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Author Topic: the last samurai!  (Read 6551 times)
haumana2000
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« on: December 05, 2003, 10:40:05 AM »

Saw a sneak preview last night.... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
OFF the hook!  if you see only one movie this year, see that one, if you see two movies this year see it again!

The action sequences are awesome, single and double swordplay staff, bokken, traditonal japanese juijitsu, cranks, locks, throws, even an ankle lock awesome!!!!!!!
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Russ
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2003, 03:04:31 PM »

There is truly some great fighting in this movie.  It was great to have so many quality actors from Japan in there.  At least they made it a little more palitable to see Tom Cruise help lead the Samurai into battle!

Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays Ujio (the best swordsman), is like the Tom Cruise of Japan (I mean that in a good way).  He comes from the same production company that Sonny Chiba heads.  You can see him in "Ring" (Japanese version) as well.  Sanada-san, what a badass!

Shichinosuke Nakamura, who plays the Emperor, comes from one of the leading Kabuki families of Japan.  These are the most respected actors in the country.

Seizo Fukumoto, who plays Tom Cruise's guard in the village (aka Bob), has been making Samurai movies for 40 years!  He has the distinct honor of being the poor bastard that gets cut down in EVERY movie by the hero (called a Kirareyaku).  He is dearly loved among fans of these movies.

Shun Sugata (my favorite), who plays a gruff lead Samurai, is also an action star and was recently in Kill Bill.  I love this guy's attitude!  Great beard too.

Shin Koyamada, who plays Nobutada, the son of Katsumoto, is brilliant in his first movie.  You really get to know his character and his bow and arrow add a lot to the movie's fight scenes.

Ken Watanabe plays Katsumoto, the leader of the Samurai.  What can I say.... just see the movie already!  He steals the spotlight from Tom Cruise and has best shaped bald head in showbiz.

Japanese friends here in NYC are very excited about the movie too.  They feel it is great for their favorite actors to get such worldwide exposure.  And.... they are excellent.
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michiko
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2003, 04:54:26 PM »

i liked the way they handled the white man/oriental "exoticized" girl relationship.

in any other movie, tom cruise would've made love several times in many different positions to the very enchanting Koyuki Nobutada, who played Taka.

they handled it so dilicately.  very human.  i was impressed.  truly a great movie.

where are the warriors now?

Crafty Dog here:  For an answer to your question, check out the nearby "Veterans" thread newest entry.
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Russ
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2003, 12:55:47 PM »

The Last Samurai: Movie Myth or History?

Stefan Lovgren in Los Angeles
for National Geographic News
December 2, 2003


Mythology colors all history. Sometimes, legend and lore merely embellish the past. Other times, mythology may actually devour history. Such is the case with the samurai, the military aristocracy of feudal Japan.

The samurai are known as strong and courageous warriors, schooled with swords. In reality, they were an elitist and (for two centuries) idle class that spent more time drinking and gambling than cutting down enemies on the battlefield.

But it's the ideals to which they aspired?discipline, loyalty, and benevolence?that endured and shaped the romantic image of the samurai that is now ingrained in the Japanese cultural psyche.

That's in large part thanks to the movies. From Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece The Seven Samurai to the new Hollywood epic, The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, the movie samurai are usually noble and heroic characters.

Ed Zwick, the cerebral director and co-writer of The Last Samurai, makes no apologies for embracing idealism over reality for his movie. He says each version has its uses in storytelling.

"It's as important to celebrate what's poetic and idealized as it is to understand the reality," Zwick said in a telephone interview. "We're inspired by the mythologizing of the samurai as heroes."

A Time of Transition

The Last Samurai is the fictional tale of a broken United States Civil War veteran (Cruise) who travels as a mercenary to Japan soon after the overthrow of the old Shogunate and the restoration of imperial rule in 1868. He ultimately rediscovers his honor by joining a samurai rebellion against the encroaching world of the West.

The dawn of what's known as the Meiji era was a time of change as Japan emerged from 200 years of self-imposed isolation and began to shed some of its traditions. The samurai had served as a standing army with no one to fight for the last 200 years. Now they represented the past.

