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Nat Geo show on Katana making

 
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Nat Geo show on Katana making Reply with quote
It is now 12:20 AM in Japan and I should be asleep, but I am watching a special on how Japanese katana swords are forged--from the creation of the steel to be sold to the sword smiths to the actual sword-making process. Stephen Turnbull is popping up a lot, as well as Prof Inoue from Fukuyama University. There is also a lot of scientific analysis of the fabrication/forging process. Cool stuff.

Has anyone ever seen this show? It was definitely produced in Britain. I just wish the narrator would pronounce samurai properly instead of sammyrai. The show's name, in Japanese, is 武士道と日本刀.

Now, Honami-sensei, is taking on the third stage process of the sword making process-- polishing and sharpening.

Turnbull comes off pretty good, but a bit stuffy. This is the first time I've seen or heard him speak. He is now talking about how understanding that seppuku is fundamental to understanding the samurai ethos... oh, he as also quoted the Hagakure. Wait a minute, the Royal Arms Museum in Leeds is comparing a samurai sword vs the European broadsword on bundles of straw. So far, it is an even match. Similar cutting performance, but different fighting techniques....now the narrator says how guns, used by non-elite troops, forced samurai off the battlefield(?)...

But the spirit of Bushido lives on today...80 year old Otake sensei makes his students take a blood oath not to reveal the secrets of what ever style it is he teaches. Otake-san says attack here and here...at the arteries and the heart...when blocking an opponent, always use the backside of the sword as this is he hardest part of the sword.

Ok, now Grand Master Tanaka-sensei says that the spirit of the samurai still lives in the hearts of Japanese. His daughter, Midori, comes 3 times a week to train and learn from daddy. She wants to succeed her father as head of the dojo. She practices with a real sword, leaving no margin for error. Jeez. Really? Midori is now aiming an arrow at her father's heart. He will try to block the arrow with his katana. The suspense...oh! Commercial break!

-Enough play by play. I'll keep you in suspense, about if Grand Master Tanaka successfully blocks the arrow attack from his daughter Midori.
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Baian
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tanaka is one thing (although sometimes what he does makes me shake my head), but his daughter shouldn't even hold a sword.
In another video I saw, she was walking around with the saya dragging on the floor. Plus she couldn't even cut through her target...and she wants to succeed her father? Come on....
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Baian wrote:
Tanaka is one thing (although sometimes what he does makes me shake my head), but his daughter shouldn't even hold a sword.
In another video I saw, she was walking around with the saya dragging on the floor. Plus she couldn't even cut through her target...and she wants to succeed her father? Come on....


Doesn't it blow your mind when you see such a blatant disregard for the value of something so great? And we sometimes wonder why certain art forms are dead now. Confused
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:

Doesn't it blow your mind when you see such a blatant disregard for the value of something so great? And we sometimes wonder why certain art forms are dead now. Confused


Niitsu-san, interesting comment; nice words! Have you seen this show? If so, tell me what you thought of Honami-san and his sword polishing art. I was very intrigued to see an actual Honami on the show keeping such a great tradition alive. To me, this is a real, beautiful art. To me, whether or not Midori is worthy or not to succeed her father as head of the dojo isn't really so interesting from an artistic point of view. I am of the mind if she really is that bad with handling a katana, there must surely be another student of her father's who is of better quality and more suitable to take over the dojo. This is of course assuming that Tanaka is a decent sensei and has a cultivated at least some real talent among the students who train on a regular basis. So, forget about Midori. Sword polishing, to me, is a rarer art!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
niitsu kakunoshin wrote:

Doesn't it blow your mind when you see such a blatant disregard for the value of something so great? And we sometimes wonder why certain art forms are dead now. Confused


Niitsu-san, interesting comment; nice words! Have you seen this show? If so, tell me what you thought of Honami-san and his sword polishing art. I was very intrigued to see an actual Honami on the show keeping such a great tradition alive. To me, this is a real, beautiful art. To me, whether or not Midori is worthy or not to succeed her father as head of the dojo isn't really so interesting from an artistic point of view. I am of the mind if she really is that bad with handling a katana, there must surely be another student of her father's who is of better quality and more suitable to take over the dojo. This is of course assuming that Tanaka is a decent sensei and has a cultivated at least some real talent among the students who train on a regular basis. So, forget about Midori. Sword polishing, to me, is a rarer art!



