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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,940,110


In General death of a samurai: swordfights Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #115 New 05-17-2012 11:00 AM
death of a samurai: swordfights
Ichimei by Alexis L-Quc

This week another video clip of a cool swordfight. And how this clip and last week's clip relate to aikido. It's from Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai directed by Takashi Miike. It's the trailer not the complete fight so try to get hold of the movie.


In it's hard being a samurai I wrote about The Twilight Samurai directed by Yoji Yamada.

There is a superb fight sequence. The actor Hiroyuki Sanada enters, breaks the balance, gets behind his opponent, and completely controls his opponent's weapon. A couple of times he deliberately leaves an opening for his opponent to attack and then counters expertly. As I mentioned he has extensive experience in martial arts and in action movies and his sword work is very natural.

This other excellent recent samurai movie is Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai from 2011 directed by Takashi Miike. The Japanese title is Ichimei. Another movie directed by Takashi Miike I really liked is 13 Assasins. I'll talk about that movie another time.

In fact Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a remake of a great classic Japanese samurai movie Harakiri directed by Masaki Kobayashi. The Japanese title of that movie is Seppuku. That's another movie I'll talk about some other time.

For now there is also a wonderful fight sequence in Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai. The kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI plays the main character. I doubt if he has any direct martial arts experience but I'm sure his long career in kabuki helped him with the fight movements. And he has charisma too.

There are some differences in the approaches to fighting. Sanada fought a duel. Ichikawa is a lone fighter against dozens of opponents. He uses them against each other entering and spinning and moving and letting them get in each other's way.

There are some similarities in the two fights too.

Both of the samurai main characters use swords without real blades. They both deliberately spare the lives of their opponents. Although the outcomes of the fights cannot be compared both these samurai make the points that they wanted to make.

Great movies, both of them. Don't miss them if you are interested in Japanese culture or in martial arts. And if you glance at the lines above again you will see: entering, spinning, breaks the balance, gets behind the opponent, completely controls his opponent's weapon and spare the lives of their opponents. That's a pretty accurate description of aikido.


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photo: Ichimei by Alexis L-Quc http://www.flickr.com/photos/alq666/6221892438/
Alexis L-Quc's photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alq666/

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff:

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I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

niall matthews 2012
Views: 4971 | Comments: 7

RSS Feed 7 Responses to "death of a samurai: swordfights"
#7 05-26-2012 02:59 AM
niall Says:
Hey that's cool Billy. Let me know what you think of them. I'll do some sword stuff when I'm over if you like.
#6 05-25-2012 03:01 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall, Guess what, Susan bought me Hara-Kiri and she is ordering 13 Assassins for me. Hopefully she will also order The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade and Love and Honor, if I am good. So now I m a happy kid in a candy store'. Keep recommending and sending movie clips. Best as always, Billy
#5 05-23-2012 09:21 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Billy. I'm glad you liked the clips. I'll introduce some more movies from time to time. Cheers, Niall
#4 05-23-2012 03:39 AM
Makochan Says:
Hi Niall, I have to say I am fed up with your last two blogs because I have no clue how to down load movies, my wife's son says he will do it but, never does, and I would love to see some of these films. I will have to get over being such a technophobe. I am like a kid in a candy store' when I look at the movie clips, I want to eat some but, can't touch, great clips. Best as always Niall, your friend, Billy
#3 05-18-2012 10:04 AM
Hachimaki, thanks. I used to read some books by Eric Van Lustbader, 'Zero' being my favourite. The way he writes you would think he was steeped in Japanese Tradition. Someone just gave me one I haven't read called 'Floating City' .....Very Good... G.
#2 05-18-2012 08:39 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Graham. Yeah that's a good movie. The headband is called a hachimaki. Good idea - I should do a blog post about it. Cheers. Niall
#1 05-17-2012 04:31 PM
Nice Niall. I'll look out for them. Due to your last blog I watched twilight Samurai. Excellent. I liked the whole ambiance of the movie. Then I came across another of similar ambiance, yet a bit more swordplay, called Mibu Gishi Den. Another 'masterpiece' You probably already know it. What were the names of those bands they wore around their heads? Peace.G.

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