. In addition, it is challenging to find new and younger writers who know about the art form and feel confident to write about it.” Linda says the keys to success for her job are organization and follow through.
The most rewarding aspect of her job is getting to know the writers and collectors and meeting them in person at netsuke conventions, which are held every two years in a different city. “We’re like a big family growing old together, it’s great!”
The majority of Netsuke collectors are senior citizens or in the throes of middle age, and as the years pass it is important to encourage younger people to become interested in netsuke art. The Internet is helping to spread the word and it makes research easier. Information and pictures are available from all over the world. We invite all to visit our website www.netsuke.org. Major Museums around the world have collections of Netsuke, but not always on display.
When Linda has free time she likes to play tennis, bike, and hike.