Sorry, I haven't seen the show. Is it only on Japanese tv or is it on an American channel... for that matter, do they even have American channels over there? Anyway, I was merely saying that it's awful when you see something you appreciate not being respected with the same esteem as you have for it. I have seen many examples of people not caring for or respecting an art as much as they should. If the sword polisher is in such dire need for a successor I offer myself to take his daughter's place. Wink Just send me a plane ticket. I've always dreamt of becoming an apprentice in Japan to a master sword-maker or traditional woodworker or ukiyo-e artist. That would be SO amazing.
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The show was on the National Geographic channel, which is available in the US. The show was in English and British produced and the narrator had a nice "old boy" accent.

Midori is the daughter of Tanaka, the master of the dojo who is looking for someone to take over from him. Honami is the name of a VERY famous family known for their sword polishing skills. Honami Koetsu was also a well known maker of ceramic bowls for tea ceremony in the late 1500s, early 1600s. The man was a master craftsman and was also into painting, calligraphy and Noh theater.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Their are segments from this show such as the arrow cutting part on Youtube. This is actually a series where this annoying British guys goes around Japan observing various Japanese martial artists.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
The show was on the National Geographic channel, which is available in the US. The show was in English and British produced and the narrator had a nice "old boy" accent.

Midori is the daughter of Tanaka, the master of the dojo who is looking for someone to take over from him. Honami is the name of a VERY famous family known for their sword polishing skills. Honami Koetsu was also a well known maker of ceramic bowls for tea ceremony in the late 1500s, early 1600s. The man was a master craftsman and was also into painting, calligraphy and Noh theater.


I see... I watch the National Geographic channel all the time. I saw that one Martial Arts show on there I commented on a while back. I didn't know that's what Nat Geo meant. Embarassed
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Midori is the daughter of Tanaka, the master of the dojo who is looking for someone to take over from him.


Well, in proper Japanese tradition, he should have Midori marry his best student....


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Obenjo, I just wanted to mention that the Hon'ami family were renowned for their appraisals of swords etc. and a certificate by them is precious as well some swords had their appraisal inscribed in gold with kao and are a little more precious because of it. John
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
Quote:
Midori is the daughter of Tanaka, the master of the dojo who is looking for someone to take over from him.


Well, in proper Japanese tradition, he should have Midori marry his best student....


Tony


I could totally do that! Temporarily...until I get the dojo... I mean, it's not cheating if your in a different country right?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Nat Geo show on Katana making Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
as well as Prof Inoue from Fukuyama University.


Go here http://xoomer.alice.it/tsubame/ZZZZZZ_DOWNLOADS.htm and download Prof. Inoue great work about
NihonTo smithing. It was removed from the net
years ago but it definitively deserves a look.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tanaka sensei and his daughter can be viewed in the clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=yJmQXqXpuEA

This is from a british documentary called Mind, Body, & Kickass. The commentator is really annoying because he over dramatizes everything. He used to study Chinese martial arts and is really into ki/chi stuff.

Anyway, this looks like the show Baian was referring to and not the one obenjo was watching.

jieremi
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Nat Geo show on Katana making Reply with quote
Tsubame1 wrote:
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
as well as Prof Inoue from Fukuyama University.


Go here http://xoomer.alice.it/tsubame/ZZZZZZ_DOWNLOADS.htm and download Prof. Inoue great work about
NihonTo smithing. It was removed from the net
years ago but it definitively deserves a look.


Tsubame-dono,

Thank you for sharing this. I've just downloaded it and will give it a read!

Again, many thanks!

Obenjo
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Hi Obenjo, I just wanted to mention that the Hon'ami family were renowned for their appraisals of swords etc. and a certificate by them is precious as well some swords had their appraisal inscribed in gold with kao and are a little more precious because of it. John


Yep, you are absolutely right! I forgot to add the sword appraisal ability to the long list of the Honami family's talents. Thanks for bringing this up.
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Baian
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
jdmcowan wrote:
Tanaka sensei and his daughter can be viewed in the clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=yJmQXqXpuEA

This is from a british documentary called Mind, Body, & Kickass. The commentator is really annoying because he over dramatizes everything. He used to study Chinese martial arts and is really into ki/chi stuff.

Anyway, this looks like the show Baian was referring to and not the one obenjo was watching.

jieremi


That was the show...The host is way too annoying.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have split this to the MA forum, seeing as how I started this and all. I thing there is more to be discussed, but please post on the new thread.

Thanks.
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