miércoles, septiembre 28, 2022
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A Classic Quick Movie concerning the Samurai Sword, Narrated by George Takei (1969)

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Lengthy earlier than it was a nationalist rallying cry in Japan throughout WWII, the time period Yamato-damashii referred to one thing much less like racial imperialism and extra like chivalry — the “Japanese Spirit” or “Previous Soul of Japan,” as Greek-Japanese author Lafcadio Hearn wrote. Maybe surprisingly, the “Japanese Spirit” was not based mostly within the martial arts of the samurai at first, however within the scholarship of China, as the traditional novel The Story of Genji explains when defining Yamato-damashii as “a superb, stable fund of information… a fund of Chinese language studying.” This could change when the code of Bushidō advanced, and the samurai, along with his elaborate armor and stylish swords, turned a central determine of honor in Japanese society.

In The Japanese Sword because the Soul of the Samurai, the practically half-hour documentary above by touring American documentary filmmaker Ken Wolfgang, George Takei narrates the story of the samurai’s sword. The movie begins with the legendary character Yamato Takeru (who one scholar speculates could share a typical origin with King Arthur). This ur-samurai inherited the primary sword from the tail of a eight-headed dragon that was slain by a god.

The sword, nicknamed “grass-mower,” Takei tells us, is enshrined close to Nagoya, “the second of the three sacred symbols of Shinto, the nationwide faith of Japan.” Once we flip from delusion to historical past, Takei says, we discover that the “earliest recognized swords are discovered within the… tombs of the traditional Yamato individuals, who’re believed to have inhabited Japan between the 2nd and eighth centuries AD,” and who’re the origin of Yamato-damashii.

“As Japan developed, so did the sword,” turning into ever extra refined within the nation’s Center Ages, the place the weapon reached its “peak of perfection…. Its high quality has by no means been surpassed to this present day.” The sword turned a soul — and we, as viewers, are handled to an insider’s view of the strategies of its forging. The smithing of swords is not any mere craft; it’s a “non secular ritual” that begins with prayers and choices — fervent imprecations to the gods that the brand new sword could strategy the perfection of a “grass-mower.” The forge is lit from the alter’s fireplace, and it could take months, and even years, to make only one sword. Don’t miss the uncommon alternative to see the method in simply over twenty minutes on this quick documentary movie.

through Aeon

Associated Content material:

An Origami Samurai Produced from a Single Sheet of Rice Paper, With out Any Slicing

How you can Be a Samurai: A seventeenth Century Code for Life & Conflict

The seventeenth Century Japanese Samurai Who Sailed to Europe, Met the Pope & Turned a Roman Citizen

Splendid Hand-Scroll Illustrations of The Story of the Genjii, The First Novel Ever Written (Circa 1120)

Josh Jones is a author and musician based mostly in Durham, NC. Observe him at @jdmagness



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