Favorite Ninjutsu book?

Discussion in 'SKH/Quest/Toshindo/Shadows of Iga' started by Justin Chang, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Dude. Stop now. You're just wrong. Deception was just as much a part of Japanese warfare, combative methods, and so on as it was anywhere else. Ninjutsu is purely Japanese, and thoroughly Japanese in it's methodology, culture, and so forth.

    Seriously, this is completely wrong in everything you're saying. Up to and including the idea that "ninja" were guerrilla warriors....
     
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  2. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    Well thank you for this informative post. That's a lot of knowledge to retain. You obviously know more than a lot of us about this subject. That's awesome. Thank you again. I apologize for my misconceptions. I do have to question one thing you said though. If the alternative reading of "ninjato" is "shinobi-gatana," then the literal translation should be "ninja sword," correct? Therefore by calling it a ninjato and not a katana, what I'm really saying is "it wasn't a curved sword, it was a ninja sword," quite literally. Or does my Japanese need help? Thanks for clarifying.
     
  3. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    I would say this is a rather fictional romantic idea of Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu is a Japanese art the core of it is Japanese with some influences from China are possible the methods if any from Chinese arts would have been modified, changed. To understand the Japanese you have to understand honne and tatemae. So the whole dishonorable and cowardly thing was more common then we think. As Chris said the word ninjutsu wasn't used there were other terms used especially depending on the era.
     
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  4. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    To is the On reading Katana is the kun reading.
     
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  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Your understanding of the context needs a lot of help, yes. There was NO SUCH THING as a straight "ninja sword" outside of the movies. So, no, what you were saying was that it wasn't a fantasy sword, it was a sword...

    As to my knowledge of this subject, you may want to do a search for my posts... start with the Ninjutsu section... then the Koryu one....
     
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  6. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    If the straight ninja sword is not an authentic ninja sword, then why do so many Ninjutsu practitioners use the ninjato? What ninja school doesn't promote use of a ninjato? Where did the ninjato come from and how did it inbed its way into ninja movies, books, comics, martial arts, etc? Why does Stephen Hayes use a ninjato? Why do other alleged masters and authors also make use and mention of a ninjato? Why do some of them even have books with entire chapters dedicated to the ninjato? What is the significance of it? Why is ninjutsu so intertwined with kabuki stage shows? What makes the ninjato a fantasy sword? And do you believe that a ninjato can still be used to cause injury or death despite its quality and design?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Oh boy.... you really want to do this?

    It's not, and there is no historical basis for it.

    They don't. The only groups that do are completely fraudulent Western groups who base their "martial arts" on their own fantasies and what they see in movies.

    All of the legitimate ones. The closest is a specific form of (curved, but shorter) sword used in Togakure Ryu, but it's still not the same as the movie-style straight bladed "ninjato".

    A prop designer for the Japanese movies came up with them, as they were easier to make, and were an easy way to identify "good guys" and "bad guys"... not too dissimilar to the Western ideal of a "black hat" and "white hat" cowboy.... not based in anything accurate, historical, or realistic, but a simple visual shorthand to inform the audience.

    His early work did feature the movie prop, as he found one in a store in Japan, and decided to use it... that was not based in anything he was taught, but was an assumption he made before he knew better... and, sadly, attempted to defend such an action before finally admitting that it was baseless.

    Who? Name me one legitimate "master" who use such a tool?

    Not knowing who you're referring to, the books your'e referencing, or the chapters contained, and taking into account your early defence of your reading of Ashida Kim (Ranford Davis/Christopher Hunter), it's entirely possible that you're reading the works of completely illegitimate (uneducated, fraudulent) "teachers" whose only claim is their own delusion.

    There isn't any. It's a movie prop.

    You have that backwards. And it's not a huge part of kabuki, you know...

    Besides the fact that it's a completely fantasy based item, with no basis in reality, history, functional use, and more? Really?

    Dude, that has to be one of the most idiotic arguments you've made... the fact that you can injure with something means nothing in this regard... I mean, I could do you a hell of a lot of damage with a pink plastic lawn flamingo... does that mean that plastic flamingoes were designed as a lethal weapon with a history stretching back centuries?

    I'm going to finish simply. You have no idea what you're talking about. I recommend strongly you recognise this, and stop making yourself look foolish.
     
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  8. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    No legit school with ties to Japan use it.
    Any legit school or off shoot that has or has ties to Japan.
    Most likely from Kabuki plays who often used smaller swords.
    Who knows maybe a misunderstanding with the sword from the Togakure ryu? What other masters and authors?
    Depends on who it is, many students were Hayes so that may be a reason why.
    It really isn't.
    It is not practical.
    Any sharp object can do so. However the blade would be brittle by design. There is a reason Japanese swords are the way they are and are not straight like an arrow because they break.
     
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  9. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Wow Chris is almost like we had word for word lol.
     
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  10. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Well, you have education and all, so.... ha!
     
  11. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    My favorite books on the subject of Shinobi are the Bansenshukai, Shoninki and Ninpiden, Antony Cummins has by far done the best job of giving the Western World accurate information on the Shinobi. This inevitably resulted in hatred from those groups professing to be the only source for authentic study of Shinobi arts especially because what he translated paints a picture of the Shinobi that is very different from the image the various commercial ninja cults were trying to sell the western world. To his credit he has a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and a masters in Archaeology. He is the founder of the Historical Ninjutsu Research Team, who examine and translate ancient documents to reveal the truth about the Shinobi. He works with native Japanese language experts who know how to translate the ancient language of the scrolls, he consults with recognized Koryu experts some of whom have a background in a historically verifiable elements of what we call Ninjutsu. For example the head of the Tenshin Katori Shinto Ryu and the head of the Koga Ban Family to name a few who review his work and make suggestions and share their insights.

