Black Belt: Kuro Obi

Currently watching this 2007 movie in English subtitles. Looks interesting so far.

A great demonstration of H2H vs sword arts. Of course, pre WWII Japanese sword arts were post-Meiji era sword arts, which is to mean it was disconnected from the history of Japanese warfare and swordmanship. It was resurrected basically for WWII, Toyama Ryu. A way to teach swordmanship to soldiers via a drill mechanism. Enough to keep them alive against opponents who had no sword or were unused to the sword, but not enough to make them truly proficient or masters of the sword.

EDIT1: Well, so far it seems like a tale of internal dispute within one particular school of karate over attack philosophy vs defense philosophy. In Japanese style, each side has their positives and minuses, which the movie takes pains to show to the viewer. It’s not about one person or philosophy being dominant over the other, in fact one might say the “evil” or more aggressive philosophy is shown as dominant and the defensive “peaceful” philosophy is shown as detrimental and causing anguish/grief.

Well this sets things up for an upset of course and it will be interesting to see where they go with this.

EDIT2: I thought the ending was a bit strange in terms of how they designed the fighting. I much preferred the previous fights. And I’m still unsure whether the philosophical conflict ever really got resolved. Of course, a movie cannot be expected to delve too deeply into the differences between attack and defense focuses. But I was looking for something a bit deeper on this matter. In general, this movie had a great start and middle. Even if the ending didn’t quite fit my expectations, it was still a very good production, especially for those interested in Japanese culture and/or history.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Swords, violence

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