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Usagi Yojimbo
10-26-2003, 11:43 PM
So pray tell, how does a westerner go about becoming a samurai when it was virtually outlawed at the end of the Japanese feudal period? (It was outlawed to carry swords publicly, and the Daimyo and Samurai classes were dissolved and renamed to Nobles and Gentry)

In a more direct question, there's nothing wrong with displaying a strong interest in Feudal Japan and is it foolish to have such dreams or aspirations?

p00kiethebear
10-27-2003, 12:30 AM
First of all, good luck trying to do it in japan. If a westerner walks around with a sword on his side acting surly, he gets slapped. End of story.

In america though...

The most obvious problem is the whole sword in public thing. To get past this, i would

FIRST: Get a shodan in any major sword carrying art. If you want to go samurai style, then learn a kenjutsu or battojutsu, iaido is a bit more modern and... well... flashy? It's just not as practical as the above.

SECOND: Become affiliated with the United States Sword Federation ( http://ishiyamaryu.com ) From there you can get a sword carriers permit along with insurance (up to 5 million dollars as i recall ) for damages to others.

Since you really don't have any lord to serve, you can't really be a samurai ( unless you want to serve me, I got plenty of dishes that need washing ) So you'll have to go for the "wandering ronin" style.

Plan a route: This could end up being more complicated then it seems, but what i would do is pack my precious few belongings and plan a trip across the country on foot. Find out where dojo's and buddhist temples are along your route, some may be willing to accomodate you at night.

Ummm... I think that's pretty much it...

Oh. If you want to go to a place where there is a lack of technology, learn some basic mongolian, and goto mongolia, be carefull though, the entire country is ruled by warlords.... i think...

Good luck! And it's not necessarily wrong to want this. It's just DIFFERENT. If you do decide to do this please post when you're done and tell us how it went! Who knows, you may find a different you after it's all done.

markwalsh
10-27-2003, 07:10 AM
I prefer the musketeers. More...pinache!

drDalek
10-27-2003, 07:36 AM
When I grow up I want to become a pirate.

I'll yarr and avast and when someone gives me any sass I'll buckle their swash or something.

Also, I will get wenches to "come look at the captain's urchins" nudge-nudge wink-wink

Set sail for high seas adventure landlubbers!

Flo Ricard
10-27-2003, 07:42 AM
Hello surfer Mark ("panache" by the way")

;)

Joshua, you could start your own Samurai historical reconstruction club?

thisisnotreal
10-27-2003, 07:58 AM
In my ex-company I met a couple of senior technical gentlemen scientists/managers.

On the card and on their doors, in Japan, it had: LastName, Samurai

I don't know what this is, or what it means exactly..

tedehara
10-27-2003, 09:12 AM
So pray tell, how does a westerner go about becoming a samurai when it was virtually outlawed at the end of the Japanese feudal period? (It was outlawed to carry swords publicly, and the Daimyo and Samurai classes were dissolved and renamed to Nobles and Gentry)

In a more direct question, there's nothing wrong with displaying a strong interest in Feudal Japan and is it foolish to have such dreams or aspirations?The answer is simple. You don't become a samurai.

There is nothing wrong with having a strong interest in feudal Japan. There is nothing wrong with having a strong interest in Star Trek. There is nothing wrong with having a strong interest in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But to what extreme are you willing to go?

There is both good and bad in the samurai tradition when you look at it closely. Reminds me of people who use the Bible to justify killing.

There is no more samurai class for a good reason. Perhaps you should think about that also.

ikkainogakusei
10-27-2003, 09:40 AM
So pray tell, how does a westerner go about becoming a samurai when it was virtually outlawed at the end of the Japanese feudal period? (It was outlawed to carry swords publicly, and the Daimyo and Samurai classes were dissolved and renamed to Nobles and Gentry)

In a more direct question, there's nothing wrong with displaying a strong interest in Feudal Japan and is it foolish to have such dreams or aspirations?
I think we all have our wants to become something that is seemingly imposible. I'd like to be omniscient (makes the lotto less of a challenge, but would help pay off student loans:D ).

There are certainly people who submerge themselves in 'another existence' (a la society for creative anachronism, trekkers, RPG'ers, furries, and Raiders fans ;) ) and I do think it is a form of escapism, but I think so long as the escaper is conscious of why they want to live in another existence it can be fine.

If one doesn't want to escape, then it is easy to assume the values of an admired archetype. I have seen plenty of stickers that have followed the 'WWJD' acronym like WWYD (yoda), WWBD (Buddha), WWBD (Bruce ...uh Lee), and so on. I think these catch phrases lend themselves to thinking or taking on the values of those admired people.

If you admire the samurai, look at the values, philosophies, and ethics of the samurai and be a samurai as one would exist today. IMHO the katana (or which ever Japanese sword derivative) is not a samurai sword until a person who lives as a samurai (values, ethics, philosophies etc.) weilds it.

