Samurai text that explains the secrets of the sword, the warriors’ ‘magic’

Was a Japanese samurai warrior), c.1880.
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In a newly translated, a samurai text called “the Twelve Rules of the Sword”, reveals some of the secrets of sword-fighting school, master of a technique that seemed to indicate some supernatural forces at work.

Dating back to the 17th century, it contains the knowledge is passed down from a samurai named Itō Ittōsai (born about 1560), who had fought and won 33 matches in Japan. The researchers don’t know for sure if he is dead, but the historical sources suggest that he may have lived to the age of 90 years. Ittōsai, never wrote down his “Twelve Rules of a Sword,” and instead gave it in writing to the students in the One-Cut sword-fighting school. The descendants of his students, and later, they will be included in the letter.

The text sets out the rules for hitting an opponent, and the two magical prayer to improve, to be a samurai, the spirit, and the spirit, according to Eric Shahan, who recently completed the translation of the text. Shahan is a Japanese translator who specializes in translating from Japanese martial arts texts. He also holds a San Dan (third degree black belt) in Kobudō, which is a Japanese martial art. [Photos: The Last Century of Samurai Swordsmen]

Of the two, the magic of the prayers are vague and difficult to understand. One of them says that a samurai must learn the various Sanskrit characters on their palms, which is a sign that it is for a Oni, a demon. In the past, connect with their palms together, said a prayer, and their hands only once during the creation of an acoustic “Un!” sound, before clapping their hands once and rubbing them together with the prayer to give to it.

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Observe with your mind

One of the lines in the text, it is referred to as the “eye of the heart”; it says, ” in Shahan’s translation, which is “you don’t need to look at your opponent with your eyes, but see with your mind … and If you look at it with your eyes, you’ll be able to distract you, you need to look at with your wits about you, stay focused.” Two of the magical prayers which may have contributed to the samurai of the appropriate school to view the competition with their “spirit” and “ghost” were also translated into English in the text.

The people who are living in 17th-century Japan, which saw a samurai that has mastered the “eyes of the heart” – a rule that can be stunned. “At the time, it seemed to be a silent observer, someone who had mastered this technique had super powers,” Shahan said. However, there is a scientific explanation for how they can use their “mind” and “spirit” is in the eyes of their opponents. [Photos: a 19th-Century Martial Arts to the Cops]

According to Shahan, “[t] he explanation for this is that you have to react more quickly to things in your peripheral vision, as opposed to the center of the attention. Looking directly at an opponent with the sword, and be aware of the record of a gesture, and then try to answer it, it will not be good for you to be in a fight.”

Shahan added, “in Reverse, making your opponent into your field of vision without having to focus on one part of your peripheral vision and react to any move or attack, and it will be more likely to respond, by staring directly at the enemy.

The magic of the prayers in the text, was probably a sort of self-hypnosis, meditation, and ritual: “If your mind is in a maze for a battle, and a defeat would be certain. There would be a connection to the eye of the heart, in the sense that you need to get your body to respond freely and be unaware of the opponent’s attack,” Shahan said.

The heart of the fox

Another rule, known as the “heart” of the fox,” warned the samurai against the over-cautious. The rule notes that foxes have to be careful and suspicious of nature, and something that could get them killed. Instead of fleeing in one direction, stopping here and there to check what was going on behind them. During one of these delays, the hunter in circles around it, and kills the fox. The lesson here is that an excess of caution led to fox’s demise,” the rule states.

As a samurai, think about what they are supposed to do and does it, “the opponent will have to choose that moment to strike” in accordance with this rule. “That is why it is important that you have any doubt as to your technique. You need to be powerful, on the train, so that you’re completely empty, not a man.”

The rest of the lines are in the tree in the wind,” which teaches the samurai not to get caught by their opponents’ rhythm, but no rhythm at all. Another, called “caps,” are going to be the in order to achieve the split-second timing, and “the occurrence of strange ideas.”

Shahan said, is that the samurai, who taught in the One-Cut-school-of-sword-fighting techniques, trained all their lives in the sword arts, and so the techniques are an integral part of their body, and they had to have the mental strength to make their body respond, their mind second-guessing the situation.”

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Originally published on Live Science.

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