"It's a country that tries to modernize itself in a hurry," said Harold Bolitho, a professor of Japanese history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "It wants to get rid of a non-productive class of samurai to replace it with an effective fighting force. It wants to stand up as an independent nation and not be pushed around by Britain or the United States."

The movie rebellion is led by a samurai named Katsumoto, who is loosely based on the real-life samurai Takamori Saigo. Known for his obstinate conservatism, Saigo supported the Emperor in the Meiji coup, but then led an 1877 revolt against the government in which his followers were defeated by imperial troops drawn from the peasantry and equipped with modern arms. Saigo committed suicide.

Today, Saigo is a folk hero, a symbol of devotion to principle. In real life, he was also a pampered aristocrat bent on retaining his elitist standing.

"The samurai were very much backward-looking and no more courageous or loyal or wise than anybody else," said Bolitho. "They were just more privileged. In the end they fight for those privileges, and they are defeated by the new Japan. It's the new Japan overcoming the old Japan."

Mythologizing the Hero

But it's the idealized image of the samurai as brave and noble warriors that has survived. Zwick attributes it to the Kurosawa movies he watched as a 17-year-old student.

"I was as influenced by movie culture as I was by academic history," said Zwick. "When you're 17, you look for inspiration in different places. The idea that had most importance to me was how the samurai embraced the imminence of death and how antithetical that was to the culture in which I was living. The samurai code corresponded to an appreciation of life, the beauty of things transitory, and an absorption of the moment."

Zwick points out that Kurosawa himself was perhaps more interested in iconography than literal history, and that Kurosawa was heavily influenced by John Ford, the American director of classic Westerns, and the image of the lone frontiersman seeking justice with a gun.

"It's a kind of fusion of Western and Eastern culture that's bouncing back and forth," said Zwick. "It's important to realize this is a movie and not a historical document. That's why I chose to name the character Katsumoto, not Takamori."

But Zwick also wants his movie to depict Japan's first significant encounters with the West and to capture the rise of imperialism.

"There's a temptation to depict Japan's imperial impulse as having existed in a vacuum, when in fact they were certainly influenced by the circumstances of the world," said Zwick. "Our relationship with Japan did not begin 60 years ago with Pearl Harbor, but 150 years ago."

With the coming of the modern, explains Zwick, there are winners and losers; things are gained and lost on both sides.

"It's easy to appreciate the technological marvel and the world competitor that Japan has become," said Zwick. "But to be there in Japan and see the absolute disappearance of anything of the natural world, the aesthetic that was so celebrated and is still celebrated in the culture, feels also tragic."

Crafting the Image

The samurai may have been defeated in the late 19th century, but their virtuous and noble image has been carefully molded ever since.

"It's an idealized image that's been pushed onto the entire Japanese people," said Bolitho. "It's built into the education system and the armed forces, so that everyone who goes to war sees himself in some sense as a Samurai. It's a tremendous public relations job. Samurai images are brought out again and again, even to people whose grandparents where pushed around by the Samurai."

Still, Bolitho says he thoroughly enjoyed the new movie.

"We're dealing with a fantasy, and fantasy always tops reality," he said. "The samurai is a great movie theme. Like all ideals, it's going to be around forever."
------------------------------------------------------------------------

And a view from a friend in Japan:

"Yeah, I have mixed feelings about this movie.

There are a lot of Japanese who are lapping this up because it is about a down and out yankee who finds true meaning in Japanese culture blahblah self satisfied bullshit, Japan is better than every other country, of course!

Then, there are some other Japanese who are insulted that once more Hollywood steals another country's traditions, culture, and history and stick Tom Cruise in to be the hero, yeah yeah, America has a rich history *and* every other country's history was dominated by Americans too! Of course!

I think I would find this more palatable if it wasn't Tom Cruise.

That Koyuki bint....I'm sure she will be very popular in the West, but I find her difficult to take seriously considering I have seen her adverts for Happoshu fake-beer.

Haven't decided if I will see it yet. I did see Tears of the Sun though - very surprised, I thought it was really, really good."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2003, 01:47:49 PM »

Trivia:

Much of the development of the Akita took place during the 200 years prior to the Mejii Reformation when the Samurai used Akitas and Tosa Mastiffs dogfights for inspiration in the ways of fighting spirit.

