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Thread: Faux Pas

  1. #16
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    Sweet, thanks for all the help.

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    Default Money-handling Samurai?

    If we're picking apart the <i>faux pas</i>, don't forget that Samurai were forbidden to handle or deal with money. So, the scene never would have happened where the Samurai were betting on how many moves it would take to defeat Algren.

    On the other hand, it was a great scene, and the gambling gave some much-needed humor to the movie. So, Miss Samurai Manners forgives Zwick for letting Samurai gamble with money -- coins no less -- and have coins in their armor (another thing that kinda bugged me... like they had pockets in there? lol).
    Cady Goldfield

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    Default Re: Money-handling Samurai?

    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    If we're picking apart the <i>faux pas</i>, don't forget that Samurai were forbidden to handle or deal with money. So, the scene never would have happened where the Samurai were betting...
    Samurai were _forbidden_ to handle money? I know that they weren't properly allowed to engage in business or be merchants or financiers, but not even pocket money? What did they do when they gambled...write cheques? I would agree that it didn't quite make sense for them to be _carrying_ money...there didn't seem to be very many shopping opportunities in that little village.

    Personally, I think a lot of rules and regs applicable to a Bakufu garrison would have gone by the wayside among provincial samurai... The fact that they may have carried cash and didn't have regulation haircuts or weapons or whatever didn't seem very wrong to me... PLus, part of the point of the movie was that decadence had set into the samurai class...not that I would expect the filmmakers to pick up on fine details like that.
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

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    Default Re: Re: Money-handling Samurai?

    Originally posted by David T Anderson
    Samurai were _forbidden_ to handle money?

    DJM: I would guess that even if this were true, it was probably one of those regulations easily overlooked. Moreover, there was a definite shift from feudal to monetary exchange during the reign of the Tokugawa.

    Personally, I think a lot of rules and regs applicable to a Bakufu garrison would have gone by the wayside among provincial samurai...

    DJM: Especially with TOZAMA like the pugnacious Satsuma.
    Don J. Modesto
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    http://theaikidodojo.com/

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    David,
    From what I've read of the samurai, in a variety of sources (I'll dig into references if I get a chance this week), samurai not only were not supposed to deal in business; they also were not supposed to handle money, keep accounts, etc. Their servants and retainers were supposed to do all of that for them.



    The ideal was that they should be entirely ignorant of money and even the value of various coins and currency.

    I'll see if I can find some precise paragraphs in reputable sources...

    Don,
    Your postulation sounds plausible, but those samurai looked a little too comfortable with the coinage, like they'd known their way around a wager and a 50 sen piece for many years.
    Cady Goldfield

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    I know what you men Cads but that was in one of those "this is how it should be" type writings. Easy if you are a rich daimyo who has lots of flunkies but most samurai weren't. They paid for their meals and sake in inns with money they carried in a little purse bag or in their sleeve pockets. The edict was against Samurai engaging in business [a lot of them were because of poor pay and not being able to make ends meet].
    Lurking in dark alleys may be hazardous to other peoples health........

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    Hm. So, it's one of those "in an ideal world..." situations that most samurai couldn't live up to? Yeah, that figures! Ah well. And Don had a good point that that ragtag, motley mountain rebel holdout of aging samurai would very likely have to drop the niceties of "ideal society."

    Another fine ideal shot to hell...

    Anyway, the wagering scene was one of the best moments of humor in the movie (easily beating out the scene with Algren doing the "bujutsu dance" in his shiny new hakama and kimono).
    Cady Goldfield

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    Thanks for the links... very educating...

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    Talking overall!

    Despite the innaccuracies, the overeager foley artists, and other assorted minutia, I enjoyed the movie. My wife, on the other hand, tought it was way too gory. I'll get it when it comes out on DVD because I am interested in the extras.

    On the other hand, I don't think it will do much for local dojo. Few people get interested in swordwork. I am just learning myself, so I would not be a qualified teacher. The movie is way to violent for kids and a lot of schools have kids as there bread and butter. It should not be used as an adjunct to marketing your school.

    But that's just my 2 cents worth.

