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  1. I haven't read but one of the three, but that was...

    I haven't read but one of the three, but that was more than enough. :cry: Here's the review I wrote five years ago for The Journal of Asian Martial Arts:


    Enthusiasts and aficionados interested...
  2. Let's be careful here, the ritsuryo system never...

    Let's be careful here, the ritsuryo system never actually collapsed; it remained the foundation of gov't in Japan until the Meiji period. Of course, the mechanics of gov't evolved a long way away...
  3. The short answer here is no. The shogunate never...

    The short answer here is no. The shogunate never got involved in licensing martial art schools. That's one reason there were so many of them--no gov't controls to keep people from establishing new...
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    I'm anything but knowledgeable about traditional...

    I'm anything but knowledgeable about traditional Sino-Japanese medicine, but my understanding is that while in modern usage, mizouchi refers to the what westerners colloquially call the solar...
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    There's probably no definitive answer to this,...

    There's probably no definitive answer to this, but most likely it's something of a pun. The solar plexus in everyday Japanese is the "mizuochi" (鳩尾 also pronounced "mizoochi"), which is a homonym...
  6. The problem with Draeger's point here is the...

    The problem with Draeger's point here is the underlying premises are mostly wrong--or wrong-headed. To begin with, the distinction between "budo" and "bujutsu" he makes is modern (mostly post-WWII)...
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    At the risk of being brusque, this whole thread...

    At the risk of being brusque, this whole thread centers on what seems like a rather silly question--or rather, a question that derives from some rather strange premise(s). It might be more...
  8. That's a knife--a kaiken.

    That's a knife--a kaiken.
  9. There's no hard and fast rule for this in...

    There's no hard and fast rule for this in Kashima-Shinryu. In training, the senior student normally takes the uchitachi role, but in public demonstrations, seniors do sometimes act as shitachi . ...
  10. The two gentlemen in the white hakama in the...

    The two gentlemen in the white hakama in the clips are Seki Humitake (the current headmaster of the ryuha) and Akinaga Hiroyuki (the current Executive Secretary for the Kashima-Shinryu Budo Renmei). ...
  11. The kata descriptions and discussions in Legacies...

    The kata descriptions and discussions in Legacies were, of course, presented entirely within the context of Kashima-Shinryu practice and tradition. I wouldn't want to be in the position of arguing...
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    As I understand it, "junshi" and "oibara" are...

    As I understand it, "junshi" and "oibara" are equivalent terms, but "oibara" (literally, "following belly") is more graphic and informal. The relationship between the two seems to be very similar to...
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    That's interesting--but are you sure that you're...

    That's interesting--but are you sure that you're hearing what you think you're hearing? I've never heard the word (noun) "hara-kiri" used in Japanese--modern or movie. BUT, the verb phrase "hara o...
  14. Alas, neither the term sohei nor the association...

    Alas, neither the term sohei nor the association of temple warriors with the naginata have much real history--another cherished myth gone.:cry:

    For details, check out Mickey Adolphson's Teeth &...
  15. Twelve foot spears are actually on the short end...

    Twelve foot spears are actually on the short end of the scale, for battlefield pikes. Sengoku armies sometimes deployed spears as long as 20 feet!

    I'd have to go back to reread some of the new...
  16. Not exactly. The sengoku Japanese analog to...

    Not exactly. The sengoku Japanese analog to modern European bayonets was the spear, not the sword. This was, BTW, true in Europe as well during the early modern era. Bayonets were simply a high...
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    The easiest answer to this question is probably...

    The easiest answer to this question is probably to turn it around: How else could any martial (or any other art, for that matter) originate? At some point, someone made it up. Unless you want to...
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    Niten Ichi Ryu, the only ryuha I know of that...

    Niten Ichi Ryu, the only ryuha I know of that focuses heavily on two-sword techniques, also has a large number of one-handed long sword kata.

    In point of fact, if you read Miyamoto Musashi's...
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    Try...

    Try http://amazon.co.jp/gp/search/ref=nb_ss_gw/503-8080058-2668743?__mk_ja_JP=%83J%83%5E%83J%83i&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%97t%89B&Go.x=6&Go.y=9&Go=Go

    There are several...
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    If you're talking about the Nara and Heian era...

    If you're talking about the Nara and Heian era hoko, the bottom line, of course, is that there's no way to know. We have what we have, and nothing else. There's no particular reason--no...
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    I've seen a few pictures, but I don't have any I...

    I've seen a few pictures, but I don't have any I could post, at least not at the moment. I'm on the road for the weekend, but I can check a few books when I get back, and perhaps at least post a...
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    We can tell from surviving examples. There are...

    We can tell from surviving examples. There are quite a few preserved from the Nara period--including several in the Shosoin collection.
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    They ran around the circumfrence--maybe "rings"...

    They ran around the circumfrence--maybe "rings" would be a better way to describe them. :)
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    Hoko usually had ribbed hafts, which facilitated...

    Hoko usually had ribbed hafts, which facilitated a solid grip and "poking" sorts of thrusts, but made yari-style (pool cue-style) thrusts difficult. In the realm of pure speculation, I wonder if the...
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    Japanese yari are by definition thrust by sliding...

    Japanese yari are by definition thrust by sliding the weapon through the front hand (except in the case of special techniques). This is one of the defining elements that distinguishes a yari from a...
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