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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. @DragonClaws Thanks for the machete video, especially because this is the first time I ever heard of Haitian fencing.
  6. Thanks for the exhaustive and impressive list. My hat's off to you.
  7. Since the actor Rutger Hauer recently passed away, it's appropriate to remember his film, Blind Fury, where he played a blind swordsman. Novelty here is that the samurai plot is transplanted into the modern era. But what captured my attention is him being trained by Vietnamese villagers. Because it brought back memories of the black belt Don Draeger who wrote the book Asian Fighting Arts. In that book as well as in other books, Draeger covered the whole gamut of Asian fighting arts from Indonesia to the Philippines to even Java. Although Draeger is known mostly for choreographing the action in the film You Only Live Twice, I remember him the most for his books. The Chinese arts already have a tremendous variety of weapons but when you read Draeger's books it's like jumping from a puddle into a swimming pool! In the Blind Fury film, mention must be made of Sho Kosugi's presence. Although his role is minor but his climactic fight scene makes up for it. To master the Sword play, actor Rutger Hauer mentioned how difficult it was to train for it. At first I thought he was trained by Sho Kosugi. But research finds that he was actually trained by a martial artist who's actually blind and won Blind-Judo championships. Lynn Manning. Even though the first name is Lynn, it's actually a man. He was actually blind for real and black belt at the same time so he was the appropriate choice to teach Mr. Hauer how to play a blind swordsman.
  8. @DragonClaws Let me ask you--in your list so far--have you included actress Yoko Natsuki? The list is so long that I could not check every post--so I ask you. She was in the movie Karate For Life. But she's mostly known for her weekly appearances in the tv series Abarenbo Shogun where she played the female Ninja Osono. Since the TV series lasted many years and she did martial arts for each weekly episode, then she must have done at least a hundred scenes of martial arts, making her the lady with the most martial appearances!! Because when I used to watch the series, she did martial arts in every single weekly episode. When I googled online, I see her dressed in only regular clothing but don't see her in her ninja outfit. It would be good if somebody could find an image of her dressed in her ninja outfit. Her name is Yoko Natsuki.
  9. Thanks, DragonClaws, you made my day.
  10. Shosetsu

    All Things Chuck Norris

    Your point is well-taken, DC. Yes, you're right--it's because I had already seen so many Japanese films before I saw Octagon so that I became very discriminating/sensitive as to good Swordplay. Octagon was Ninjutsu but it was a Westernized version, so it rubbed me the wrong way. Even Sho Kosugi's films were Westernized in a way too, but Kosugi at least injected some degree of authenticity to his swordplay.
  11. What surprised me recently was when I ran across a movie of Saotome Mondo (starring famous actor Ichikawa Utaemon) that had plenty of Ninja-action. Also surprising was the appearance of actor Yamagata Isao. Isao always plays the role of villains but this time he was also the head of the Ninja group. Normally when he plays a villain, it's a high-ranking character such as a Magistrate so he doesn't do any fight scenes. But this time he played a ninja leader so he did plenty of Swordfighting with Mondo. In one great fight scene in an abandoned building in a forest, hordes of ninja attack Mondo. As the hordes attack him, the leader himself joins the fray and flings darts and smoke bombs and fire bombs at Mondo. And all while the hordes are attacking him at the same time. Pure joy to watch. The main actor Utaemon was extremely popular back in the day. In fact he was already popular during the Silent films of the 1920s! And it was mostly from playing just the Mondo character.
  12. Shosetsu

    All Things Chuck Norris

    Much as I hate to say it, I felt disappointed at Chuck Norris in the Octagon. Specifically what disappointed me was his Swordplay. Seems that Norris is much better suited for Karate. That's why I preferred Norris in the Texas Ranger series where he seems to feel right at home. On the other hand the Westerner I thought was really good at Swordplay was Mike Stone. I still have a magazine back issue featuring an interview with Mike Stone where he says that at a certain point the Sword itself seems to take on a life of its own. Interestingly this happens to be the case with some Sword-practitioners who say that the blade develops a "soul" of its own. That's why some characters such as Nemuri Kyoshiro actually give a name to their Sword.
  13. @DragonClaws Say, DC, when you brought up the Korean flick a while ago, it rang a bell in me because it made me recall a Korean television series I saw quite a number of years ago. What struck me as strange was that the Korean character used a Japanese sword and seems to imitate Japanese techniques. In fact I might even go so far as to say it imitated the technique of Nemuri Kyoshiro and his Engetsu (Full Moon technique). By that I mean the Korean's blade moved in a roughly circular movement and even had the special effects multiple-images. For all I know, maybe the Koreans were paying tribute to Japan's Nemuri Kyoshiro. If anybody knows the Korean title, they can post it here because I would like to get a dvd. After all many Korean-TV shows have been put on dvd so it's a good chance for this Sword series.
  14. Not weird but I have to say I was disappointed at the movie Legendary Weapons of China. It did not measure up to his title. In comparison, there was a much better variety of weapons in Gordon Liu's Heroes of the East. Even the lowly weapon the tonfa was included in Liu's movie. I used to have a friend who is a kung fu fan and he always used to say the tonfa is the least popular. I guess that depends on how many movies have featured that weapon. So if anybody can list any other appearances, that would be nice.
  15. Well, I had already known of the Longquan school, but your link was the first time I saw an actual Video of them in the process of smithing. Why it's not the Chinese but instead the Japanese swords that get the most attention and most value is because the Chinese people as a whole place only a small value on antique swords. A classic example of that can be seen in the case of a farmer, Yi Shouxiang, who discovered a very old antique sword in the dirt. Not thinking of its cultural value at all, Shouxiang began using it as a Kitchen-knife. By the time somebody else had let Shouxiang know about its great value as an ancient artifact, it was already too late because too much damage had been done to the blade by his use of it as a kitchen knife. He could have made a tremendous amount of money by selling it but by that time the damage had devalued it too much.