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Saber Rattling

To all those who like to keep track, and coinciding with Mardi Gras, Happy Chinese New Year, this being the Year of the Rooster. Bwkbwkbgaaaah! An auspicious time to have begun studying Chinese saber. What a fun and flashy weapon and so different from European sword and katana! While all martial arts rest on the same foundation, the individual expression of each reflects local culture and conditions. Chinese swordwork involves dramatic gestures, shaolin footwork, a balletic flair of movement and far more use of the empty hand to block and to counterbalance the sword.

This weekend, I ended up watching Onmyoji I and II seriatim (thanks to dual programing for Pacific time zone). The stories follow a magician and a young court noble who discover themselves unlikely partners defending the palace from demonic attacks. The magician, Seimei, is particularly fascinating: sly and androgynous, the perennial outsider. So arresting, you simply can't take your eyes off him. The young nobleman, Hiromasa, is used to both comic and sentimental effect: not particularly smart, but loyal and trustworthy. These films are not great art or anything, but unusual and surprisingly worth watching, with good production values and great humanity brought to even incidental characters (something Hollywood storytelling forgoes for financial reasons).

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
ajrose93
Feb. 8th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
<< Chinese swordwork involves dramatic gestures, shaolin footwork, a balletic flair of movement and far more use of the empty hand to block and to counterbalance the sword. >>

...all of which leaves you looking like the goddess Kali while doing it, too.

YOW! YOW! YOW!

(ahem)

You make living in the Kali-Yuga worth it, baby. :*
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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