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Old 07-23-2002, 01:57 PM   #26
Kent Enfield
 
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Quote:
Chris Martin (sceptoor) wrote:
Regardless of exact historical correctness,(which will never be agreed upon by everyone here) DaitoRyu, Judo, Aikido, and the sword arts(there are several and I am not fluent in the names so...), are the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY.
There are a variety of schools of martial arts that date from the Edo period and earlier which are still extant. They're just not terribly popular or widely disseminated (most are found only in Japan), as they wern't intended to be. Take a look at http://www.koryu.com/ for a cursory listing.

Things like judo, aikido, and kendo, while related to various earlier arts, are not "the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY." Not by a long shot.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 07-23-2002, 03:50 PM   #27
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Quote:
Chris Martin (sceptoor) wrote:
Which brings me to my next comment. Regardless of exact historical correctness,(which will never be agreed upon by everyone here) DaitoRyu, Judo, Aikido, and the sword arts(there are several and I am not fluent in the names so...), are the closest things a martial art can come to be related to the samurai arts TODAY. If there are other Martial Arts that still exist today that more closely represent the Samurai arts I'm sure someone here will let us know and we'll all be waiting.
There are plenty of koryu arts that are practiced today more or less exactly as they were during the pre-Meiji era. Judo and Aikido weren't around then, and whether Daito-ryu was or not it certainly wasn't around in the form that it's practiced in today. If someone's really interested in samurai arts they would probably be best advised to practice one of those styles.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 07:02 PM   #28
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While there's no question that it is possible to learn/teach just the techniques of a koryu in isolation from the rest (and there are those who are doing this--the open seminar format, so popular in the West is a good example), the result is, in my opinion, a mere parody of the rich wealth, both technical and spiritual, found in these ancient traditions. www.koryu.com
Quote:
Developed by warriors for warriors

The koryu (as we sometimes say for short), on the other hand, were primarily arts created by and for the warrior class of Japan's feudal period. A few traditions still exist that were actually used on the battlefields of pre-Tokugawa Japan, and in these systems effectiveness of the killing technique is still paramount. Other traditions were developed during the peace of the Tokugawa shogunate to help warriors-turned-bureaucrats maintain some level of fighting skill; still others were meant from the start to be "disciplines," with more emphasis on spiritual benefits than on technical skills useful in fighting. Thus, the koryu exist (both today and in the past) along a continuum of purposes, much like that of modern American martial arts. For the most part, however, the techniques of the koryu still retain an element of danger; protective gear is typically not used. Safety is less important than efficacy; though wooden weapons are usually used in place of live steel blades, these can still do considerable damage if an error is made, and one learns to function out at the edge. www.koryu.com
I stand corrected, but as a westerner, I really wouldn't have heard of such schools unless I were seriously looking for them. Thanks for the link. I guess I was just thinking in terms of the more popular western variations, (if one could actually refer to Aikido as "popular").

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I knew there were other more refined and exact arts out there regarding the more traditonal samurai tactics, but aikido is the more mainstream one. I understand that Aikido is not the most "battlefield exact", but could that be because of the "do" part than the "jitsu" part?? Is it possible that Koryu is Aikido/Daito-ryu only the techniques don't end in "pins" or throws but killing techniques???

Thanks for the replies....

C. Martin

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Old 07-23-2002, 07:42 PM   #29
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I was trying to compose a post last night mainly because my last last one on this thread felt to me, on hindsight, as a rejection of the samurai influence on Budo.

It is there - the quoted passage uses the word continuum which is apt.

The samurai as a class officially ceased to exist shortly after the Meiji restoration yet there are many groups (budo, police, military) that see part of what they do as a continuation of that tradition. All the koryu, including those founded before the Edo period, have undergone transformations - some slower than others. The gendai budo are only another transformation - the roots are the same. Some have included modern training methods, some of the dojo behaviour is a direct result of another transformation brought about by a militarization of society pre-WWII.

When someone says we train and act like the samurai it is a fair bet that there is little relation to what was going on when samurai were actually expected to fight. More likely is reflects behaviour of samurai as bureaucrat - attempting to maintain the old skills (just like we are doing today) and very likely the pre-WWII warping of the ideals to prepare a general (not samurai) population for war. The disciplined group training protocol is a clear example of the latter and within reason is very attractive. Probably one of the many reasons I enjoy budo training.

