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 Post subject: Nova-Samurai show
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:13 am 
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Location: Valhalla
Missed it tonight.

Keep your eyes open for another showing sword fans.

Watch a preview here.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/

F.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:53 pm 
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Adopting my most curmodgeonly manner:

Just what the world needs, yet another tv show glorifying the almighty sam-you-rai sword! :roll: :roll:

You see, I am a follower of Western Martial Arts, especially Western Sword Arts. I tend to regard the Japanese sword as the product of a hothouse environment where firearms were effectively outlawed for over 200 years, thereby allowing the sword to evolve into a highly developed item for dueling without having to worry about some bloody peasant blowing your head off with a musket. This was not the case in Europe where we see the evolution of plate armor leading to the can-opener weapons such as the halbreds and other heavy pole arms, the impact weapons that could crush the plate, such as the war hammer, and ice-pick sorts of weapons that could be driven through the plate or into gaps, such as the estoc or the Misericord or "Mercy Dagger." Then came firearms and the use of armor faded away and swords evolved through the rapier to the very deadly smallsword for the gentleman to carry and to the saber or the backsword for the cavalry.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:10 pm 
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:lol:
I know their not your favorite Hugh.

But some of us Iaido students do like them.

The Samurai did have guns, but they didn't evolve like in the west.

Stuck in a 1600's quality till Perry ruined the fun.

F.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:35 pm 
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This was a very interesting show. It went into steel production and how the swords were forged. It was more about steel than Samurai lore.
Should be on again.
F.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:45 pm 
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I have a reading suggestion for the Japanophiles out there. It is by one of you and it discusses the question of the Tokugawa Shogunate and firearms. I found it fascinating and those Japanese history buff whom I know say that it is well done and accurate, despite that one disgrunled review. In effect, the Shogunate removed small arms as an effective weapon in Japanese culture until after the arrival of Perry and the Black Ships,
Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879(Paperback), by Noel Perrin, Amazon's Price: $10.16

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