Crafty Dog
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Ed
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2003, 03:42:58 PM »

Well i didnt know that Guro thanks for the info Wink  talking about the movie well i wont miss it ill be sure to see it at least twice hehe see ya all take good care
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see ya next post, best regards

Ed
Spadaccino
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2003, 09:18:05 PM »

Quote from: haumana2000
The action sequences are awesome, single and double swordplay staff, bokken, traditonal japanese juijitsu, cranks, locks, throws, even an ankle lock awesome!!!!!!!


I think that was supposed to be a kneebar, actually.

In any case, Cruise should have put his "hooks" in, ala Gollum in LOTR! Smiley
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Spadaccino
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2003, 09:21:45 PM »

Quote from: Crafty_Dog
Trivia:

Much of the development of the Akita took place during the 200 years prior to the Mejii Reformation when the Samurai used Akitas and Tosa Mastiffs dogfights for inspiration in the ways of fighting spirit.

Crafty Dog


Guro Crafty,

Was the Tosa actually created after the Japanese saw how Pit Bulls savaged the local fighting dogs?  I've read this before, but the source was unreliable, so I'm looking for clarification there.

Thanks,

Dave/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
mookie
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2003, 11:11:35 AM »

Besides some flaws in etiquete that would have been seen as major no-no's it was a great movie.

The biggest flaw I saw was that they portray him as a great swordsman after only a winter of training.  I refer to it as "the karate kid syndrome".  But all in all it was a very good movie.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2003, 01:45:11 PM »

Woof Dave/Spad/TFS:


"Was the Tosa actually created after the Japanese saw how Pit Bulls savaged the local fighting dogs? I've read this before, but the source was unreliable, so I'm looking for clarification there."


David, I have no specific knowledge from which to answer your question.  My sense of it however is that this may be a bit of barking.  If one looks at WHEN each of these breeds was developed, is this possible?

Per the strange and interesting book on the development of the Pit Bull Terrier called "The Dogs of Capitalism", the pit bull was a blend of terriers (i.e. ratters) and bull dogs-- a seize-and-hold development of the badger dogs (designed to drag badgers out of their holes which were often part of rabbit warrens so that other dogs could be sent down after the rabbits)

Rats and rabbits were serious threats to human food supply in medieval England.

As humans moved to the cities with the Industrial Revolution, the mastiffs used by the gentry on their estates for protection were impractical in the close quarters of the city-- especially by the working classes who couldn't afford to feed the mastiffs.  

Out of these circumstances arose the need for the Pit.

  Terriers, with a joy of killing unrelated to hunting, cultivated and selected through rat killing contests (throw one dog and 100 rats in a pit and time how long to kill the rats) There was much gambling and the winning dog got to breed a lot.

  The Bull dogs, often cultivated and selected through "bear baiting" contests to develop an unnaturally game dog to seize cattle as part of enabling their slaughter, were crossed with the best ratters and put to dog fighting.  The dog resulting from this process of unnatural selection was the pit bull-- unusually game, and wired differently from most other breeds (e.g. including the ratters instinct to kill for fun, not to feed self)

If I have it right, (informed parties please correct) the Akita and the Thosa were being developed in approximately the same time frame, due to indigenous circumstances of Japan.  Like the Pit Bull, the Akita was developed as a guard dog (watch dogs bark for help, guard dogs act) and a hunting dog. Whereas the Pit was a ratting terrier, the Akita was used for hunting bear and boar.

Given that the Thosa is a mastiff, and mastiffs have ALWAYS been war dogs (e.g. the Molossan Mastiff of the times of Alexander the Great. the mastiffs on the English estates that preceded the development of the Pit) and guard dogs, how could the Thosa, a fighting dog that was crossed with the pre-Akitas (c.f. the Karelian, a Russian bear dog that looks much like an Akita but for the influence of the heavy bones of the Thosa mastiff) be said to be a response to the process-in-work of the Pit Bull?  How would the Japanese prior to the Mejii Reformation even have known of the Pit Bull let alone had a chance to test the two?

