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Posts Tagged ‘Katana’

Book Review: Samurai Assassins: “Dark Murder” And The Meiji Restoration 1853-1868 By Romulus Hillsborough

June 25, 2017 2 comments

This first-ever account in English of the assassins who drove the revolution details one of the most volatile periods in Japanese history!

Samurai Assassins coverHillsborough refers to this, his latest book, as ‘a study of the ideology and psychology behind the “samurai revolution”’ and that it certainly is. Thankfully for once, it is not a book that focuses on or sensationalises the assassinations of ‘foreign barbarians’ in a period in Japan when political assassinations flourished, not least of which were those of the foreigners residing in Japan. This a fact attested to by the British Legation’s interpreter Thomas McClatchie, himself a student of Kenjutsu under Sakikabara Kenkichi, in his 1879 letter to Morita Kan’ya’s invitation to visit the Kabuki theatre – ‘In Japan people like the so called rōnin with their katana swords have long been in Read more…

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The Art of the Japanese Sword Competition Now Closed And the Winner Is…

September 16, 2014 2 comments

A winner has been chosen!

The Art Of The Japanese Sword - The Craft Of Swordmaking And Its AppreciationThanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of the book The Art of the Japanese Sword.

Sadly there can only be one winner.

And the winner is… Read more…

Book Review: The Art Of The Japanese Sword: The Craft Of Swordmaking And Its Appreciation

August 28, 2014 1 comment

Like people and snowflakes, no two Japanese swords are the same!

The Art Of The Japanese Sword - The Craft Of Swordmaking And Its AppreciationWritten by Yoshindo Yoshihara (a third generation swordsmith) with Leon and Hiroko Kapp, The Art of the Japanese Sword is a beautiful large format book (effectively printed on glossy black paper with white text) that focuses on the production and understanding of the symbolic steel weapon once used by samurai and now admired by art collectors all round the world as an object of perfection, although many people use them to practice traditional Japanese martial arts like Iaido (the art of drawing the sword). Read more…

Lady Snowblood 1 & 2 Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook Competition Now Closed And The Winners Are…

October 2, 2012 3 comments

Competition winners announced!

Competition is now closed and two winners have been chosen.

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of Lady Snowblood 1 & 2 Blu-ray Steelbook. Sadly, there can only be two winners.

And the winners are… Read more…

A True-Life Kabuki Crime Story: An Actor And His Geisha Mistress Murder Her Patron

July 9, 2012 3 comments

An historical tale of love and murder that resulted in the death penalty!

Between 1868 – 1869 Kobayashi Kinpei, the boss of a successful money lending business, had prospered as a result of the economic downturn caused by the Boshin Wars between the Imperial and Shōgunate forces which led to the Meiji Restoration and the modernisation of Japan. In 1869 he met and bought the contract of a Geisha, Yoarashi Okinu and set her up in Saruwaka-cho in a shōtaku (a house in which a mistress is kept) and with a haneri (kimono under collar) shop in the Read more…

DVD Review: Hara-kiri: Death Of A Samurai – A Film By Takashi Miike

May 19, 2012 11 comments

An epically beautiful film!

Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) follows up his martial-arts-heavy 13 Assassins with a more thoughtful, contemplative film that considers the role of ritual suicide in the ranks of the Samurai in 17th Century Japan. Hara-Kiri: Death of A Samurai, a remake of the Yasuhiko Takiguchi 1963 classic,  is told in most part by two long flashbacks, the movie tells the tale of a young unemployed samurai, Motome Chijiiwa (Eita), who is forced to commit ritual suicide by cutting open his stomach (seppuku) as punishment for Read more…

DVD Review: Samurai Warrior – A Film By Kenichiro Nishiumi

February 24, 2012 10 comments

A coming-of-age story about a boys journey into manhood!

Learning his trade from Takashi Mike as assistant director, Kenichiro Nishiumi directs this 65 minute martial arts action saga about brotherhood, masculinity and self-discovery during Japan’s Warring States Period.

Three young men, Ryu, Yonesuke and Gon, known collectively as ‘The Devils’, set out to have feudal battles with other like-minded gangs from surrounding villages to see who is the toughest. This they do to create a fearsome reputation for pride and honour, and to win the Read more…

Video Interview: Antony Cummins – Author & Ninja Historian

February 10, 2012 2 comments

Antony Cummins disples the many myths surrounding the ninja!

For centuries the legend of the ninja has been steeped in mystery, infused by lies fabricated in Japan throughout the 50’s and 60’s, not to mention the countless films produced in the West and Middle East during the 70’s and 80’s making stars of actors like Sho Kosugi (Pray For Death and Revenge of the Ninja).

The image of the ninja dressed in black from head to toe scurrying up walls with a katana on his back has now Read more…