Episode 194 – Fist of Legend, Part 1

This week: where do Japan’s traditional martial arts come from?

Listen to the episode here.


Read, Paul. One Last Thing: The Untold History of the Martial Arts Philosophy.

Meyer, Isaac. The Soul of a Nation: Swordsmanship in Modern Japan. (BA Thesis, Wesleyan University, 2010)

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan


A page from the Heiho Kadensho of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Books like this one were designed not to propagate the style but to act as certificates of expertise for instructors.
The domain school of the old Aizu domain, the Nisshinkan. At schools like this one, samurai children would learn a fusion of martial arts and Confucianism unique to the Tokugawa era.
Traditional karate weapons like these were derived from common household or farming implements, a reminder of karate’s low-class origins.

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