Just winging it.  HTH.
Crafty Dog

PS:  I have very high regard for the capabilities of the Pit, but there is also the matter of the plausibility of a Pit kicking a Thosa's ass.  Pits in the years in question were much smaller than the Pits of today (under 50lbs?) and Thosas go 150 lbs plus.    Pits kick ass on non-fighting dogs in part through their emotional comfort with fighting in a non-hierarchical manner (i.e. will to kill descending from the ratter) whereas most dogs fight for hierarchy (loser not killed).  Would this apply with a Thosa?

My first Akita, Zapata (the one in our logo) was quite formidable.

For the record, knowing this arose not from my putting him to the test, but from other dogs coming over to him while he was on the leash. (He had a walk that was a provocative challenge to other dogs)  His three basic attacks were:
 
1) to swallow the other dogs muzzle
2) to pin by the throat
3) and as a result of a fight with a fight-collared Rott, to knock to the ground and grab the penis.  This subsequently became his favorite.

He never fought a Pit, but on various occasions some of the Pits we passed would look away-- and many did not.  Those that looked back never dissed him, nor he them.  The one time the Pit was off-leash was at night on the Greenbelt in Hermosa Beach (a running path popular with dog owners too)  when a large intact male pit completely devoid of human owner came over with a walk that spelled serious trouble.  Zapata exhaled once, pawed a rear leg on the ground and lowered his head (this is as much as he ever did a prelude to a fight) and the Pit changed his mind and walked away about 30 feet, gave one howl and both he and Zapata then simultaneously peed on the bush nearest to each.  The Pit  then trotted off.

The point is NOT NOT NOT which breed can kick which breeds ass, but that the idea that Pits would so overwhelm Thosas (and as noted, how could this even have occurred?) strikes me as implausible.  Zapata was 112, and Thosas go 150-170-- remember the Pit at the time of the story you mention was under 50 (the Akita typically up to 105 at the time of arrival in the US)  I know, I know, its not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog, but my understanding is that the Thosa is a serious fighting dog in its own right.  Certainly the Akita can be.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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Anonymous
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2003, 05:03:20 PM »

I saw it again, and maintain that it was a heel hook type lock Smiley
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2003, 11:55:20 PM »

Unlike the Karate Kid- I think the film establishes early on in the battles sequences prior to his samurai training that Cruise possessed some excellent sabre skills - he was able to pull off several kills solo against multiple samurai. He was just adapting to the Japanese way of the sword.

--Rafael--
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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Anonymous
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2003, 03:26:57 PM »

Quote
Was the Tosa actually created after the Japanese saw how Pit Bulls savaged the local fighting dogs? I've read this before, but the source was unreliable, so I'm looking for clarification there."

.....
Given that the Thosa is a mastiff, and mastiffs have ALWAYS been war dogs (e.g. the Molossan Mastiff of the times of Alexander the Great. the mastiffs on the English estates that preceded the development of the Pit) and guard dogs, how could the Thosa, a fighting dog that was crossed with the pre-Akitas (c.f. the Karelian, a Russian bear dog that looks much like an Akita but for the influence of the heavy bones of the Thosa mastiff) be said to be a response to the process-in-work of the Pit Bull?  How would the Japanese prior to the Mejii Reformation even have known of the Pit Bull let alone had a chance to test the two?

Just winging it.  HTH.
Crafty Dog


Im not sure, but from memory two thoughts strike me: i think the answer might be that it wasnt the pitbull which the japanese dogs were found wanting against but the huge european mastiffs which found their way into Japan. As a result they crossed both the tosa and akita with these animals. If the pitbull had been the one who bested the japanese breeds then I guess it would have been pits that the akitas and tosas were crossed with

Having said that,  I think both the tosa and akita were substantially smaller until they were crossed with the larger breeds like mastiffs, danes etc which MIGHT have made it possible that they came off worse against the pitbulls of the day.  

all if, perhaps and maybe  cheesy
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2003, 08:55:44 AM »

Hi Everyone,

I haven't been around for a bit because I was in the process of moving into my new place.  I just got my computer hooked up last night, and so here I am! Smiley

Quote from: Sun_Helmet
Unlike the Karate Kid- I think the film establishes early on in the battles sequences prior to his samurai training that Cruise possessed some excellent sabre skills - he was able to pull off several kills solo against multiple samurai. He was just adapting to the Japanese way of the sword.