OTOH if you wish to be revered by the samurai culture of origin, that'll be tough. Think of it this way, there are very few Japanese cowboys that I know of, and I would guess that they would have to work pretty hard to get the respect of a modern day cowpunch.

:ai:

Mark Balogh
10-27-2003, 10:35 AM
SIMPLE ANSWER: Dedicate your life's martial arts training to Katori Shinto Ryu. :cool:

L. Camejo
10-27-2003, 10:56 AM
Not to burst anyone's bubble (and I do leave room to be corrected here), but don't you have to be

(A) Born into a samurai family (i.e. bloodline)

(B) Adopted by a samurai family (link to bloodline) or

(C) Married into a samurai family (another link to bloodline)

To be considered a samurai?

And then technically there were members of the samurai class that did not weild the Daisho, are you thinking about becoming one of these? Or are you referrring to the Bushi or Warrior Class itself?

First thing I think is if one were going about this quest, get the terminologies right and undrestand the history, philosophy and culture. Not all samurai were fighting men and women.

As far as I know, one also had to be Japanese to be samurai, anything else is Gaijin. Of course I can also be totally wrong :p

Personally though, I'd prefer be a Jedi Knight. Light cuts through steel anytime :)

Train hard all.

L.C.:ai::ki:

kironin
10-27-2003, 11:11 AM
First of all, good luck trying to do it in japan. If a westerner walks around with a sword on his side acting surly, he gets slapped. End of story.

In america though...

The most obvious problem is the whole sword in public thing. To get past this, i would

FIRST: Get a shodan in any major sword carrying art. If you want to go samurai style, then learn a kenjutsu or battojutsu, iaido is a bit more modern and... well... flashy? It's just not as practical as the above.
First, this is nonsense.
SECOND: Become affiliated with the United States Sword Federation ( http://ishiyamaryu.com ) From there you can get a sword carriers permit along with insurance (up to 5 million dollars as i recall ) for damages to others.
Your joking, right ?

at least I hope you are joking.

:rolleyes:

Craig

San Shin Kai Iaido

Suru
10-27-2003, 11:27 AM
In "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature," O'Sensei holds a bokken and says "This is the sword of infinite life." In "The Art of Peace," O'Sensei says that the true meaning of samurai is one who adheres to the power of love.

Drew

kironin
10-27-2003, 11:31 AM
So pray tell, how does a westerner go about becoming a samurai when it was virtually outlawed at the end of the Japanese feudal period? (It was outlawed to carry swords publicly, and the Daimyo and Samurai classes were dissolved and renamed to Nobles and Gentry)
:D First you invent a time machine. This time machine sends you back long before the Meiji Restoration, but with a twist that it will alter your genome so that you pop out of the birth canal as a male child in a prominent Samurai family in Edo. However it turns out that you grow up and spend your life as an adminstrator never drawing your sword since your early training and die fat and lazy in middle age of disease due to poor public health practices.
In a more direct question, there's nothing wrong with displaying a strong interest in Feudal Japan and is it foolish to have such dreams or aspirations?
yes, grow up. Do some research reading about various historical periods by serious historians. Karl Friday at the Univ. of Georgia is not a bad start. Learn about the reality and stop reading cartoon books by a Japanese American who is spinning fantasies. Usagi Yojimbo is fun stuff but it's total fiction.

Craig

markwalsh
10-27-2003, 12:21 PM
I like the pirate idea Wynand, an aikido mate of mine has a pirate vs ninjas thing going on.



http://www.lanceandeskimo.com/journal/ninjaspirates.shtml

What with the Jedi theme elsewhere on aikiweb, its like...we're not living in the here and now! But heh, who wants to be a naughties consumer, or just plain old themselves?

I quess the samurai title can be taken literally - big swords and funny hair - or exteded/ in essence - e.g. "one who serves".

BTW, Is Panache a French word perchance Flo? Sounds it.

Mark (I am also Spartacus, Hachiman and Tiger Woods in my spare time).

x

p.s. What about Gladiatiors, old bum chin made that look cool?

deepsoup
10-27-2003, 03:31 PM
Not to burst anyone's bubble (and I do leave room to be corrected here), but don't you have to be

(A) Born into a samurai family (i.e. bloodline)

(B) Adopted by a samurai family (link to bloodline) or

(C) Married into a samurai family (another link to bloodline)

To be considered a samurai?
Hi Larry,

You missed one:

(D) The Shogun could declare that you've died and been reborn as a samurai.

At least that's how the English pilot, William Adams (http://hsv.com/writers/jeffog/wa-hist.htm), became the samurai Miura Anjin in the early years of the 17th century. Its an interesting story.
Personally though, I'd prefer be a Jedi Knight. Light cuts through steel anytime :)
I think I'm more Klingon material. Basically honourable, but mostly a gruff, grumpy, pain in the ass. (Can you have a vegetarian Klingon? :))

Sean

x

Qatana
10-27-2003, 09:48 PM
Hey!

Klingons are NOT gruff & grumpy. Just Worf & that was before he started drinking Prune Juice.