So why my previous post.When I first returned to the real world I was subjected to a 30 minute lecture during training time on how samurai behave. In my previous 4 years in Japan not once did I get lectured on that subject. In reality the person was grafting their own morallity onto a fantasy. Perhaps it is a Western need to verbalize but - well I don't react well when fantasy dominates reallity.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:46 PM   #30
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An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:50 PM   #31
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To Ubaldo Alcantara: so ugly and false post

Pretorian
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:57 PM   #32
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Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"
With modern training methods - especially in the unarmed techniques - a modern exponent might even be more skilled. Young samurai would probably say wow, crusty old samurai would probably say all fluff no action.

In the olden days, when samurai were expected to fight, the training involved learning a limited number of techniques after which they were tossed into the battle. If you survived the first round, you had a better chance of surviving the second. TSKR is a seriously old school but the large number and complexity of kata has more to do with Edo period transformations than what was taught and done pre-Edo. Even then, wasn't it Musashi that held the established fencing schools in contempt.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:58 PM   #33
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Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
To Ubaldo Alcantara: so ugly and false post

Pretorian
Huh? Now I'm lost...

If you disagree with something that he said than refute that point specifically - and explain your reasons why, just as he does.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 08:47 PM   #34
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To Peter R "With modern training methods - especially in the unarmed techniques - a modern exponent might even be more skilled" Absolutely.

"Young samurai would probably say wow, crusty old samurai would probably say all fluff no action". Old crusty Samurai were Young once dont forget that.

Musashi was a school by itself he doesnt need to be atthached to any school.

Pretorian
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:15 PM   #35
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To Kami: despicting I do respect Mr Friday Knoledge I have to say this:

there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

FALSE.

LetterB: Something like The Nazism borned and accepted and incorporated by German Military in Pre-War Japan to bolster military fanaticism among youth and (of course) martial artists; true but Not the True.

Letter C: That sounds like I d say that one of the Sioux braves went to Europe and described created a Sioux code. Totally a Nonsense. It is almost to say that Bushido belongs to the States,put it in to a can and sell, you know, to make it cheap, funny.

"In reality, to read the history of Japan, is to read about treason, greed, wickedness and unloyalty. Just same as American and Europe History as well.

Pretorian
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:48 PM   #36
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Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
To Kami: despicting I do respect Mr Friday Knoledge I have to say this:

there never was a "Bushido Code of Japan";

FALSE.
Well, it depends what you mean by "bushido code". Certainly there was something - for example the highly romanticized version in the "Hagakure". But in the sense that it is usually represented in the west, no, I don't think that ever really existed. Similarly in the west, there were various representations of the code of chivalry, but in reality the "code" turns out to have been mostly fiction and romanticizing. Alternatively, you have the noble gunfighters of the old west - another highly romanticized legend that never really existed in the way that it has been depicted in modern times.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 10:04 PM   #37
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I always thought that the Yakuzas were offshoots of the samurai.

That aside... I would assume that samurai's being the warrior class would best be acquainted with weapons ryu. Like you know kenjutsu and Kyujutsu and all that stuff.

In all respect, aikido is about harmony and love right? Well, the samurai won't be learning that anytime soon. They're out there to do their lord's business, and usually its a dirty job that involves lotsa killing.

If the samurai's were alive today, they'll be learning how to use M16s and driving tanks. Oh yeah, with a bit of chado and ikebana thrown in for class.

Last edited by Abasan : 07-23-2002 at 10:09 PM.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:13 PM   #38
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Quote:
Manuel Anderson wrote:
To Jim Vance, from 90 to 31
Manuel, I would really like to know what you mean by this; I do consider your input important. Please email me if it is unimportant to this thread.
Quote:
Chris Martin wrote:
Personally, I wouldn't have included Seagal's name to a list of people I regarded as being unskilled with a Katana, but that's just me.
I really didn't mean it specific to a katana, but if you know what you are looking for, he still makes you wince a bit. My opinion is that his aikijo is much better. My post identified Seagal as just another representative of pop culture fantasy using the medium of motion pictures to create an escape for others and income for himself. That's cool. (If he was menkyo kaiden in Katori or Kashima Shinto Ryu or any other notable school, he would have my attention, bet on that.) What he does is NOT related to the samurai the way he or Chuck Norris would like you to believe though, and they would probably tell you this over a beer or two.

Jim Vance

PS. Thanks to Peter and Chris for putting into words what I was trying to get across.
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:13 AM   #39
Kami
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Cool PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
Huh? Now I'm lost...

If you disagree with something that he said than refute that point specifically - and explain your reasons why, just as he does.

Best,

Chris
KAMI : Please, pay him no attention, Chris M'Lad...

