"Usagi Yojimbo" is Japanese for "rabbit bodyguard". It also happens to be the title of Stan Sakai's great comic book series, starring Miyamoto Usagi, an anthropomorphic animal named after Miyamoto Musashi. The series has a very cinematic feel. Sakai retells Japanese legends and samurai stories in a way that's both novel and respectful. If you haven't yet - you gotta read it.more...
The series is set in XVII-century feudal Japan. Usagi is a ronin - a masterless samurai - and a musha shugyo, a pilgrim-warrior, on a quest to better his spirit and hone his swordsman skills. His skills are already great and his honor and dedication to bushido, the warrior's code - almost unshakeable but his journey has no end.
During his travels Usagi faces countless enemies - different clans of ninja warriors; thugs, thieves and brutes; pawns of the dark lord Hikiji and, last but not least, Jei, an immortal demon - or the messenger of the gods - or simply a dangerous lunatic.
Usagi has many friends too - like Gen, a somewhat surly bounty hunter (and a rhino); Kitsune (a fox), a cheerful and sexy (in a disturbing, animalistic sort of way) con-artist; Chizu, a female ninja warrior with a crush on Usa...
Samurai is a Japanese Company that is the strongest denim in the world. Its standard cut is at 15 oz per sq meter. Although they have now gone all the way up to 24. The higher the oz, the more stress the jeans are under on the loom. 15 oz itself is very very hard. 24 oz is near impossible.
The leather patch depicts an image of the famous duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō in 1612 on a remote island in Japan. Musashi was the victor and is said to be the most skilled swordsman in history. He is also well
known for his writing of Go Rin No Sho or "Book of Five Rings". This is the image commonly found on most Samurai models. Most versons also includes a full moon
silhouette and Lot# 10, this number changes every year with this being Samurai's 10th production year.
Samurai is also a raw denim. It takes many months or years to get these broken into champions. Although Sam's are known for fading very nicely.
Fuck, this samurai denim is bullet proof!
Bushido is the code of conduct followed by those of the Samurai caste in Feudal Japan.
Bushido has seven main virtues; Honor, Rectitude,Courage, Benevolence, Respect, and Loyalty.
Aside from these main points many Samurai clans also added; Wisdom and Filial Piety.
Bushido was unwritten and unspoken but none the less transcended through generations of Samurai.
The romanticized idea of the Samurai often comes from the Edo era in which Japan was finally unified under the Tokugawa Shogunate. That is not to say Samurai of ages past did not adhere to Bushido but with no war Samurai served no purpose and thus some became poets who embellished the way of the warrior.
A Samurai's inability to adhere to Bushido often resulted in his commitment of seppuku.
Elder Samurai: today we will be learning Bushido through training
Young Samurai: what is Bushido?
Elder Samurai: it is the way of the warrior.
A master swordsman must size up his opponent. No two swordsmen fight the same. Ito Ittosai, a great Japanese swordsman was reckless in his style. “Learn by being cut” was his philosophy. He believed one should be concerned more with not losing rather than winning. Proper timing is a key element of this concept. In his book Go Rin No Sho (A Book of Five Rings), Miyamoto Musashi, remarked that his entire strategy was based on timing and rhythm. Musashi was the founder of the Nito or two sword method of fighting in Japan. It is believed that he learned the rapier and dagger techniques of the Europeans from traders in Southern Japan and used these techniques to develop his own style. In traditional martial arts, no other weapon has held the status of the sword. It is the center of training for the majority of the arts. Kenjutsu may be studied as a separate art or as a subordinate art of another major system. At the Red Dragon Ju Jitsu Dojo, the basics of Kenjutsu are required for advancement to the rank of Blue Belt. It is also taught as a stand-alone art. In terms of skills, few weapons require the demands of swordsmanship. The sword moves much faster than the fastest person, the skill in timing and judgement will benefit the Martial Artist in all other aspects of their training.
