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brianlkennedy
28th February 2011, 14:56
When I was researching Chinese martial arts training manuals in Taiwan I came to see that there had been a kind of Golden Age of Chinese martial arts manuals that occurred with the founding of the Republic of China (in particular the 1920s to the mid 1930s) I was wondering if similar things had occurred in Japan during that same time. In particular I am interested in the history of Iaido and Kenjitsu manuals. Does anyone know of any sources for Japanese manuals for Iaido/Kenjitsu that were published in the 1920s to 1940s. By some chance has some modern Japanese publisher reprinted older Japanese sword manuals.

What prompts the interest is that I have started studying Iaido and have an interest in martial arts training manuals.

Thanks much,
Brian L. Kennedy

Kendoguy9
28th February 2011, 19:19
Is 1909 to early for you? Kenjutsu Kyohan is a military book on sword bayonet and mounted sword. The translated it on Kenshi247.net (awesome site btw)

http://kenshi247.net/blog/2010/04/12/kenjutsu-kyohan-part-1-guntojutsu/
http://kenshi247.net/blog/2010/04/19/kenjutsu-kyohan-part-2-jukenjutsu/
http://kenshi247.net/blog/2010/04/23/kenjutsu-kyohan-part-3-joba-guntojutsu/

I think they have Kendo Kyohan by Takano sensei on there too in several parts.

Enjoy!

Dormas
28th February 2011, 21:07
One interesting fact that I can brought to your attention.

The Japanese never really have written their knowledge (for worse or better). So that's why today we don't have Japanese Fechtbuchs (German for "combat manual"). The Japanese always teach their arts from mouth to mouth (again for worse or better).

In Europe however with the beginning of the Firearms era there have not been left any living swordmasters. Fortunately they have written their knowledge in those Fechtbuchs. The most famous of them is probably the I.33 (1300 AD). The good thing about them is that they don't hide their knowledge like the Japanese do. Everything is written.

I'm sure you'll find them very interesting, because after all, the European swordmasters like Lichtenauer, Talhoffer, Fiore de Liberi and so on are just as good as the Japanese. Also I managed to interpret quite of techniques in the Japanese swordsmanship with the help of the Fechtbuchs.

Regards.

brianlkennedy
1st March 2011, 20:26
I appreciate both of you taking the time to reply. Thanks much. Dormas, yes, I realize that training manuals both for Japan and China often leave out more than they include. That is part of the problem with conducting historical research in the area.

Kendoguy---thanks so much for those links. Those are a very interesting set of translations. I look forward to reading them in some depth. It is interesting that in the 1920s, in China, a couple of Chinese martial arts teachers who had lived and studied in Japan for awhile developed what they called in Chinese "Pici" (literally "split-stab") which they practiced in kendo armor. What Pici was---was Japanese training drills---with a Chinese name slapped on them. The relationship between Chinese martial arts teachers and Japanese during the 1920s can best be described as "love-hate". On the one hand Chinese teachers admired how Japanese martial arts had developed, on the other hand there was a point of Chinese pride that made them claim that "in fact all good things connected with the martial arts come from China"!

Let me have a look at them in more detail and then maybe we can talk more about it.

take care,
Brian

Lance Gatling
3rd March 2011, 00:56
I have some sort of deja vu.... haven't I been here before? Same forum?

There have been cycles of written instruction manuals in Japan. There are detailed, mass produced manuals from the early Meiji period (1868-1911), a spurt in Taishi (1911-1925), and early Showa (1925 to the end of WWII). I've never done an analysis but ...

The Meiji spurt seems to have been driven by loss of the typical patrons of Japanese martial arts, namely the daimyo. The instructors were forced to go elsewhere for employment. After the Sino-Japanese war there was renewed interest in things martial.

Same thing after the Russo-Japanese War and WWI.

In Taisho the expanding influence of the Kodokan was resisted by some interesting schools, one of which developed a mail order, teach yourself deadly jujutsu, and mailed them all over the country. The actual school was apparently very good, but you have to wonder about the results of the mail order students' efforts.

The ultranationalists take over, and again in the 1930s there is a spurt, a mix of traditionalists trying to survive, and the ultranationalists laying claim to Japan's martial traditions.

These are just the larger trends. There are hundreds of examples of limited, private publications that document a wide range of arts. Most are really hard to find but I buy everything that isn't insanely priced.

