My interest has been sparked with ancient japan again after watching the film "Last Samurai". Can anyone familiar with the samurai on this forum recommend any good samurai sword/kendo technique book/videos, and anything that explains bushido very well.
..and fewer things have so little to do with the way the samurai actually were.
Hagakure was written by a scholar who was lamenting that things were not like "the past" and created a romanticized vision of that past.
You are better off reading Hidy Ochiai's translation of Musashi for a start "A Way to Victory."
For some background on samurai fighting arts (in English) go here:
For videos, here:
They probably won't be what you expected. Today far more people are interested in the idea of walking, acting, and dressing like a samurai than training like one, and it shows in the "samurai" martial arts.
Thanks for the replies. Both sites are great. I noticed this on the Budogu website.
It claimes the gracies were taught this particular style of judo. Curious if this is true or not.
Amadeus makes a good point. Personally, I feel Hagakure has come under some unfair fire (particularly by Hurst, Friday and other scholars). If you read it, you'll still get a great deal out of it. In many cases the narrator is talking about things that actually happened. Yes, he chooses to emphasize certain things, but he was only one generation removed from a very virile period in samurai history. Besides, anyone who would get off such great quotes as "walk with a man a hundred yards and he will tell you at least seven lies" can't be all that bad.
Maeda left Japan before Kosen Judo gained popularity, so no, they were not taught Kosen Judo. Kosen Judo emphasizes groundwork and that is probably where that misunderstanding comes from.
You probably have a point. A while ago I was reading a thread on E-Budo re: the Hagakure. A koryu exponent chimed in on how it was "written by an arm chair warrior, desk-jockey scholar who was never in battle and didn't really understand the Way of the Warrior" etc.
And I thought, "Oh, you mean like almost everyone on E-Budo...."
Hahaha! Word, man. Word.
Of course, "The Book of Five Rings", too.
This is my favorite tranlation.
There's also a great book, and a series of films, all about the author of that book, Miyamoto Musashi. He was a serious bad-ass.
WillyBone: But so was Paul Bunyon.
True, but I was under the impression that there's more historical evidence of Musashi's existence, including several pieces of art attributed to his hand.
At any rate, the book is excellent, IMO.