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I live alone, wounded by iron,
Struck by a sword, tired of battle-work,
Weary of blades. Often I see war,
Fight a fearsome foe. I crave no comfort,
That safety might come to me out of the war-strife
Before I among men perish completely.
But the forged brands strike me,
Hard-edged and fiercely sharp, the handwork of smiths,
They bite me in the strongholds. I must wait for
A more murderous meeting. Never a physician
In the battlefield could I find
One of those who with herbs healed wounds
But my sword slashes grow greater
Through death blows day and night.
An extra post this week about weapons. It is one of the riddles from The Exeter Book put into modern English. There is only one surviving manuscript. It contains 94 riddles. It's a simple, powerful poem. Those adjectives are both from Latin. It's also short, stark and blunt. Those adjectives are all from Old English.
I've written about a time travel movie before in time takes. I saw another 'time slip' movie recently. This one didn't sound very promising. A time travel movie starring a member of an aging boy idol pop group. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi from SMAP. Let me add an aside here that I really dislike the Japanese habit of inserting idols into what might otherwise be interesting movies and drama series. The movie was a remake of an animated movie. From a long-running anime series about a young boy. The original anime movie was popular and even won some awards. Then somebody somewhere had the idea to make a version with real actors. And made the inspired choice of Takashi Yamazaki the director of Always: Sunset on Third Street to direct it.
Always was a huge hit in Japan. It was set in a local community in postwar Tokyo. The director's clever use of a combination of locations and sets and computer graphics brought the Showa era brilliantly to life. It fuelled a nostalgia boom for the simpler and purer life of the nineteen-fifties. There were also a couple of sequels.
In this movie Ballad a boy goes back in time to the Sengoku Warring States period of Japanese history. Eventually his parents go back in time too to find him. Just as a battle is about to begin.
So Takashi Yamazaki's recreation of life in warring states period Japan was excellent. The battle scenes especially were very well done. Details like the order of battle and the techniques fo
I don't know about the idea that a weapon is an extension of your hand, but it sure feels good to have a stick in your hand and go whack, whack, whack.
Victor de Thouars, Mahaguru of Serak Pentjak-Silat
He hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword.
William Shakespeare, Henry V act 3 scene 2
If I did not know that I am a genuine Dane, I could almost be tempted to explain my self-contradictions by supposing that I am an Irishman. For the Irish do not have the heart to immerse their children totally when they have them baptized; they want to keep a little paganism in reserve; generally the child is totally immersed under water but with the right arm free, so that he will be able to wield a sword with it, embrace the girls.
Sřren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers
A storm-beaten old watch-tower,
A blind hermit rings the hour.
All-destroying sword-blade still
Carried by the wandering fool.
Gold-sewn silk on the sword-blade,
Beauty and fool together laid.
William Butler Yeats, Symbols
Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.
A little while ago I wrote about the perfect tool. Tools for aikido are very basic. You need something to wear and somewhere to train. So that's a simple cotton uniform and a room. Or a park or a field. Some styles also train with stylized practice weapons. One of the most important is a wooden sword. A bokken.
Today I want to talk about some practice swords. I wrote about bamb...More
Tell me why
I don't like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down
The Boomtown Rats
…so if you are ready, we shall call a cab and drive to Waterloo. I should be very much obliged if you would slip your revolver into your pocket. An Eley's No. 2 is an excellent argument with gentlemen who can twist steel pokers into knots. That and a tooth-brush are, I think all that we need.
Sherlock Holmes speaking to Dr Watson in The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Mr. Bond, bullets do not kill, it is the finger that pulls the trigger.
The Man with the Golden Gun
…a 19-year-old in America can very easily get a pistol. That's very hard to do in Australia. So when there's a bar fight in Australia, somebody gets punched out or hit with a beer bottle. Here, they get shot.
While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.
Sir Boyle Roche (1736-1807), Irish politician
A few days ago the Akihabara district of Tokyo reopened for pedestrians on Sundays. Akihabara - 'electric town' - is a centre for all kinds of otaku - obsessed fans. There are stores for electronics, computer parts, stereo parts, manga - comics, anime - cartoons, plastic figures… Maid cafés too. On Sundays it had been a quiet traffic-free zone for many years but in 2008 a man went on a killing rampage. He rented a truck and drove it into people walking in the traffic-free zone - killing three. Then he jumped out and b