In modern times, it is wide open, seems like everyone publishes everything.

brianlkennedy
3rd March 2011, 12:19
I ran a search on E-Budo for "training manuals" and all I got was a short thread about my own book on training manuals. In any event, thanks much for taking to time to write.

It is interesting you mention the mail order courses. The same thing first appeared in China in the late 1920s. A couple of publishers had fairly long lists of "study Chinese martial arts at home" programs. The programs consisted of booklets sent out to the subscriber-student every two weeks.

thanks much,
Brian L. Kennedy

Kendoguy9
6th March 2011, 21:41
In case you missed it, also on kenshi247.net: http://kenshi247.net/blog/2009/03/10/pre-war-kendo-1-men-waza/
This is a translation of Kendo Kyohan but Takano sensei, one of the most important and influential teachers of kendo in the 20th cen. There are several more parts. It is an excellent read. It was published in 1930 but a lot of it was reprinted from a previous work of his from 1915.

Enjoy,

ichibyoshi
7th March 2011, 01:23
When I was researching Chinese martial arts training manuals in Taiwan I came to see that there had been a kind of Golden Age of Chinese martial arts manuals that occurred with the founding of the Republic of China (in particular the 1920s to the mid 1930s) I was wondering if similar things had occurred in Japan during that same time. In particular I am interested in the history of Iaido and Kenjitsu manuals. Does anyone know of any sources for Japanese manuals for Iaido/Kenjitsu that were published in the 1920s to 1940s. By some chance has some modern Japanese publisher reprinted older Japanese sword manuals.

What prompts the interest is that I have started studying Iaido and have an interest in martial arts training manuals.

Thanks much,
Brian L. Kennedy

There may be some modern reprints, but the question is, can you read Japanese? Because the chances they have been translated into English are very slim (i.e. zero). Other than kenshi247 (George) and a few other well-known expats in Japan (Josh, Leiv, Rennis, Jeffrey, et al), there is little translation happening because there is no money in it. These guys do it for love and to put some good info out there to counter-balance all the shite that is written purporting to be JSA.

However I do believe that it is quite easy to find various old manuals and even densho (scrolls) in Japan. You just have to be in Japan and have a pretty good grasp of the (written) language.

Short of that, check out the above-mentioned's blogs. b

Lance Gatling
7th March 2011, 05:13
There may be some modern reprints, but the question is, can you read Japanese? Because the chances they have been translated into English are very slim (i.e. zero). Other than kenshi247 (George) and a few other well-known expats in Japan (Josh, Leiv, Rennis, Jeffrey, et al), there is little translation happening because there is no money in it. These guys do it for love and to put some good info out there to counter-balance all the shite that is written purporting to be JSA.

However I do believe that it is quite easy to find various old manuals and even densho (scrolls) in Japan. You just have to be in Japan and have a pretty good grasp of the (written) language.

Short of that, check out the above-mentioned's blogs. b

Like most everything, there is a lot of not so good stuff, but the good books seem rare.


In case you missed it, also on kenshi247.net: http://kenshi247.net/blog/2009/03/10/pre-war-kendo-1-men-waza/
This is a translation of Kendo Kyohan but Takano sensei, one of the most important and influential teachers of kendo in the 20th cen. There are several more parts. It is an excellent read. It was published in 1930 but a lot of it was reprinted from a previous work of his from 1915.

Enjoy,
I know the books, have originals.

I'm not sure it is known but those two books by Takano sensei were apparently meant to be a matched pair with Kano Jigoro shihan, the founder of judo, and his book 'Judo'. Side by side, it seems very clear - same size, print, publisher, etc.

Unfortunately, Kano only wrote vol 1 of the 2, and never finished, AFAIK, the second.

Lance Gatling

George Kohler
7th March 2011, 17:14
In Taisho the expanding influence of the Kodokan was resisted by some interesting schools, one of which developed a mail order, teach yourself deadly jujutsu, and mailed them all over the country. The actual school was apparently very good, but you have to wonder about the results of the mail order students' efforts.


You're referring to the Noguchi brothers, correct?

brianlkennedy
9th March 2011, 16:49
Kendoguy9,
Thanks much for that additional manual. Those do make for interesting comparisons with what the Chinese were doing about that same time.

take care,
Brian

brianlkennedy
9th March 2011, 21:09
To make a comparison here is two pages taken from a Chinese manual that is devoted to Pici (literally Split-Stab). Pici was the term Chinese gave to sword/bayonet practice that included the use of kendo armor and light to medium contact. The whole idea of Pici was imported into China by Chinese university students who had studied in Japan. This manual is undated but my guess is somewhere in the 1920s to 1930s.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q48/brianlkennedy/piciknifeone.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q48/brianlkennedy/piciknifetwo.jpg
Take care and again thanks to everyone for their help.
Brian Kennedy

Lance Gatling
10th March 2011, 09:06
You're referring to the Noguchi brothers, correct?
Ping-pong.... ;) I've written on them here and there. Very interesting stuff, brought down by Ad Santel.


