It dovetails with my analogy of fishing being like fine art painting. There are infinite styles. You can follow any of them, or even make your own.
todoroki34 brings up some interesting points to remember. Even the 10 colors name of this forum states this but it is easy to forget.
On my drive to work I was reflecting on it a bit. I absolutely believe that there is a ton to learn from the information from the japanese anglers. They are the most experienced. At the same time, most of us are not in Japan. We are not fishing in a Japanese River, or mountain stream. We are not fishing for yamame or iwana. Even if there were one universally perfect style of tenkara, it has been formed in a specific environment and the methods and techniques have adapted for that specific place and target species.
As much there is to learn from the more experienced Japanese Anglers, there is equally a lot to learn on how these tactics apply to our own home turf. I have no doubt there are new tactics to discover. On the simplest level, the behavior between brook, brown, and rainbow trout is different. There is a difference between wild and stocked fish and how I approach them. Its fair to say their may be differences in tactics for yamame and iwana, compared to brook, brown, rainbow, or cutthroats. Its not to say there is no overlap, its just a reminder that apples are not oranges.
Its great to mimic style or technical approach. At the same time, we should not fear branching and finding our own.
My Tenkara is more fixed line catching than traditional. If a kebari presented in a traditional manner is what is catching fish, then that is what I will use no question. If the fish want a nymph, streamer, or one of Chris’s .4g Vega spoons then that’s what I’m throwing. I am constantly changing my fixed line method to catch fish. I love fixed line fishing! I am just not a purist in the since of traditional Japanese Tenkara. I love what Tenkara has done for me in my pursuit of fish. Tenkara has opened my eyes to the art of fixed line fishing and there is no looking back!
I live in the desert far from any trout stream but I manage to practice tenkara, even in Japan. I also do #untenkara which is a word play on how I use tenkara techniques for stocked trout in city ponds.
I teach tenkara to friends and help people I don’t even know by helping them search for their own tenkara.
I continue to learn tenkara from the Japanese. It’s becoming harder to learn new things about it because I have so many diverse resources helping me learn old and new techniques.