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About Shosetsu

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    Crippled Master With Cracked Fingers

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    Buddhism, Cribbage, Archery, Swords, Travel, Occultism

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  1. Shosetsu

    Samurai Marathon 1855 (2019) jidaigeki film

    If you like that era where they open up to the West, then you would enjoy the Mifune series Muhogai Suronin. It shows some Japanese wearing Western clothing. Especially the recurring actor Wakabayashi Goh who in every episode wears a cowboy hat and even a six-gun. In one episode, Toshiro Mifune even has a Swordfight against a Dutchman. That is, a samurai sword against a rapier-blade. The Dutchman had his own fencing school, so he thought he could beat Mifune. But guess who wins.
  2. Good one, @DragonClaws, I appreciated that one. I'm referring to the one that shows a Chinese sword Tournament. I of course already know that the Japanese have sword tournaments that are called Kendo but never knew of the Chinese kind until you posted. I notice that the Chinese use heavy cotton padding instead of the bamboo armor used in Kendo. Another difference is that they don't have those protective wings or flaps that extend from the helmet used in Japanese Kendo. I also get the impression that they don't have the thrusting-move that the Japanese call the Tsuki where the kendoist can thrust his sword at his opponent's throat. For several years that thrusting-move was actually outlawed because of a tragic fatality that occurred. But nowadays that move has been reinstated because the protective throat flap has been made more safe. TheJapanese helmet has grid-type bars that protect the face. But lately they have been trying to popularize the use of a plastine transparent shield that covers the face. Due to the shield's transparency it will totally replace the bars, thereby giving a complete view of your opponent's face. Along those lines there was a humorous cartoon that showed a match between a male and female kendoist. Due to the new helmet's transparency the lady told the male to wait while she put on her facial makeup. With the old-style helmet, the face cannot be seen but with the new one it can.
  3. In the Toshiro Mifune classic Sanjuro, sword-choreographer Kuze Ryuzan shows creativity in the climactic duel between Sanjuro and Muroto. When Muroto swings his Sword down from an overhead position, Sanjuro uses an unorthodox technique. Instead of using his left hand to draw back the scabbard and using the right hand to draw the Sword, what Sanjuro does is use his left hand to grab the sword's handle. Then the left hand swivels the sword so that the blade's cutting-edge turns downward. Then when his left hand draws out the sword, the right-forearm presses against the blunt side of the blade to reinforce the movement to slash Muroto. This defeats him because Muroto never expected Sanjuro to draw with the left hand because doing so would have been too awkward. But the move works because Sanjuro swivels the blade before drawing.
  4. Shosetsu

    The Return (2019) new Tatsuya Nakadai samurai film

    I guess I was a bit too harsh in my disdain, Takuma. So let me make it clear that it was just my opinion, a matter of taste. For the most part, Yakuza films leave me cold but there was one exception to that rule. That is, the Yakuza character played by Ryuji Shinagawa who was the traveling companion to the ronin character in Hanayama Daikichi, played by Konoe Jushiro. The reason I enjoyed that Yakuza character was because Shinagawa played it tongue-in-cheek. For example one scene that stands out in my mind even after 30 years was when he felt unbearably itchy, so he stripped down to his loincloth. Then he spread out his clothing on the ground and then knelt down to check for fleas!
  5. Shosetsu

    The Return (2019) new Tatsuya Nakadai samurai film

    @whitesnake By golly, that really surprised me because for some reason I thought that Nakadai Tatsuya had already passed away. After all, the great Matsukata Hiroki passed away the other year. How ironic that Matsukata's television roles in the Samurai programs were much better than his movies about Yakuza which were so awful. Still looking for DVDs on Matsukata's Yagyu Jubei TV series.
  6. Shosetsu

    "Ghost Stories Of Japan" series

    Makes me wonder if that Ghost series included any on haunted Swords. Because there are quite a number of stories of samurai-swords inhabited by an unearthly spirit. Those cases are an outgrowth of the indigenous Japanese religion, Shintoism, that believes in Animism, that is, nature spirits. An Animistic Sword can be seen in the series Bangaku. Because in that series Bangaku actually talks to his Sword. For example in one episode he asks his Sword which town should he go to. The Sword cannot talk back but somehow it helps Bangaku to decide on what to do.
  7. Shosetsu

