Week Two: Sports Chanbara- Samurai Sports by Tetsundo Tanabe [236 Pages]
So I may be cheating a little bit with this one. It’s not a fiction book like the rest of the books I intend to use for the 52 Book Challenge, but it is a really interesting book that I want to show to people.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a black belt/instructor in Freestyle Karate. My Uncle (who runs my class) was just promoted to head of chanbara by the Chief Instructor and given this book as a guide:
My uncles not a big reader, whereas I was fascinated by the book. So I volunteered to read it for him and give him the abridged version.
The first thing I noticed is the signature at the front:
But not only is it signed by the author, but the author may be visiting at some point. So we’re suddenly under a lot of pressure to get his techniques right, which is hard to do when the only visual representations you have are small black and white photos.
The books itself is beautifully laid out, I love books that have the original text on one side and the translation on the other for comparison purposes.
For those of you who don’t know chabara is kind of like fighting with swords. Except without the swords, what we use are more akin to pool-noodles on sticks. But the general principle remains the same. The book is focused on making the sport more accessible to people of all ages, genders and abilities which I really like. It also has a really iteresting history of the development of different swords for different functions.
If you can get your hands on a copy, I would definetly reccomend it.