This guy has some problem with me (his aside was uneducated and harsh...). Perhaps he is a brazilian, living in another country, and a friend of some enemy of mine in Brazil or perhaps he's disappointed that no one subscribed to his vision of history. Oh, well...Let him spent his rage. It will do him much good.

By the way, excellent your last post. I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.

KAMI (Not worried with any Pretorian Guard)

Last edited by Kami : 07-24-2002 at 04:16 AM.

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:45 AM   #40
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Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
An interesting approach could be a Samurai watching modern Aikido, he probably said something like this: "I wish this existed before, what a Beatiful Sintesis"
More likely, "What the heck is that? It sure is ... um ... pretty. And please tell me again why he isn't finishing with a killing blow? Hmm. That's an interpretation of 'aiki' I've never heard before. And please, tell me AGAIN why he didn't just draw a weapon and skewer his opponent?"

Depending, of course on the era, locale and situation.

During times of war, combatants were only interested in making sure they stayed alive (or died well and prettily, if we're to believe the romanticized version of old Japan fostered in many a play, movie and book).

During times of peace, the warrior class was really more of a bureaucrat class. During those times, martial arts systems had the luxury of codifying, researching (restructuring and rewriting sometimes) history, preserving and modifying.

Jujutsu (and yes, aikido is a form of jujutsu) has undergone some amazing changes over the centuries. And if you talk to folks in the Takenouchi Ryu or other koryu jujutsu systems, you might be surprised what you find out.

Aikido is a wonderful synthesis, but it's not a samurai art, though it has (like almost all budo) connections -- roots, if you will -- in the history and legacy of the warrior class.

Chuck

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Old 07-24-2002, 05:20 AM   #41
Kami
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Smile AIKIDO AND THE SAMURAI

Quote:
Chuck Gordon (LOEP) wrote:
Aikido is a wonderful synthesis, but it's not a samurai art, though it has (like almost all budo) connections -- roots, if you will -- in the history and legacy of the warrior class.

Chuck
KAMI : Excellent, Chuck San!

By the way, I hope you're enjoying your stay in Germany. Did you have a chance to meet Welf Quade Sensei in Hamburg?

Give him my warmest regards and enjoy the training

Ubaldo

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
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Old 07-24-2002, 05:55 AM   #42
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Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
By the way, excellent your last post. I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.
I think you may be talking about the Takeda precepts particularily, yes???

In that case it was a father trying to give his son with an attitude problem a bit of education on how to rule. Like all sons it really didn't work too well.

I recently was told about how one of the early Tokagawa edicts was informing the Ronin how they were to behave. Didn't work to well - it was much easier for local Lords to lay down house rules.

Rule #1 Stay away from my wife and daughter.

Rule #2 Memorize rule #1.

Finally, although I am sure one get get a good technical education in Budo just about anywhere many people have gotten their hackles up by my insistence that you must spend some time in Japan. This really isn't about elitist bull but a simple observation. All budo, koryu and gendai, is a product of culture both present and root. It tends to be relatively well grounded in Japan and diverges very rapidly abroad. Overt fantasy is a little more easily checked over here then over there.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:10 AM   #43
Chris Li
 
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Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
I would also say that any Bushido "code" was local and circunscribed to a specific fief, never a national code, more destined to control the samurai than to enoble them.
That's a good point, and an important one, I think. Even today Japan is extremely provincial, with wide ranges in customs and language from one area to the next. When my father in law starts in on the Akita-ben a lot of Tokyo Japanese can't understand what he's saying - even my wife (who's used to it) has a hard time with some of his older relatives from the country. A lot of that was reinforced by the Tokugawa restrictions on travel, but I think that it's likely to be something that existed even before that time.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-24-2002, 06:22 AM   #44
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Re: Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Speaking of travel Chris - I am travelling to Isehara this weekend for Instructor's seminar (near Tokyo right?). I'm considering coming up to Tokyo Friday or staying Sunday (doesn't have to be exactly Tokyo - don't particularily like that city) and if a cheap hotel can be found I would love to get togeather. Another person I would like to meet is Lisa Tomonelli (did I spell that right??). Training, beer, I don't care.

From Himeji St. to Odawara St. Shinkansen Hikari or Kodama

From Odawara St. to Isehara St. Odakyu line, You would better get on

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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
That's a good point, and an important one, I think. Even today Japan is extremely provincial, with wide ranges in customs and language from one area to the next. When my father in law starts in on the Akita-ben a lot of Tokyo Japanese can't understand what he's saying - even my wife (who's used to it) has a hard time with some of his older relatives from the country. A lot of that was reinforced by the Tokugawa restrictions on travel, but I think that it's likely to be something that existed even before that time.