    "Ghost Stories Of Japan" series

    I think you're 100% right, Takuma. That must be the one--Nihon Kaidan Gekijo, as you said. It's corroborated by the date 1970 and the fact that you acknowledge Mr. Amachi's appearance in episode 13. Thanks. My hat's off to you.
  8. Shosetsu

    "Ghost Stories Of Japan" series

    Let me add that the Ghost series I mentioned is not the anime series that premiered in the year 2000. Instead the one I am referring to came out in either 1970s or 1980s and was live-action. That's why I mentioned Shigeru Amachi.
  9. During the 1970s I remember watching a weekly series called Ghost Stories of Japan. So far I cannot find it on DVD though. The only episode I can actually remember is the Ghost of Oiwa-- and for two reasons. First reason is that the Ghost of Oiwa is the most famous of all the Japanese ghost stories. And the second reason is because that episode starred Actor Shigeru Amachi who was already very well-known to me due to his notoriety as Detective Akechi Kogoro in the Edogawa Ranpo mystery series. That Kogoro series is another one I wish I could see on DVD. But no such luck. So does anybody else remember the Ghost Stories of Japan series?
  10. Although the weapon in this film DEVILISH KILLER is a Sword, one of the components in the blade itself was used in an unusual way I did not expect at all. It's a broadsword whose blade has many rings along the entire upper edge of the blade. All this time I used to think that the purpose of those multiple rings was to use their sound to distract the opponent. So what startled me from this movie was that the villain could detach all those rings from the blade and fling them at his opponent-- in a sense using them like ninja-shurikens. But what I found to be a glaring discrepancy is that those tiny rings actually killed his opponent. At most, those tiny rings should have caused only a very slight wound.
  11. Actress Katahira Nagisa did good Sword play in The Avengers 2003 TV-Asahi. The link did not work so maybe Dragon Claws can fix that.
  12. One film I've watched several times already is Top Lady of the Sword. What surprises me is that the film seems to have borrowed a page from the Japanese Ninjitsu. Because in the early scene of the Swordfight in the tavern the two Male heroes use explosives. Mini-explosives. Since they are just mini-explosives their purpose is to only stun and/or disorient. So nobody gets killed at all but their defeat is made quite clear when they finally end up sprawled all over the floor. As for the Swordplay, it's quite good and is further enhanced by some nice stuntwork as well. By stunt work I am referring to an opponent who falls from an overhead balcony onto a table below, with the table getting split in two from the impact. He survives though, as presumably the table itself served as a cushion. At one point even one of the heroes almost falls from the balcony when the railing breaks off so he dangles off the edge. In seeing the touches of Japanese Ninjitsu from the use of mini-explosives, I cannot help but wonder if the writers saw the Japanese movie of the Crescent-Scar Swordsman starring Ichikawa Utaemon--with Yamagata Isao as the Ninja-leader using those same weapons.
  13. Yes, that green is good. Easy and comfortable to read. When I mentioned the yellow I should have added that it's also done in bold-face print so it stands out from the background.
  14. Having watched the Chinese movie Dream Sword, I thought its title is a Misnomer. Because most of the emphasis was on an Axe instead. And not a regular axe but an axe with a very long handle. I guess it would be called a Pole-Axe. And pole-type weapons have their own distinct category including the monk's weapon whose long pole has a cage-like attachment at one end to ensnare an enemy's blade. If you ask me, that pole-axe is too cumbersome and unwieldy. Because in watching the protagonist swing and handle it, there were some points at which it seems the user was almost thrown off-balance. One aspect of the movie that was very much in its favour was the subtitles. Because the picture itself was in letterbox format whereby the bottom of the picture was totally blank so that the subtitles appeared very clearly. On the other hand if the subtitles appear on the picture itself then I feel they should be yellow so it can provide a contrast with any light-colored scenes that appear. If there is no such contrast then I usually cannot make out the words.
  15. @DragonClaws Thanks for the machete video, especially because this is the first time I ever heard of Haitian fencing.