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Posted: 5/9/2004 9:32:44 AM EST
If there has been a cooler scene in the last decade of American cinema than the ninja attack on Katsumoto-san's village in "The Last Samurai," I've missed it.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 9:56:27 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:03:20 AM EST
I just saw this last night and I agree - it was very cool. The only exception was the "instant samurai" Tom Cruise wasting Ninjas like he had been using a Katana his whole life instead of a couple months.

It reminded me of the same type scene in "Shogun" by James Clavell. That read well in the book but sucked in the TV mini-series. I betcha the director of Last Samurai proabably read Shogun before filming this scene.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:12:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
You need to see the raid on Kira's mansion in "Chushingura" the true story of the 47 ronin of Ako.


Amazon here I come.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:15:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:17:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:32:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
I just saw this last night and I agree - it was very cool. The only exception was the "instant samurai" Tom Cruise wasting Ninjas like he had been using a Katana his whole life instead of a couple months.

It reminded me of the same type scene in "Shogun" by James Clavell. That read well in the book but sucked in the TV mini-series. I betcha the director of Last Samurai proabably read Shogun before filming this scene.



He wasn't an instant Samurai, he was a war hero & veteran of lots of battles. He already knew how to use a saber & could have probably become fairly adept in 6 months with a katana. Remember the first battle? He killed 6 or 8 samurai with a sword & spear, he was already a better warrior than many of the samurai.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:42:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By Sumo2000:

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
I just saw this last night and I agree - it was very cool. The only exception was the "instant samurai" Tom Cruise wasting Ninjas like he had been using a Katana his whole life instead of a couple months.

It reminded me of the same type scene in "Shogun" by James Clavell. That read well in the book but sucked in the TV mini-series. I betcha the director of Last Samurai proabably read Shogun before filming this scene.



He wasn't an instant Samurai, he was a war hero & veteran of lots of battles. He already knew how to use a saber & could have probably become fairly adept in 6 months with a katana. Remember the first battle? He killed 6 or 8 samurai with a sword & spear, he was already a better warrior than many of the samurai.



Yeah, he did the "beserker fighting for his life" pretty good. However, I kept waiting for his US-issue saber to shatter the first time he parried a Samurai's sword.

I'm talking about how he was fighting Japanese-style better than the Ninjas. I know its a movie but damn, he looked like Darth Maul within a month of consistently getting his ass kicked with the practice sword.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:47:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
Yeah, he did the "beserker fighting for his life" pretty good. However, I kept waiting for his US-issue saber to shatter the first time he parried a Samurai's sword.

I'm talking about how he was fighting Japanese-style better than the Ninjas. I know its a movie but damn, he looked like Darth Maul within a month of consistently getting his ass kicked with the practice sword.



Yeah they embellished a bit for the movie but what I mean was he was experienced in battle and for him to learn Japanese style swordsmanship would not be the same thing as someone with no combat experience.

BTW, katanas are far from unbreakable and western swords are just as strong if not stronger when well made.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 12:41:01 PM EST
Katsumoto also saved his ass from a ninja. And if that shuriken wasn't lying there for him to stab the one in the eye Taka would have been cleaning up blood instead of mud off that bamboo rug.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:29:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
Yeah, he did the "beserker fighting for his life" pretty good. However, I kept waiting for his US-issue saber to shatter the first time he parried a Samurai's sword.

I'm talking about how he was fighting Japanese-style better than the Ninjas. I know its a movie but damn, he looked like Darth Maul within a month of consistently getting his ass kicked with the practice sword.



First off, the hype of the Japanese sword is pretty pervasive, but folks, it is a piece of steel, and pretty poor quality steel to begin with as well. Nothing that the Japanese did to that steel to yield a katana was unknown to european smiths at the height of european sword making. Viking swordsmiths were folding steel and laminating blades from iron and hard steel edges LONG before the Japanese figured it out. The reason for folding steel is to homogenize the material and spread the impurities out throughout the blank so they aren't gathered in one inclusion. Homogenous steel is more consistent and more reliable steel. So they fold it a half dozen to maybe 16 times and they come out with a steel that is still inferior to the stuff modern mills produce today.

The differential temper of the japanese blade was something a bit unusual but it mainly accentuated something that happens naturally anyhow. Thin steel cools faster than thick steel so it hardens more. The thicker areas of a blade will always be a bit softer than the thin edges. The Differential tempering system accentuates this by further slowing the cooling of the back of the blade, yielding an edge in the low 60's of the rockwell c scale and a spine in the low 40's. In a Euroblade of the high middle ages, the edges of the swords might be in the high fifties and the spine in the low 50's to high 40's.

The best Japanese style swords made today are produced in...the good old USA by Howard Clark out of L6 tool steel hardened into a bainite structure. The damned things are almost impossible to destroy, take an edge like nothing you'll ever see and are simply gorgeous. Long waiting period, BIG price tag.

Want to learn about real swords, go over to Sword Forum International. You can discourse with folks like Gus Trim, Howard Clark, Michael Tinker Pierce, occasionally Jody Sampson, often Kevin Cashen, and lots of other folks who know an awful lot about swords, both european and asian. They'll bust an awful lot of myths for you, such as the idea that european swords were of low quality, and that ANY sword could cut through armor or another sword without damaging itself.

I am a Japanese Sword Arts practicioner (Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu) and I don't believe the hype about the japanese sword.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:30:24 PM EST
I liked that movie better the first time when it was called Dances with Wolves.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 8:29:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 8:34:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 8:41:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
And a Howard Clark blade is nothing compared to a Masamune.