Best,

Chris

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:24 AM   #45
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To Peter Rehse and Chris Li,

Peter San, not just the Takeda Precepts but also the more recent HAGAKURE - they're both local.

Chris San, you're right, of course.

Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
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Old 07-24-2002, 06:30 AM   #46
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Re: Re: Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Speaking of travel Chris - I am travelling to Isehara this weekend for Instructor's seminar (near Tokyo right?). I'm considering coming up to Tokyo Friday or staying Sunday (doesn't have to be exactly Tokyo - don't particularily like that city) and if a cheap hotel can be found I would love to get togeather. Another person I would like to meet is Lisa Tomonelli (did I spell that right??). Training, beer, I don't care.
Oops, bad timing ! I'll be in Karuizawa this weekend for the annual Zuihokan gasshuku. Aikido (Aikikai and Yoshinkan) and Daito-ryu. Plus drinking and onsen if we can fit them in - or was it the other way around...

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-24-2002, 06:30 AM   #47
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Cool Re: Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Finally, although I am sure one get get a good technical education in Budo just about anywhere many people have gotten their hackles up by my insistence that you must spend some time in Japan. This really isn't about elitist bull but a simple observation. All budo, koryu and gendai, is a product of culture both present and root. It tends to be relatively well grounded in Japan and diverges very rapidly abroad. Overt fantasy is a little more easily checked over here then over there.
KAMI : You're absolutely right, Peter M'Lad!

Without travelling to Japan, we would be just armchair budoka, with no real experience "in locum".

And by the way, our friend's name is LISA TOMOLEONI (I really would also like to met her in person! Great woman.)

Best

"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

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Old 07-24-2002, 06:40 AM   #48
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Re: Re: Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Ubaldo Alcantara (Kami) wrote:
And by the way, our friend's name is LISA TOMOLEONI (I really would also like to met her in person! Great woman.)
That's the one - now I just need her e-mail. She invited me to train or have a meal with her last summer - this would be the first chance I have. Of course I never keep e-mails - foolish me.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:26 AM   #49
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Re: Re: Re: Re: PRETORIANO'S WRATH

Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
That's the one - now I just need her e-mail. She invited me to train or have a meal with her last summer - this would be the first chance I have. Of course I never keep e-mails - foolish me.
When you see Lisa, remember to give her a resounding 'OOK!' ... preferably in public, someplace it'd cause maximum embarrassment.

Peter Boylan and I inducted her into the Simian Sensei Society when she was in Chicago (at a great seminar with Meik Skoss teaching SMR jo, by the way!) a while back.

Give her a good grooming for us!

Chuck

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Old 07-24-2002, 12:25 PM   #50
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Quote:
ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
I always thought that the Yakuzas were offshoots of the samurai.
Many of the Yakuza families are descendants of the Samurais. Basically the same way many Samurais turned Ronin back in the Meiji era. Actually the anime "Rurouni Kenshin" is a good depiction, although romanticized, of the harshness during the transition of Japan into the modern era. Many Samurais that won't let go of their power and accept reality turned to crime and dirty politics, but many also have accepted change and just lead a normal life and forgotten by the world.
Quote:
ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
If the samurai's were alive today, they'll be learning how to use M16s and driving tanks. Oh yeah, with a bit of chado and ikebana thrown in for class.
That's basically why the west forbid Japan to have a military force (accept for allowing their puny Japan Self Defense Force). Japan with a military force is actually quite scary, considering their history, national and international.

Just to add one more thing, I personally do believe in Budo and Bushido. Many think they are a myth, so be it, but the teachings are still good. If "Hagakure" is too "romantic" to depict the Samurai code, try reading "Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke".

I agree the fact that knights were highly romanticized. Richard the Lionheart was far from what he was depicted in books and movies, he actually brought his people pain and anguish with his so called crusade. And he was nothing but a mass murderer, the way he slaughtered a whole city during the crusade just because it was too bothersome to have them as prisoners. And also not to mention the implications of Richard's "Holy War" actually give rise to the radical and fanatical muslims. This was actually a historical report compiled by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

But, for me, knights and samurais that do not live by the code are just hypocrites. I don't say that the code does not exist, just the people that supposedly to live by the code became so twisted with power and greed, they stray away from the path. It's just like what we see today with corruption and all. The government also have a code to live by, serving the people, but is that true? Sometimes it's just romanticized that way.
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