Revisiting The 50

Since summer camp, we have been, one by one, relearning the 50 Basic. This still won't bring mastery. Just  another step forward on the journey.

O'Sensei in Hawaii

Video from O'Sensei's 1961 visit to Hawaii.

Robot Uke

If you're watching WestWorld, the idea of a robot with a katana is troubling, but otherwise, the training opportunities are interesting.

Traditional Steel Production

In a short window of time in winter, traditional Japanese steel manufacturing takes place. It is a ritualized, Shinto process that results in the raw material that sword makers can use for Japanese swords and knives. The senior smith is designated as a living treasure, keeping the skills of ancient steel making alive.
"The clay furnace, or tatara, has the appearance of a large altar. One can sense immediately that this is no ordinary method of steel production, bu.t a particularly Shinto experience that is performed in accordance with nature. The tatara clay furnace is approximately 2.7 meters long by 1 meter wide. The top edges curve downwards along its length, resembling the curvature of the torii-gate of a Shinto shrine. Prayers are performed in front of a nearby small Shinto shrine that houses the deity of metal production, Kanayago-no-kami, before production commences, and a portable shrine within the workshop overlooks the whole process. The workshop itself is separated from the material world by a sacred rope called a shimenawa."
Here's the whole article.


From Barrett Sensei, a reminder.