--Rafael--
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Rafael,

I'm really happy that you pointed this out, because it is one of those things which doesn't even seem to be considered by most people (ie., the fact that Cruise's character could have already had some sword skills, before his intro to kenjutsu).  As you observed, Nathan Algren was able to dispatch several samurai with his saber, in the initial battle--he was clearly at least a fairly formidable equestrian escrimeur, and his previous skills would certainly have given him an advantage in learning a new sword style (as opposed to a total novice just picking up kenjutsu).

What we have to keep in mind is that genuine combative skills with the saber, backsword, broadsword, and singlestick were still valued by Westerners at this time.  These were considered to be of principle importance to cavalrymen, but were also useful for foot officers, who sometimes needed to use their skills against the bayonet:

http://www.etp.phys.tue.nl/bertus/schermen/p06n.gif

Note the use of the so-called "hanging guard" (with the hilt up and the point down)--the swordsman is parrying with the equivalent of modern saber parry #2 (in this case, a high #2).  The "hanging guard" enabled the sabreur to deliver powerful moulinets (cuts from the elbow) from a covered position.  Note also the Western equivalent of the "alive hand".  

http://www.printsoldandrare.com/fencing/010fen.jpg

Here, we see another parry #2, but lower.  In this case, the sabreur is keeping his free hand behind his back, instead of in front of his body.  In addition, it is worthwhile to note that the bayonet man is attacking with a slip-thrust--a technique derived from earlier methods of using the long pike and other polearms.  Slip-thrusts make it hard for the swordsman to judge proper distance (and it doesn't matter whether you refer to it as "fencing measure" or ma-ai), so any escrimeur who could defend himself properly against such things would probably not be an easy opponent.

Even by the end of the 19th century, there were Western military men that considered combative sword training important, like the British officer Cyril Matthey, who is credited with discovering George Silver's lost "how-to" sword manual, Brief Instructions Upon My Paradoxes of Defense (circa 1605).

Now, it is true that, in the case of the Americans especially, emphasis on the use of the pistol (as opposed to the sword) by cavalry occured comparatively early (almost as soon as the introduction of Samuel Colt's revolver, actually), and it was in fact fairly well-established by the Civil War--so the likelihood of Cruise's character being really good with his sword in the first place is not as likely as it would have been for a European army officer, but it certainly wasnt' impossible, either.  Officers had the option of devoting more free time to sword practice, and someone like Nathan Algren may also have had some skills with thrusting swords, like the duelling epee.  In any case, getting to nitpicky about details on this issue is a moot point, since the Western advisors to the New Imperial Japanese Army weren't Americans anyway--that part is fictional.

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
mookie
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2003, 10:42:33 PM »

I agree with what was said about the skill already being possessed.  But that still leaves some rather unforgivable gafs.  Not to take anything away, it was a great movie...

BUT...

1) If you killed the number 2 man, which the man he killed was, your life would most definately not be spared no matter how good your skill.

2) the was he presents the sword at the end of the movie to the emporer he would have imediately been executed.  taking it out of the wraping could be interpeted as an act of aggression for the simple reason that when wrapped it cannot be drawn, when he unwrapped it to present it it could be drawn, which would be completely unexceptable in the pressence of the emporer.

3) If you were to present something, anything to the emporer you would not present it directly to him, you would present it to one of his advisors who would give it to him.

4) He talks directly to the emporer and the emporer speaks back.  The emporer maybe has 10 people total that he speaks to, EVER.  And they are all close advisors.  He would never speek directly to somebody.

5) the "love intrest" between him and the woman whose husband he killed would never happen.  Nor would she open up to him like she did, nor would her children.