To make a comparison here is two pages taken from a Chinese manual that is devoted to Pici (literally Split-Stab). Pici was the term Chinese gave to sword/bayonet practice that included the use of kendo armor and light to medium contact. The whole idea of Pici was imported into China by Chinese university students who had studied in Japan. This manual is undated but my guess is somewhere in the 1920s to 1930s.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q48/brianlkennedy/piciknifeone.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q48/brianlkennedy/piciknifetwo.jpg
Take care and again thanks to everyone for their help.
Brian Kennedy
I would love to see an entire copy of that. Are those manuals available?

It looks remarkably like an Imperial Army Toyama School jukendo / tankendo manual, down to the high-collared, Prussian-inspired white exercise uniforms, and the striped belts designating rank. I did a good amount of research on this topic for the article I wrote on jukendo for the Martial Arts Encyclopedia, and have all the Japanese references.

What are the kanji for 'pici'?

I wonder about 'Chinese uni students'. Perhaps they took it to the mainland but this would have been pretty standard fair on any number of Japanese Imperial Army bases throughout the Empire, including Taiwan and Korea.

brianlkennedy
10th March 2011, 14:41
The Chinese for Pici is 劈刺.
The copy of the manual I have came from Lion Books of Taiwan.

take care,
Brian Kennedy

Jack Chen
10th March 2011, 14:47
The Chinese for Pici is 劈刺.
The copy of the manual I have came from Lion Books of Taiwan.

take care,
Brian Kennedy

Hi Brian, what's the name of the book? =)
Thanks!

Kendoguy9
10th March 2011, 14:59
That is a very interesting manual. The last two photos look nearly identical to diagrams 9 and 5 in the guntojutsu section of Kenjutsu Kyohan. I'd imagine other images were very similar as well. I'd love to see more of the Chinese manual.

George Kohler
10th March 2011, 17:42
Ping-pong.... ;) I've written on them here and there. Very interesting stuff, brought down by Ad Santel.


I've seen pictures here and there, mostly on a Japanese website (can't remember the name). Anyway, I would love to see more pictures from their books.

brianlkennedy
11th March 2011, 03:25
I looked around a bit and the reprint for that manual is available from Lion Books of Taiwan. Their web page that has the book is at (it is near the bottom of that page):
http://www.lionbooks.com.tw/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=24

The book is titled:
短刀術及應用劈刺術之研究

No author is listed and there is no publication information (at least in the copy I have).

Take care,
Brian
p.s. respect and thanks to Jack for all the work he has done with Chinese historical manuals!

Lance Gatling
11th March 2011, 11:34
Thanks for the tip - will visit next trip to Taipei.

Lg

Chris Hellman
13th March 2011, 14:21
The Taisho period did see a number of interesting compilations of older works on martial arts, such as Bujutsu Sosho (1915), which included some works that have subsequently become well-known eg Gorin no Sho and Tengu Geijutsu Ron, as well as others which are comparatively unknown.

From time to time, (I spend too much time in libraries, perhaps) I have come upon a few "training for boys" type manuals from the pre-war period. next time I have the chance I will see what I can find.

The feeling I get is that the main thrust was somewhat different from China, where the aim, broadly speaking, seems to have been to popularize or preserve the arts: in Japan it was often a case of presenting somewhat simplified versions to prepare young men for military training. The build-up of militarism casts quite a long shadow over the martial arts of that period - although they may have been valued for the skills they developed, (and I'm sure the young men who practiced them pursued them for those reasons) I believe they were also seen as a very effective means of instilling the kind of military-style discipline needed for soldiers, which was rather different from the way traditional schools taught.


As we are on the subject of manuals, I have to recommend "The Samurai Mind" (published by Tuttle) which consists of translations of works on swordsmanship from the mid-Edo period - somewhat earlier than the period Brian is interested in, but I think you (and everyone else, too) might find it interesting nonetheless. (In the spirit of full-disclosure, I must confess that I wrote it :)).

Chris
http://ichijoji.blogspot.com