Oh, i dunno. Which would you choose to go fight with?
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 8:45:13 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 9:05:33 PM EST
Wow Iceman, I am with Auggie on this.... you have umm... perhaps been mislead? Sword forum is for anything BUT people who know nihonto. Dont have a clue is a better description actually.

I am for the west in all things, but after learning and truly studying nihonto... you are talking thru your proverbial hat. Not one western middle ages blade has EVER approached the sophistication of nihonto. And please, dont make me laugh about the vikings with pattern welding blades being equal... damascus?? Hah!

Are nihonto perfect and unbreakable, hell no. Are they the most sophisticated swords ever produced? IF you were knowledgeable you would know and understand them. As you are apparently in ignorance of what they are, please do some study.

The true subtlety and depth of character of the finest nihonto would blow your mind. They are priceless works of art and terribly efficient weapons in the hands of a trained bushi.

And I hate to say it, but some of the most ignorant sword folks I have ever met have been iaidoka. Just because you study its use, it imparts no KNOWLEDGE of what you are using. The utter crap that iaidoka are sometimes taught by their soke leaves me speechless. Wow, what loons.

Anyway, my .02 cents.

Hey Aug, ever hold and study a Masamune blade? I have, and it is truly awe inspiring. I have never witnessed the amazing activity in a blade that Masamune placed in his. Chikei, Inazuma, and on and on and on.... simply amazing. Just about leaps out of the blade and smacks you on the head....

Dramborleg out!
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 9:22:39 PM EST
Any of you guys have pics of nice Japanese swords? I wanna buy one, but not one of those cheap 20 dollar ones. I proly wouldn't want to spend anymore then a grand though so nothing TOO nice. It'd be cool just to have one, for decoration, pics, and watermelons (i know where this is gonna go... it won't go anywhere near mexicans)

Digital
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 10:29:57 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 2:03:59 AM EST
I'm sorry, but science beats tradition in certain areas, and no I am not a Japanese sword practitioner..

I'm with icamanat95 about "modern" steel versus the steel in "any" historical Japanese swords when "forged in the same fashion". Superb japanese swords have been made throughout Japan's history, however when talking modern pure steel overall "strength" and homogenous integrity versus Japan's historical swords (regardless of maker), there is no comparison. I'm sorry, but you CANNOT refine marginal iron ore through japanese traditional methods to the purity and molecular specificity of modern steels. PERIOD. The master swordbuilders might get close, but never even.

Now the masters might have built a better Japanese sword that handles better or is prettier, but in actual steel, modern steel is better period, whether folded and heat treated in the traditionally manner or not. That's science and fact.

As to the "beauty" in any of the Japanes swords, this was more an accomplishment of the polisher/finisher than the sword blade maker. Much of the beauty the polishers bring out in the Japanese swords is actually DUE to the impurities of the metal.

ANY sword maker would want to start with the absolutely best metal available and if Masamune were alive, he would also demand the best modern steels to start with, however he didn't have them. He made marginal iron into beautiful efficient swords, but if he were to make one using modern pure steels, it would be much stronger. It also wouldn't look as pretty since it would be missing the impurities that make them so pretty.

As to Clark versus a real Masamune, if the whole purpose was to smack the edges of both swords directly against each other to test steels or see how far you could bend one before breaking, and nothing more, I would lay odds onto the Clark sword being much tougher with all things like thickness, weight, length, and edge sharpness.

I can't speak to the handling and balance of Clark's or Masamune's swords as I am not sword proficient.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 9:02:08 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 10:10:02 AM EST
Wow...this thread sure detoriated into a sword-dork pissing contest ;)

interesting read anyways.


And I just saw that movie last night, after missing it in the theatres. It really came out of nowhere and suprised me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Id agree the ninja scene was awesome, but I really liked the fog battle, and when he got jumped by the 4 guys in tokyo (tokyo? cant remember the name of the city)
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 10:32:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Xer0:
I'm sorry, but science beats tradition in certain areas, and no I am not a Japanese sword practitioner..

I'm with icamanat95 about "modern" steel versus the steel in "any" historical Japanese swords when "forged in the same fashion". Superb japanese swords have been made throughout Japan's history, however when talking modern pure steel overall "strength" and homogenous integrity versus Japan's historical swords (regardless of maker), there is no comparison. I'm sorry, but you CANNOT refine marginal iron ore through japanese traditional methods to the purity and molecular specificity of modern steels. PERIOD. The master swordbuilders might get close, but never even.

Now the masters might have built a better Japanese sword that handles better or is prettier, but in actual steel, modern steel is better period, whether folded and heat treated in the traditionally manner or not. That's science and fact.

As to the "beauty" in any of the Japanes swords, this was more an accomplishment of the polisher/finisher than the sword blade maker. Much of the beauty the polishers bring out in the Japanese swords is actually DUE to the impurities of the metal.

ANY sword maker would want to start with the absolutely best metal available and if Masamune were alive, he would also demand the best modern steels to start with, however he didn't have them. He made marginal iron into beautiful efficient swords, but if he were to make one using modern pure steels, it would be much stronger. It also wouldn't look as pretty since it would be missing the impurities that make them so pretty.

As to Clark versus a real Masamune, if the whole purpose was to smack the edges of both swords directly against each other to test steels or see how far you could bend one before breaking, and nothing more, I would lay odds onto the Clark sword being much tougher with all things like thickness, weight, length, and edge sharpness.

I can't speak to the handling and balance of Clark's or Masamune's swords as I am not sword proficient.



I was originally speculating about the survivability of a US Army Govt. Issue Officer's Cavalry Saber circa 1870's versus a Samurai Katana. Not modern US steel; mid-19th century steel.
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