While searching for information on NMK produced shooters, I stumbled upon another STG collector in Japan who has similar stories (and struggles) when it comes to obtaining and playing these rare games. Well, at least these are rare in the United States, but probably not so rare in Japan.
Although I cannot read kanji or katakana, I found using Google Translate to read Japanese blogs can give me the high level subject matter and conversation. Of course this is not optimal, and I'm probably missing much humor and intricacies when it comes to game strategies. I wish I had time to learn Japanese, but between my work and hobbies, there is just not enough time for such an undertaking!
Anyway, the blog I found interesting is owned by Ikeda_San, and is titled "Watcher ][" at http://rehctaw.blog.shinobi.jp/ . He is a collector and STG player who has been building an impressive collection of PCB and arcade hardware over the last year. I was particularly impressed with his classic 1980's era black Taito sitdown cabinet, which leads me to believe this style cabinet may have been the motivation for Dillinger's computer desk in the 1982 movie Tron! :)
Commonly referred to as "cocktail" cabinets, these sit down machines did not gain much popularity in the US, preferring to stand than sit while playing arcade games. Personally, I prefer the newer "Candy"cabinets to the cocktail style, but do own a few classic upright games from the early 1980s.
I tried to leave a comment on Ikeda_San's blog, but could not navigate the input form correctly (perhaps password protected) so I decided to send him an email instead. He graciously responded in English, which I'm sure was not easy for him, so I appreciated the response! おかげでIkeda_San
One last item worth mentioning, if you read back through Ikeda_San's blog far enough, you will see he has also encountered the dreaded VARTA battery leakage.