Kenjutsu should not be considered the same as Kendo. Kendo is a sport form of swordsmanship and an offspring of Ken-Jutsu. In Kendo, the targets are restricted to the head, wrist, body plate, and throat. In Ken-Jutsu, any target is fair game. The study of Kenjitsu has no belting system. It is a pure study of the art and mastery is developed through practice. Students must learn the basic stances along with the basic attacks and defenses. Mastery is derived from actual combat or Kumite using a wooden Bokken (Bokuto). After the student has been properly instructed in the techniques of combat and practices of various timing drills they are pitted against other students under the direct supervision of the Sensei who referees the match. The study of Ken-jutsu is more than merely wielding a sword. One not only learns the Kihon Dachi (basic stances) and attacks with defenses, there is much more to the study of the art of the Samurai. Any butcher can swing a sword but to be a master you must develop the mental and spiritual aspects of the art as well as the physical. Shin-Ku-I (Body, Mouth, Mind) or more accurately Action, Word, and Thought is how the Samurai were evaluated. What makes the difference between a swordsman and a master is Ken Shin Ichi Nyo, or Sword and mind as one. One must train as if the sword was a part of them, if it is looked at as a separate entity you will never develop the skill to master the art.
Shogun was the ultimate rank one could achieve in Japan. The Shogun was the Supreme Military Dictator. Only one Daimyo (feudal lord) at a time could obtain the title. And only the His Imperial Highness, the reigning Emperor, the Divine Son of Heaven, who lived in seclusion with the Imperial Families at Kyoto, could grant the title. With the appointment of Shogun went absolute power: the Emperor's seal and mandate. The Shogun ruled in the Emperor's name. All power was derived from the Emperor because he was directly descended from the gods. Therefore any daimyo who opposed the Shogun were automatically in rebellion against the throne, and at once outcast and all his lands forfeit. The reigning Emperor was worshipped as a divinity because he was descended in an unbroken line from the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, one of the children of the gods Izanagi and Izanami, who had formed the islands of Japan from the firmament. By divine right the ruling Emperor owned all the land and was obeyed without question. But in practice, for more than six centuries real power had rested behind the throne.
A Shogunate was the government, office, or rule of a Shogun. There was three shogunates in Japanese history.
1) Kamakura Shogunate (1192–1333)
2) Ashikaga Shogunate (1336–1573)
3) Tokugawa Shogunate (1603–1868)
One of the most significant figures in Japanese history, Ieyasu was a warrior, statesman and founder of the Tokugawa dynasty of shoguns. Tokugawa Ieyasu was born Matsudaira Takechiyo in 1542, son of the lord of the province of Mikawa. At the time of his birth, Japan was convulsed by civil war, with violent feuds between territorial lords which had lasted for nearly a century. When he was four Ieyasu was sent as a hostage to secure an alliance between his clan and the neighbouring Imagawa clan. He was raised at their court and given the education suitable for a nobleman. In 1567 Ieyasu, whose father's death had left him as leader of the Matsudaira, allied with Oda Nobunaga, a powerful neighbour. It was at this time that he changed his name from Matsudaira to Tokugawa, which was the name of the area from which his family originated. He also changed his personal name to Ieyasu, so he was now known as Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu spent the next decade-and-a-half campaigning with Nobunaga while expanding his own influence and wealth. He had by now gained a considerable military reputation.
When Nobunaga was assassinated in 1582, Tokugawa Ieyasu acquired more territory, and allied with Nobunaga's successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi sent Ieyasu to govern lands in the east of Japan, attempting to contain his growing independence. Ieyasu made his headquarters at the small port of Edo (where Tokyo now stands). When Hideyoshi died campaigning in Korea, Ieyasu became one of the guardians of his young son. The leading military figures in Japan now began to scheme against each other and civil war again broke out. Another of the advisers appointed by Hideyoshi was Ishisa Mitsunari, and it was he who formed the Western Army against Ieyasu. In 1600 Ieyasu defeated the Western Army in the decisive battle of Sekigahara, thereby achieving supremacy in Japan. In 1603 Emperor Go-Yozei, ruler only in name, gave Ieyasu the historic title of shogun (military governor) to confirm his pre-eminence. Japan was now united under Ieyasu's control. He worked hard to restore stability to Japan and encouraged foreign trade, which included the exchange of gifts with James I of England and other European rulers. It was only later, under Ieyasu's successors, that Japan effectively isolated itself from foreign contact. Ieyasu died on 17 April 1616. He was later deified and his mausoleum at Nikko became one of the most important shrines in Japan.
A quick kicking motion with your foot, used to deliver debilitating blows to a victim on the ground. Unlike a typical or hard kick, not much weight or effort is put into the blow. Simply let your foot rapidly swing back and forth, using just enough momentum to carry it like a slapping motion with your foot.
"Robert De Niro really kickslapped the shit out of that guy at the bar in Goodfellas."