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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
niall
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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: 1,110
Views: 609,702

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In Weapons Swords and Guns Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #42 New 02-11-2011 07:12 AM
Swords and Guns 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.
Harvard Magazine

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 began randomly stabbing, killing four more people before he was subdued. Incidentally in Japanese police boxes there is a special tool called a sasumata that can control someone at a safe distance. It's a pole a couple of meters (over six feet) long with an open U-shape at one end to pin the attacker.

Gun crime in Japan is very, very rare. There are only a handful of murders with guns every year. There has never been a gun massacre in Japan like the one in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011. Random massacres are done with knives. So knife laws are also extremely strict.

I found this out the hard way. Someone who knew I taught martial arts sent me an old katana from the USA. It was an old Japanese sword that had been lying around the house for decades. I had to go to the post customs office. I was told that the only way I would be able to keep the sword would be if it was a hand-forged katana. Then it would have artistic value and I would be able to get a licence for it. If it was machine-made or partly hand-forged I wouldn't. There was a committee meeting of expert appraisers the next month and finally I was informed that it was not acceptable. I was told that I could keep it if I cut it into ten centimeter (four inch) pieces in front of the customs official. So they confiscated it. What a waste.

Even though the UK has strict gun laws I can remember three terrible shooting massacres: Hungerford in 1987, Dunblane in 1996 and Cumbria in 2010. Dunblane was in the news recently when the tennis player Andy Murray played in the final of the Australian Open. He's from Dunblane and he was at Dunblane Primary School on the day of the killings. I don't have much to say about gun control in the USA. I don't have a dog in that fight.

And even martial artists might not be able to handle a random knife attack safely. In 2003 a man on a motor scooter stabbed several people in Tokyo. One of his victims was Genki Sudo, a popular and successful MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter. The injury wasn't serious but it was probably a little embarrassing. A famous case was Rikidozan. He was a sumo wrestler who became a very popular professional wrestler - one of the first superstars. He was fatally stabbed in a Tokyo nightclub in 1963.




I don't like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2I84-A9duY
Bob Geldof wrote this song after a mass shooting by a sixteen year old girl at an elementary school in San Diego in 1979. When she was asked why she did it the girl said, "I don't like Mondays…" When she is next eligible for parole in 2019 she will have been incarcerated for forty years - since she was sixteen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Don't_Like_Mondays
The Boomtown Rats have a great album title: Ratrospective

Akihabara
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akihabara
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maid_cafe

Washington Post article about otaku
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060601767.html
Japanese Police home page
http://www.npa.go.jp/english/index.htm
sasumata mancatcher
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasumata

Akihabara massacre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akihabara_massacre
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0110122a9.html

Genki Sudo was one of five people stabbed in July 2003. This is an article about it and his home page and the wikipedia article about Rikidozan
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0030726a2.html
http://crnavi.jp/sudogenki/blog/profile_e.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rikidozan

wikipedia biographies of Boyle Roche and just for interest his brother Tiger - another wild character
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyle_Roche
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Roche


cool black and white photogram by greg4all http://www.flickr.com/photos/greg4all2/3030266503/ photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/greg4all2/with/3030266503/ used under creative commons licence


© niall matthews 2011
Views: 2849 | Comments: 20


RSS Feed 20 Responses to "Swords and Guns"
#20 02-26-2011 03:13 AM
niall Says:
Thanks for your comments, Ziv. No, that wasn't a practical option.
#19 02-25-2011 01:01 AM
Hi Ziv, What difference opening your bag when you enter or having to open it when you leave because they think you took something without paying for it..
#18 02-25-2011 12:55 AM
zivk Says:
One last comment: In Israel, the security people at the doors of shops and restaurants check your bag when you enter and not when you leave. The circumstances in Israel are that the security people guard the public from terrorists attacks, not the shop owners from shoplifters. I had some awkward moments when traveling abroad, when out of habit, I've opened my bag in front of the guards when I entered.
#17 02-25-2011 12:53 AM
zivk Says:
And regarding Linda's comment of calling the aikido weapons as "dancing sticks", at the airport I followed a friend's advice and referred to it as "sticks for sports".
#16 02-25-2011 12:52 AM
zivk Says:
What a terrible waste, Niall. Was there any possibility to send it back to the US instead of letting the customs people confiscate it?
#15 02-17-2011 08:29 PM
niall Says:
Yes Carina, sometimes the best aikido isn't a technique. Creative thinking is always good. And someone who is laughing might not feel aggressive any more.
#14 02-17-2011 03:58 PM
Driving to the dojo and listening to beautiful music I had in front the big golden moon going up the sky. We did exercises with tanto, I hope it fits here, I'd like to share it , uke attacked chudan tsuki and I beside him taking his attacking hand and controlling his arm with mine going down, turning and controlling with legs and feet, one foot on his face the other in the ribs, but he had tickled, his weak point, so after that it was easy to control him every time and we laughed a lot.
#13 02-15-2011 05:47 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
@Carina: Yes, I've always wondered how one would fly with one's weapons, especially with the TSA paranoia these days.
#12 02-15-2011 07:27 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Keith. It's good to have your knowledgeable perspective on it. The gun and sword law became even more strict in 2009 following that Akihabara incident. A legal blade length is now 5.5 cm (just over 2 inches) reduced from 15 cm (6 inches) prior to that. With the public shock I don't remember there being any opposition to the revision. And it didn't seem to matter that most knife crimes are carried out with kitchen knives anyway.
#11 02-14-2011 04:34 PM
Keith Larman Says:
The ban on weapons in Japan is a result of the occupation by the Allies after WWII creating a variety of laws disarming Japan. It was not a voluntary nor is it even a popular thing today, especially with respect to swords. It took a great deal of campaigning by sword collectors to get the ban modified to allow for so-called "art swords" or nihonto. That's where "hand forged" came from. They have very specific regulations for a sword to get an exception as an art piece. Just fwiw.
#10 02-13-2011 04:33 AM
A credit card in a woman's hand is very dangerous, the bank account could get deep red I'm an exception
#9 02-12-2011 09:10 PM
niall Says:
A nail file can be a dangerous weapon. I remember a karateka I once met explaining in great detail the damage he could do with a credit card. That's a true story but it's also a set-up line for a joke. Here's the one from The Full Monty about the damage Gerald's wife could do: "Now what? She's still got credit cards, you know. She's out there now, let loose on t' High Street... with a f***ing MasterCard!"
#8 02-12-2011 06:41 AM
I'm just imagining how you swing a wooden sword in the plane And Niall what about a nial file?, they are not allowed in your handbag, can anybody highjack a plane with that dangerous weapon?
#7 02-12-2011 03:38 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Linda. Yeah that whole story is tragic.
#6 02-12-2011 03:20 AM
niall Says:
And I've had that experience too taking training weapons on a plane. I wondered about the logic - there's not much space to swing a wooden sword on a plane...
 




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