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Shosetsu

Chinese-Swords (Both history and film)

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I think a lot of swords were decorative, unless they were out in the countryside, protecting themselves from bandits, possibly. I had an Asian history course, and China's history was mostly commerce, not battles and duels. Also, the fact is, the Government, and many times, the common people, had a love hate relationship with Martial Arts, considering it the hobby of hicks or the weapon of troublemakers and gangsters. 

Edited by NoKUNGFUforYU

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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.

Edited by Shosetsu

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When I do customs, I use different colors for subs. Back to the topic, I get into a lot of arguments with Chinese Nationalists on Facebook about whether the Chinese had a warrior/knight class. My understanding is anything close to a Samurai was pretty brief and a long, long time ago. Also, at least one Chinese general didn't think much of doing a lot of martial arts training, as did some Greeks and Romans. From what I can tell, pikes and spears and arrows were much more useful then swords, and dueling mano y mano was not a big, romanticized thing in real life historical China. I feel like the swords would be status symbols and "home defense", but very rarely used at all. Now security delivery guys are a different story, but even then, from what I read, it was mostly payoffs to local gangs, not epic battles, that took place. As dull as that sounds, I'm sure people didn't want to fight to the death all the time anyway, LOL!

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9 hours ago, Shosetsu said:

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.

I found these colors pretty cool when dealing with Hard subs.

 

vlcsnap-2019-08-14-22h57m45s922.png

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On 8/15/2019 at 6:17 AM, NoKUNGFUforYU said:

I found these colors pretty cool when dealing with Hard subs.

 

vlcsnap-2019-08-14-22h57m45s922.png

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.

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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.

Edited by Shosetsu

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On 9/6/2019 at 3:12 AM, DragonClaws said:

 

 

 

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.

Edited by Shosetsu

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