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Shosetsu

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Everything posted by Shosetsu

  1. Just as I do with my thread on Japanese-Swords, so do I introduce one on Chinese swords. Both history and film so I'll cover not only films but also sword-collecting. At first I was going to start off with sword collecting but just recently I saw a film where I caught a mistake which apparently the director failed to catch. It's in the film War of the Shaolin Temple. Approximately 57 minutes into the film is where the mistake occurs. The two main protagonists, both dressed totally in white outfits, attempt to rescue a fellow monk who has been confined in a cage. Excellent sword fighting but at one point in the ensuing melee, I could clearly see one hero strike the other hero with a sword slash. It can be clearly seen because the recipient of the slash physically and noticeably reacts. But he continues to fight as though nothing had happened.
  2. In that video you posted, DragonClaws, I notice the segment where the Swordsmiths pray at the Buddhist temple before making the blade. I know that the Japanese do that but this was the first time I've seen the Chinese do that preliminary. But let me make the point here that the difference is that Chinese do it at a Buddhist temple whereas the Japanese do it at a Shinto temple or a localized Shinto altar at the home of the Swordsmith. The big difference is that in Japan the Sword itself is intertwined with Religion, specifically Shinto. Because in the Japanese religion of Shintoism there was a Sword at the beginning of creation. At that point was not only one God but Two Gods, one male, and the other being female, namely Izanagi and Izanami. That belief would most likely please the Feminists who feel offended that God is always called a He. So Feminists would feel more comfortable with Shinto's Dualistic-God. But to get back to the Shinto Sword, it was droplets falling from the Sword blade that created the country of Japan. This is just my opinion or my guess that when the Chinese pray at the Buddhist temple it's more to show respect than for religious purpose, so it's different from Shinto ritual for the Sword making.
  3. Shosetsu

    Super Sentai Series/Power Rangers Thread

    It was back in the early 1980s that I bought a VHS tape of Lion-Maru tv-series. The tape had only one half-hour episode but it was dubbed in English. It was licensed, Not bootleg. Since Lion-Maru is obscure compared to other tokusatsu--why did an American company choose that one to dub?
  4. Shosetsu

    Bolo Yeung: Japanese Film & T.V work (Questions)

    @DragonClaws @Takuma How about Gorilla-7? It was a police series that ran during the mid-70s. Sounds like Bolo could have been in it. Just wondering.
  5. Shosetsu

    Help Identify a Movie...

    Much as I hate to say it, that particular scene sounds like an obscure film because it doesn't look familiar at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad at all--just saying that it's obscure. The closest thing I've seen to that Coin-catching stunt that you mention is from a Zatoichi Sword stunt where he deters a Yakuza gang by swiftly slicing off the tops of several lit-candles--as a result of which all the candle-tops wind up lined up along the length of his blade. While I'm at it, I might as well mention the hilarious Zatoichi stunt where his Sword sliced off a Yakuza's loincloth. The Yakuza was so horrified that he pissed. I heard of guys pissing in their pants but this guy was pants-less!
  6. Shosetsu

    Samurai Marathon 1855 (2019) jidaigeki film

    Yes, that's it. You'll notice that Wakabayashi Goh is one of the supporting characters. He's the one with the Western hat. I saw him the other night in an episode of Nemuri Kyoshiro--the version starring Takao Kataoka in the title role. They had the plot thread, Conspiracy of the 8 Clans, running for very many episodes. What surprised me was to see actor Toru Abe as the head of the Conspiracy in a Samurai series because Toru is known mostly for his Yakuza movies. So it takes getting used to, in order to watch him in a Samurai role. It's even more shocking to see actor Isao Yamagata in the role he took when he became elderly. In the Toei studio movies Yamagata always acted as the ruthless villain. But when he became elderly he played the role of a kindly Grandpa in a TV soap opera!!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. At first glance, this topic might seem the same as another thread I had on Swordsmanship. But they are different because the other thread dealt with the spiritual aspects of Japanese Swordsmanship. Whereas this thread delves into techniques. Also its gradual development into what is presently called Kendo. So what better way to begin the topic than to mention the 1970s film series Kendo Ippon. Acting in the main role of Gentaro was actor Miura Tomokazu. He was most likely chosen for this role because of his then-popularity of being a singer and acting in several teenage movies alongside Leading Lady Yamaguchi Momoe. As Gentaro, Miura plays a high school student. On the high school curriculum is Kendo which he practices diligently especially because his own Father used to be a Kendo sensei. Kendo is the modern day sport developed from Japanese Swordsmanship. It has been made safe from the use of protective armor and also using a harm-less Sword made of bamboo, called a Shinai. The Miura series deals with Gentaro's training and his progressive development into a proficient kendoist. Along the way, he crosses Swords with Hikaru, a Female, who uses a unique style called The Butterfly technique. And to add to that, there was also another kendoist, the Psychotic-male kendoist who uses the technique called Jigoku Sandan-Giri (Hell's 3-step Slash).
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. @DragonClaws Thanks for the machete video, especially because this is the first time I ever heard of Haitian fencing.
  23. Thanks for the exhaustive and impressive list. My hat's off to you.
  24. 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.
  25. @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.
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