Kinkakuji Temple – The Golden Pavilion

Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion, was built in 1397 as the residence of retired shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and was converted into a Zen Buddhist temple after his death. Kinkakuji, covered with gold embossed ornaments and surrounded by a beautiful Japanese garden, is a wonderful masterpiece from the Muromachi era (14-16 century). Visiting …

The Twilight Samurai

The most successful Japanese film of the beginning of the new century. Winner of the most prestigious awards in Japan, triumphant at many international festivals, nominated for an Oscar for non-English film. Many films in the samurai genre showing the samurai arts Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu deal with the drama of their code of ethics and …

The creation of Seitei Iaido

The Japanese martial art of instantly drawing a sword with a subsequent blow is younger than kenjutsu. It originated in Japan in the seventeenth century. According to legend, the samurai Hayashizaki Ginoske wanted revenge for the murder of his father. He could not oppose his father’s killer in a duel because he (the killer) was …

Energy and harmonization – Ki

In the form in which it is used in the techniques, “ki” is the saturation that comes with the right posture, the feeling of the center line, proper breathing, explosive power of focused energy, timing … They combine together and a person reaches a state of perfect balance. It can be said that mastering “ki” …

Kiai – the cry which kills

Kiai (気 合) is the cry which kills. In martial arts, the term often refers to a short shout during or after a certain technique. Kiai starts from the abdomen (hara – Japanese) and comes out of the diaphragm, not the throat. Some believe that kiai has supernatural powers, but there is no evidence to …

Zanshin – the spirit that remains

Zanshin is a term used in Japanese martial arts. It translates as “remaining mind / spirit”. In addition, “Shin” also means the heart (the place where the senses and the spirit are concentrated). In a narrow sense, zanshin means the position of attention in which we remain after we have performed the last of our …

Aikido posture and mutual stance

Right oblique posture is ordinarily required in Ken exercises. Conversely, empty-handed exer­cises require left oblique posture. The latter case is because the initial stance between the two partners is more than two steps apart so that when they mutually take one step forward with their right foot, they may come into contact with each other …

SEPPUKU AND KAISHAKU

Seppuku should never be considered suicide, and similarly kaishaku should never be regarded as murder: both are rituals of bushido. Seppuku was committed only by warriors-commoners were deemed unworthy. There were several circumstances under which seppuku was carried out. One was to take personal responsibility for a grave error. A samurai would also commit seppuku …

Higaonna Kanryo, the founder of Naha-te

After becoming a disciple of Master Ryu Ryuko, Higaonna Sensei helped his master at his trade during the day as a craftsman of bamboo. Training look place after dark starting with the practice of Sanchin. Then, lifting the Nigiri-game (heavy ceramic jars), by their rims, a student would practice Unsokuho (a pattern of stepping movements). …

The legend Masutatsu Oyama, founder of Kyokushin Karate

Masutatsu Oyama was born in Korea in 1923 and is the founder of Japan’s most famous and widespread karate style in the world. At the age of 9, Mas Oyama learned Chinese kenpo in Manchuria and practiced judo and boxing as a teenager. All this leads to training in Okinawan karate, which serves as a …