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CompleteMartialArts.com - Classical Weaponry of Japan: Special Weapons and Tactics of the Martial Arts


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Manufacturer: Kodansha
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 796
EAN: 9784770029416
ISBN: 4770029411
Label: Kodansha
Manufacturer: Kodansha
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 218
Publication Date: 2003-06-06
Publisher: Kodansha
Studio: Kodansha

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Editorial Reviews:

Serge Mol?s earlier volume, Classical Fighting Arts of Japan: A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu is already destined to become a classic.

Classical Weaponry of Japan is a continuation of that first book. It is an in-depth study of more than a hundred exotic special weapons and associated weapon techniques used by various koryu jujutsu schools.

Each weapon will be shown in photographs accompanied by detailed explanations about history and usage. The book treats 100 weapons in depth and refers to 300. Where possible, photos will be included of present-day Japanese grandmasters demonstrating the way the weapons were used.

In addition to the weapons, the author introduces and explains the characteristics of about twenty special weapon arts that were developed around these weapons. The relation of these special weapon arts to other fighting systems is also discussed.

Many of the weapons included in this work once belonged to secret sections within the secret curriculum of ancient jujutsu schools or weapons schools. Certain weapons that remained hidden for centuries have recently been uncovered; Mol includes photos of them and offers ideas about how they may have been used and even shows grandmasters demonstrating their use. Others that became well known around the world, such as the famous shuriken or kusarigama, are discussed in new ways here. However, the majority of the weapons treated in Classical Weaponry of Japan are not widely known, and so will be of great interest to practitioners of martial arts and weapon
collectors or enthusiasts.
The book is heavily illustrated, with rare photos of weapons, techniques, ancient text scrolls, illustrated scrolls, and woodblock prints. It will have a foreword by Tanaka Fumon and one by another grandmaster who is an expert in the field of secret weapons.

Classical Weaponry of Japan will be the first book in any of the major Western languages to comprehensively treat the special or secret weapons that are still known today.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great source of info
Comment: Obviosly well researched with good photos. Beats the hell out of Cunningham's book.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A complete guide to non-sword weapons of classical Japan
Comment: This book is nothing short of amazing. Incredibly detailed and thoroughly researched, it is the Magnum Opus on the subject of non-sword weaponry in ancient Japan. Swords have been covered extensively in many books, so it is very worthwhile to give the rest of the arsenal their due.

A history lesson as well as a weapons guide, "Classical Weaponry of Japan" compiles the secret scrolls of the various fighting schools of old Japan, along with the collections of noted weapons-scholar Fumon Tanaka and the authors personal collection of ancient weapons. From these, Serge Mol not only describes the weapons, their fighting styles, their lineage, but also the historical genesis behind the creations.

The sword being the legal property of the Samurai class, and its wearing and use highly proscribed, the non-Samurai citizens of Japan were incredibly creative in their adaptation of daily implements into lethal weapons. Also, each fighting school, in order to attract students, created a unique and secret arsenal of weapons available only to their high-ranking adherents. In this way, a warrior could unveil a weapon that his opponent had never seen, and thus would be unsure as to how to defend against.

The book is divided into seven categories of weapons, such as bladed weapons, small hand-held weapons, truncheon-like weapons, shuriken and shurikenjutsu, and deceptive weapons. Each category then contains sub-categories, with several weapons described. Altogether, more than 100 different weapons are showcased, along with their histories and uses. Most weapons are accompanied by photographs, and several are shown in use. Some favorites include the spectacular Kusarigama (Sickle and Chain), which I have seen used in several films due to its visual flair, and the beautifully decorated Omamorito (Protection Knife) which high-ranking women carried in order to kill themselves should they be "dishonoured" during a castle raid.

A necessary book for weapons and martial arts enthusiasts, it is also a perfect reference book for writers and readers of ancient Japan, including those interested in Samurai films and comics.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Extremely well done!
Comment: The work is extremely well researched, clear, and comprehensive; describing things I've never heard of in 30+ years of martial arts. The photographs and illustrations complement the wonderful text. While you can never truly learn any martial art solely from a book, no matter how well-written, this is a very worthwhile tome. It offers unique insight into the lessor-known weapons of feudal Japan, including kobuki (small/minor weapons), hibuki (secret weapons), and kakushibuki (hidden weapons).

Weapons addressed in detail include stuff like jitte, marohoshi, chidorigane, shuriken, and kusari-gama. Content includes bladed weapons (e.g., wakizashi, tanto, kubizashi, kama, jitte, marohoshi), small hand-held weapons (e.g., shutogane, tessho, dokko, suntetsu, tekken), truncheons (e.g., kabutowari, tetto, nashi, tetsuniyoi, hanbo, tanbo), miscellaneous hand weapons (e.g., kanamuchi, tamazue, hogu, kakute, kaginawa), chain weapons (e.g., konpi, kusariryuta, mijin, kusarigama, kursaibo, kusarijutte), shuriken (e.g., yarihogata, tanogata, kuji, senban, shiken, kamagata, tetsumari), deceptive weapons (e.g., yatate, shikomibue, tessen, jutte). A brief introduction on the history and use of each type of weapon precedes each section.

The book is easy and fun to read. I'm really impressed.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Fascinating
Comment: I just finished reading "Classical Weaponry of Japan: Special Weapons and Tactics of the Martial Arts by Serge Mol", But I know this book wont get covered by dust. The content of this book is so rich that I will just have to return to it again and again. I placed it at my Dojo'd library and my students were very impressed too.

The techniques and weapons in the book are described in clear photos and always followed by fascinating historical and practical explanation. This book together with Serge Mol's other book -"Classical Fighting Arts of Japan: A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu", are now like a treasure box for my practice and study.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: instant classic
Comment: At last, a decent book on Japanese feudal weaponry. Sure, there are many good books on the subject, but none of them are in English. If you want to know about the history of a lot of weapons, this is the definitive source. It's almost like looking through a catalog of lethal toys, and many times I found myself stopping to draw diagrams and write out dimensions so I can make some of them myself. As always, Amazon has the best price, so buy it now!


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