Friday, May 14, 2010

The Kingdom of the Rising Sun

Okay, why the title? Well, if you don't know, this is what in the 1930's was most often known as Japan. Yup, I'm back to my Japanese talk. As you've noticed in my blog about kimono's and the like that I have a great interest in all things Japanese. (No duh, just look at my blog.)

Anyhoo, I am in the process of writing a rather long *rather boring* historical fiction. In my studies (and believe me when I say, I've actually been reading those three thousand page history books about Japan) have found some very interesting things about the Japanese culture. Especially about the samurai way of life. (That's what my books about people.)

In the Samurai way of life, best known as Bushido, means 'Way of the Warrior'. You can actually Google it if you don't believe me. In the culture of this amazing group of people, Bushido, stressed honor, duty, self-sacrifice, and obedience. Most *clearing throat* American's have a pretty strange idea about this way of life, and I've been astonished in my readings about this. (Some of it's pretty blood and guts when you get into the feudal era, *time of my story*) Even during times of war, the samurai respected even their enemies. Most samurai were in fact just farmers, but some were born into dojo's, (house of sword play) to learn some of the most extraordinary things.

One of the best know sword styles (or Reu's) was called Soshu Reu. What is also an interesting fact is that children from the age of three started to learn swordplay. (Now known as Kendo.) Of course in the past sword play was much more dangerous, and in fact some of the greatest samurai were known to engage up to three hundred men, ALONE.

And the last fact of the day, is that samurai didn't allow foreigners to learn these styles. In fact, foreigners were called, akuma, or another word for Demon, or Devil. But! If there was a child found by a samurai and was adopted into the family, it was often found that they would be taught the Reu (sword style) of the family. And so, they embodied the Japanese people.

So have Sonkei (respect) for your elders kids. They might take a Katana (samurai sword) to you!


The Egg Wolfing, Exhausted Librarian

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