    Overall...a good movie.
    With respect,

    Mitch Saret

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    Most newbies drop it after their first crack on the fingers when they don't parry correctly in kumitachi- the wannabes will probably expire after their first suburi session..........
    Lurking in dark alleys may be hazardous to other peoples health........

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Money-handling Samurai?

    Originally posted by Cady Goldfield
    If we're picking apart the <i>faux pas</i>, don't forget that Samurai were forbidden to handle or deal with money. So, the scene never would have happened where the Samurai were betting on how many moves it would take to defeat Algren.

    On the other hand, it was a great scene, and the gambling gave some much-needed humor to the movie. So, Miss Samurai Manners forgives Zwick for letting Samurai gamble with money -- coins no less -- and have coins in their armor (another thing that kinda bugged me... like they had pockets in there? lol).
    If you want a nice myth busting read on members of the warrior class not knowing anything about money and not gambling you should read "Musui's Story - The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai". The guy goes on endlessly about needing x amount of money for this and that, not having enough money to go out gambling, etc. From my understanding gambling was somewhat of a serious problem among the warrior class, especially as the Edo period went on (hence all the writtings saying a proper warrior shouldn't gamble, etc). echnically they weren't supposed to do it, but they did (and often). Technically samurai weren't "supposed" to go to the pleasure districts either, yet there are endless period documents about them going there and blowing all their money on women and gambling.

    Somewhere in my notes somewhere I even have referneces of some daimyo (i believe in the Tohoku area) who were openly critical of the idea that warriors weren't supposed to know anything about money as they felt, rightly so, that they would be unable to properly manage their domains without a good knowledge of money, math, etc.

    Also in the movie, the money wasn't actually in their armor, it was in their kimono sleeves which basically serves as the pocket in traditional dress

    For what its worth,
    Rennis Buchner

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    Yeah, I'm sure that most samurai were just fightin' schmoes. The ideals gave them a model to shoot for, but I doubt many lived up to them. Most were lucky to just be able to fight well.

    It occurred to me that a main source of info on samurai -- Inazo Nitobe -- was drawing from a lot of written (but unconfirmed) sources when he wrote his book on bushido. I remember that that's where I saw one reference to samurai not being allowed to deal with money or the banalities of commerce. But, he was trying to cast the samurai in an ideal light for Westerners to be suitably awed by.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Part of the difficulty is knowing what time period is being referred to when trying to figure out 'what the samurai did [or didn't do...]'. I'm sure there were lots of variations and differences between the early days and the end of the Tokugawa regime. It would be like discussing the activities of British knights without knowing whether you meant the Post-Norman era or the reign of Victoria...
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

  14. #29
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    Interesting point. Such institutions, when established, are usually based upon the ideals of their founders. But of course, a lot gets lost in succeeding generations.

    Look what's happened to the vaunted Knights of the Round Table in the time of Arthur. They used to have Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad. Now they have Mick Jagger and Elton John.

    Times and values do change.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Smile RE: faux pas

    almost every traditional japanese sword art refers to the bokken/ bokuto as a katana during training in order to keep some aspect of realism and to not forget what the art was developed for. i and all of my instructors were taught to always consider a bokken as a katana, even if its during training.
    just like in the military today, unit commanders say "there will be training on such-and-such today". and then during the training, everything is undergone as if it was a real combat situation.


    as far as the kicking during the kenjutsu training, that is also a part of the samurai arts. that could have been part of several different styles practiced during the edo/ meiji periods of japan, i.e.. samurai jiu-jutsu, taijutsu, and quite possibly korean tae kyun.
    the way martial arts were practiced then were to kill your opponent or leave him too wounded to attack, by any means necessary, NOT to pull punches like in sport martial arts of today. and they trained and practiced as if their life depended on it at that moment.just because they were practicing with a sword doesnt mean that's the only way they're going to overcome an opponent.
    Noel J. Benadom
    5th Dan, Budo Taijutsu
    Founder, Hyohakusha Do Bujutsu
    www.hyohakusha-do.com
    hyohakushado@yahoo.com

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