Just some things that I have been thinking about.  Saturday I will be spending time with some people who study Iaido whom I want to ask some questions of ettiquette and such and find what true "swordsman" thought of the movie.
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strawdog
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2004, 08:22:23 PM »

I wouldn't call iaido guys true swordsmen.
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mookie
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2004, 10:40:31 AM »

I ended up not going and talking to the Iai people but regardless...

with all due respect I disagree.  I think that to become proficiant at Iaido you are a true swordsman.  You learn alot of the ettiquette behind swordsmanshiip.  The litteral translation is "drawing of the sword".  

I am not talking about people who study Iaido as a hobby either, I am speaking of people who hold 3rd and 4th dan in Iai, which gives then 20someodd years studying.

Another point to make is that I am speaking also of people who are affiliated with Myomoto Musashi, Hyoho-Niten Ichiryu.  I would assume you consider Myomoto Musashi a true swordsman would you not?

The point is nil though.  Anybody that has studied japanese swordsmanship ior japanese ettiquete I believe would find similar faults in the movie.
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2004, 12:40:37 PM »

No disrespect Sir, but you are wrong.  Iaido does not teach swordsmanship.  Iaido is akin to learning how to draw a gun from a holster and never actually shooting at anything.  What's worst is most iaido practitioners draw very slow.

Iai is just the beginning of swordsmanship training.   The idea is you need to get your blade out of the scabbard so you can start fighting with it.  The problem is they never get to the point of fighting with it.  So, how could say that iaido makes someone practicing it a swordsman.  They're not.   It's like saying that I'm a gunfighter just because I learned a ritualized way of drawing my pistol.  And that's all iaido is, a ritual, an exercise, a discipline, based on the essence of the beginning of swordsmanship training.   It doesn't make the person a swordsman.  

Of course, I consider Miyamoto Musashi a true swordsman.  He actually fought duels.  In all his duels his sword was already out of the scabbard.  So the draw was inconsequential.  Just because there are modern day martial artist claiming to study Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu doesn't mean squat to me either.  If you know anything of the training methods of most "Japanese sword schools" most of it is like learning how to swim on dry land.

Theoretically this is what Musashi meant, blah, blah...let's test.  No, it's too deadly, we can't turn into a sport, blah, blah.  How do we know it works.  It works because Musashi used it.  How do you know we can use it.  You have to have faith.  

So, it amounts to nothing more a kind of religion that leads to nowhere.  Yes, a religion of wannabee swordsmen who would piss their pants if you actually swung a live blade to their head.

So to say that iaido guys are true swordsman is total and utter bull... and is an insult to the real swordsmen of the past.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2004, 02:24:59 PM »

I disagree, again.

Iaido is more than drawing the sword.  Using your comparison it would be drawing the gun, firing the gun and then reholstering it.

The arguement of whether or not ia practitioner of iaido is a true swprdaman is nil.  The point was that there were many mistakes made according to ettiquete that anybody stiudying the sword or japanese history would know.

Saying that an master of iaido is not a true swordsman is like saying that DBMA is not true kali IMO.  If you had ever studied with a true iai master (5th degree or above) I feel you would agree.

I also apoligize for using the term alittle more loosely than I usually would in my oiriginal post.  I was merely refering to the fact that a 3rd or 4th degree in Iaido is going to have more insight on ettiquete and the fhandling of a sword than somebody who has not, or has only read books on the subject.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2004, 02:31:56 PM »

Quote from: Anonymous
So, it amounts to nothing more a kind of religion that leads to nowhere.  Yes, a religion of wannabee swordsmen who would piss their pants if you actually swung a live blade to their head.

So to say that iaido guys are true swordsman is total and utter bull... and is an insult to the real swordsmen of the past.


What you are saying is akin to you can't be a true knife fighter without having a death fight. you can't be a true gunslinger without the bullet wounds to prove it.  You can't study DBMA and not participate in a gathering.  It is a statement full of brovado.

There is also a school of thought that is you don't have to prove what you know to be skilled at what you do.  In Uechi-ryu they use open hands to penetrate the ribcage, so does that mean you can't be a true master of the style untill you have thrust your hand into somebody's internals?
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Anonymous
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2004, 10:16:01 PM »

Woof All:

  I just sawa the movie and had a great time even though I found the story to be implausible in several ways.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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