Kilingons are Loud & Boisterous & Rowdy.

And honorable, loyal, honest,brave; sorta like boy scouts with an attitude... ok passionate & volatile scouts...

Qa'tana IS a Klingon name!

and i don't see why not- my best friend was a Professional Klingon &

she's a vegetarian...

p00kiethebear
10-27-2003, 10:21 PM
"First, this is nonsense"

Nope, not nonsense. I'm a firm believer in knowing how to use a weapon before you carry it. It's doesn't necessarily have to be a sword school. You can carry whatever weapon you want. Just know how it works and how to use it, even if it's just your hands and your hara.

"You're joking right?"

Nope! not joking. The USSF was founded a few years back by soke Russel McCartney. I was 16 and i had to carry my sword through public places when going to and from the dojo since i didn't have my own car. I got a signed sword carrying permit which allows me to bear my sword in public places. And yes the insurance is real.

No jokes, no nonsense = P

Chuck.Gordon
10-28-2003, 01:53 AM
So pray tell, how does a westerner go about becoming a samurai when it was virtually outlawed at the end of the Japanese feudal period?
You don't. First, there are no more samurai. Second, unless you're japanese you couldn't BE samurai. Third, 'samurai' is such a broad and indefinite term, you'd have to more closely define what exactly you wanted to be. Fourth ... well, I could go on, but I won't.
In a more direct question, there's nothing wrong with displaying a strong interest in Feudal Japan and is it foolish to have such dreams or aspirations?
Nope. Not a thing wrong with having a deep and abiding interest in things Japanese and martial, unless it takes over parts of your life that ought to be focused on other things (work, family, friends, education, etc).

If this is the case, the affected individual really ought to step back and take a long, hard look at what's going on ...

Chuck

Chuck.Gordon
10-28-2003, 01:58 AM
SIMPLE ANSWER: Dedicate your life's martial arts training to Katori Shinto Ryu. :cool:
Nice idea, but not exactly on the bubble.

Tenshin SHoden Katori Shinto Ryu wasn't 'exactly' a art designed for and taught to samurai. It was more a family/temple art, intimately connected with the Katori shrine.

Besides being one of the oldest extant budo, and having a verifiable lineage that continues today, TSKSR was one of the budo that was taught to commoners, merchants, etc.

Students, if I uncerstand correctly, were accepted at the desire and whim of the headmasters of the system ...

Chuck

PeterR
10-28-2003, 02:36 AM
Besides being one of the oldest extant budo, and having a verifiable lineage that continues today, TSKSR was one of the budo that was taught to commoners, merchants, etc.
Cool - as Peter picks up another interesting tid bit. Did that policy extend throughout the Edo period were class was more and more strictly regulated?

The samurai as a class were outlawed, specifically the privlages inherint but I still know who comes from a samurai family or not. Just like Europe really.

Mark Balogh
10-28-2003, 04:03 AM
Interesting point Chuck, I stand corrected. Is this the case though with all the schools? Is there a secret/semi-secret family art out there that our budding samurai friend could get accepted into and eventually become Samurai? ;)

After Sean Orchard brought up William Adams, James Clavell's Shogun keeps springing to mind! :D

I only watched the whole lot on DVD 3 weeks ago! :freaky: :)

Nick Simpson
10-28-2003, 06:04 AM
I remember watching tv a few years ago, this show where it looks inside celebrities houses and you have to guess who lives there. In one house was a particularly expensive looking katana and the owner was a Blue Peter presenters husband (kids tv show here), apparently she reckoned that her husband was part of some martial arts organisation and was one of like 5 westerners in the world today to have the rank of samurai conferred on them by the head of their organisation. Dunno if its true...

Mark Balogh
10-28-2003, 07:07 AM
Here's a katana I made earlier....:D

Nick Simpson
10-28-2003, 10:26 AM
Hehe, they never made anything that cool when I watched it, maybe the thunderbird island, but thats a different story...

deepsoup
10-29-2003, 07:03 AM
After Sean Orchard brought up William Adams, James Clavell's Shogun keeps springing to mind! :D
No coincidence, Clavell based the story on William Adams.
...was part of some martial arts organisation and was one of like 5 westerners in the world today to have the rank of samurai conferred on them by the head of their organisation. Dunno if its true...
lol.

Well I suppose it makes a change from being told you're now a soakey/professor/hanshi/grandmaster etc...

Sean

x

mj
10-30-2003, 06:26 PM
I always thought Samurai were slaves. Screw that for a goal.

My only advice is, if you want to be a Samurai (noble slave with sword issues), get married.

Thalib
10-30-2003, 10:41 PM
Instead of "being" a Samurai. Why don't you live by the Samurai code, the 7 pillars of budo:

gi

rei

yuu

meiyo

jin

makoto

chuugi

Being a Samurai as in the "sengoku jidai", is like being a knight in shining armor in the dark ages.

Knights still exist, Samurais still exist. These days you don't have to walk around with swords nor armor anymore.