View Full Version : Book: "Secrets of samurai weapons revealed"

Don Cunningham
21st February 2003, 21:48
Naperville Daily Herald, Friday, Feb. 21, 2003 (http://www.dailyherald.com/search/main_story.asp?intID=3767373#)

Secrets of samurai weapons revealed
By Sarah Fowler
Daily Herald Staff Writer

Visitors to North Central College's Oesterle Library can check out books, periodicals, CDs - and Japanese weapons.

The weapons have to stay in the library, of course, but they are on display through March 5 as part of the exhibit "Arresting Arts of the Japanese Samurai."

Included in the collection are weapons used in martial arts, photographs from the 1800s and wood-block prints depicting martial arts from the Edo Period (1603-1868).

The exhibit features about 25 pieces, the oldest dating to the mid-1700s.

Exhibit creator Don Cunningham, a former international judo competitor, became fascinated with the weapons after the Navy sent him to Japan in 1974.

"I just got interested and it kind of became an obsession," said Cunningham, a resident of Aurora. "I just got hooked."

Most of the weapons in the collection are forms of the jutte, a narrow club used by police officers to arrest suspected criminals without killing them.

Decorative juttes eventually came to be carried by government officials as a symbol of authority.

"It was a weapon for arrest, but it was also a badge of office," Cunningham said.

The fact that the weapons were designed to minimize injury to suspects reflects a concern for civil rights, he said.

"It was the beginning of a system of human rights," he said. "And that's what I find fascinating about it."

He also became fascinated with the history of the weapons, much of which has been lost and must be gleaned from artwork and the weapons themselves.

"It was so unique," he said. "I enjoyed just doing the research on it."

Cunningham has been collecting for more than 25 years and is the author of "Secret Weapons of Jujutsu." He finds most of his weapons on the Internet and at Japanese flea markets.

The exhibit is being hosted by the North Central Office of International Programs as part of a yearlong Pacific Rim emphasis.

Cunningham taught a class on the history of Japanese martial arts at the college last fall and plans to teach another next year.

He said he hopes visitors will come to share his interest.

"I hope they'll get an appreciation for history ... and maybe an interest in learning more about the period," he said.

Scan of Daily Herald article (http://www.e-budokai.com/exhibit/images/dailyherald.jpg)

Exhibition web site (http://www.e-budokai.com/exhibit/index.htm)

22nd February 2003, 15:06
Hello Mr. Cunningham.

He said he hopes visitors will come to share his interest. "I hope they'll get an appreciation for history...and maybe an interest in learning more about the period." he said.

....And then maybe the public at large can learn more about the abuses in modern teaching that occur worldwide...Refer them all to the 'Bad-budo'/'Baffling-budo' sections here..Please!
Well done on the display sir. It looked good from your site and it's only a shame it is not touring...Now theres a thought:eek:

Don Cunningham
22nd February 2003, 15:38
Well done on the display sir. It looked good from your site and it's only a shame it is not touring...Now theres a thought
I'm always ready to take the show on the road. All I need is an invitation. ;)

Actually, the exhibition is proving to be quite popular with the students as well as visitors to the college. If any one is near Chicago's western suburbs, I invite you to drop in and check it out.

It's free, of course, so it is at least worth the cost of admission.:p

Don Cunningham
27th February 2003, 13:12
Hi Bob,

I've turned off PM and you've not listed your e-mail. Therefore, I apologize to everyone for posting this personal response here.

My background, certificates, etc., are posted all over the web on my personal web sites:

e-Budokai.com (http://www.e-budokai.com)

Fox Valley Martial Arts (http://www.foxvalleyjudo.com)

If you need anything more, just send me an e-mail at: don@e-budokai.com

I'm not sure where you're located, but if close enough, I would be happy to load all this stuff in my car and drive it there for a weekend. I've driven 1,000 miles roundtrip to Guelph, Ontario, the past couple of years, but I don't know if Kim Taylor is planning another sword seminar this summer.

I suspect you're in Florida. There's a great Japanese park and museum just outside Delray Beach, north of Boca Raton. They might be willing to sponsor such an exhibit. I've also got a few friends in the area, so I'm pretty sure I could find a couch to crash on somewhere around there.

Don Cunningham
27th February 2003, 20:59
Yes, the Morikami. I couldn't recall the name, although I've been there many, many times. One of my old judo friends, Mike Cobb, used to display his collection of samurai armor in their museum. I still see Mike every year at the San Francisco sword show.