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Thread: An interesting paper on martial arts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA
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    Exclamation An interesting paper on martial arts

    The above article was posted on the Nihonto Message Board, & is a very interesting read. The author, a professor at Marquette University, claims that no texts on martial arts were written until Yagyu Munenori, & also that swordsmanship wasn't all that important to the Samurai. Not sure that I fully agree on many of his comments, but I'd like to hear what others think.

    Clicking on the link will automatically download a 14-page PDF.


  2. #2
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    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken-Hawaii View Post
    ...swordsmanship wasn't all that important to the Samurai. Not sure that I fully agree on many of his comments, but I'd like to hear what others think.
    It depends on the time period at which one is looking.

    At one time, what came to be called Bushido was called Kyuba-no-Michi, the Way of the Bow and the Horse. During the Warring States period the bow, the spear, and the halberd were major players, with swords relegated to a role similar to that of a pistol to modern soldiers.

    But in the Edo period the sword took on a much more important role, both practically and symbolically. And of course an ancient sword is part of the sacred regalia of the empire, along with a mirror and a jewel, so swords are intimately tied up in the very fabric of Japanese culture.

    It's not an easy issue to tie up in a neat bundle.
    Yours in Budo,

  3. #3
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    Jun 2000
    Pacific Northwest
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    Just starting the paper now. But just to give a little context - Michael Wert is an exemplary scholar (I'm in his debt regarding information he provided concerning Edo sword schools for Old School), as well as a practitioner of koryu (IIRC, Maniwa Nen-ryu). He is fully fluent in Japanese and thus can read primary texts in their original Japanese as well as the mountains of research on this subject that never makes it to English.

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  5. #4
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    May 2005
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    It continues to fascinate me that we go through the same processes and have the same debates in every place and every era - this is good stuff. Anyone aware of more work in this vein being published viz-a-viz the grappling arts?



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