    For those of you who don't understand why Antony Cummins gets criticized by organizations teaching various techniques of unarmed combat and referring to it as authentic ninjutsu it is because his team's research verified what the old martial scholars used to say about the Shinobi and contradicted the commercial sales pitch that came about during the Ninja Boom years, that is that their is no authentic, verifiable, unbroken line of Ninjutsu specializing in unarmed karate-jujutsu moves, The techniques of the Shinobi are those of infiltration, disguise, poison, sabotage, espionage, escape and evasion, etc. basically they mirror the skills of a highly skilled thief, while the ability to fight with a weapon is good for a thief to know as well as a Shinobi, they simply augmented their Shinobi skills with the various Martial Arts available in Japan at the time. If you spent 20+ years telling everyone that you were the last remaining true source of authentic Ninjutsu remaining on Earth while at the same time teaching people over extending punches and kicks with poor body mechanics that would actually injure the practitioners back muscles, throws and takes downs that except for what was stolen from other martial arts not work very well as the real deal and along comes some guy who puts together a team circumnavigates the cults and the sales pitches and gets right to translating the scrolls that we do know are from authentic shinobi no mono and suddenly people in the west can see that they been had... the only recourse those too heavily invested in their myth can do is try to discredit and attack the individual, since they lack the ability to actually discredit his work.

    When I heard about Antony Cummins I took the time to befriend him and get to know what he was about, he loves what he does and he is an honorable man. Placing him in the same category as the Asida Kim's of the world would be a mistake. Just my two cents my, don't kill the messenger, peace.
     
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  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Just no.
     
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  13. BuckerooBonzai

    BuckerooBonzai Orange Belt

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    Dang! This is so entertaining!

    Thanks all!
     
  14. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    For the record Anthony did not write the book!! He has A Translating group who does not understand a lot of the context. It is very difficult to do translations correct if you do not know context especially during olden time periods.
    Does he understand ancient Japanese language and can read the Kanji because even for actual Japanese citizens they have a hard time understanding older kanji especially when it comes to martial arts.
    I can say possible those people may be able to read and understand Kanji but Anthony can not so what does he do? Seems take credit.

    So a guy who takes credit for other people's translating should be taken as the source rather than actual Japanese who have done more research in the field than Anthony has been alive lol. I find it interesting you would take Anthony side over Don Roley who is most likely one of the authorities on Ninjutsu and Japanese language in the West.

    Well I guess he is now what the grand master of some dead ninja school that the family most likely were like sure whatever thanks for the money have fun playing ninja.
     
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  15. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Speaking about translating older texts it is a lot of work, though there are modern commentaries for all the person translating knows they could be wrong too lol.
    Another problem is reading Kanji/Hanzi sometimes what is meant say 100 years ago may not mean the same thing now, sometimes depending on the context may be a play on words or hell even a spelling error!

    Sometimes commentaries are just saying what they think it means though the original passage may be something different. If someone is not familiar with context you get a translation that may be word for word but not what the author is really saying.

    Asking the average Japanese to translate a Ninjutsu book from over 300 years ago well they are not going to understand a lot of the readings unless they specialize in that type of subject. In conversations with other Japanese and Chinese on translating ancient books for example they might translate say the word thunder bolt which is English correct however the correct term would be a vajra because they do not understand context.
     
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  16. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Just FYI, Steve Hayes only lived a short time in Japan and was relatively inexperienced in the art at the point he started writing books.
     
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  17. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    I never said he wrote books I said his team translated authentic shinobi scrolls, I apologize for any confusion.

    Does he understand ancient Japanese language? He understands a little bit but he knows that language is not his area of expertise, that is why he has a team including language experts and Japanese Koryu heads etc that all work together to produce the best translation and so they can make sure its in the correct context. No translation is flawless but it certainly represents the best work available to the Western audience of authentic shinobi scrolls.

    As for taking credit? He never takes credit for other peoples works, he always speaks so highly of his team and gives credit where credit is due including to the actual shinobi that put the original scrolls together in the first place.

    You find it interesting that I would take Antony's side over someone named Don Roley, if I recall correctly Roley was a member of one of the groups claiming to be the only authentic source of Ninjutsu information from some unbroken lineage going back more generations than even the oldest recognized Koryu system in Japan. Like claiming to have a computer in 1855. Other than that I don't know much about the guy but let me keep an open mind, can you direct me to his English translated versions of the Bansenshukai, Shoninki and Ninpiden so I can compare them with what Antony's team put together and see just how different they really are? For you to tout this Roley gentlemen as being a superior choice of insight his English translations of authentic Shinobi scrolls must be superb indeed.

    I don't think Antony is claiming to be a grand master but if he is, who cares, I am just recommending his teams translated scrolls as the best insight into authentic shinobi traditions because as far as I know they are, I am very interested in anyone else's english translations of those same works so I can compare them?
     
  18. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Who are not the best people to translate because his Kanji club does not understand the context.
    So then maybe he shouldn't put his name on the book since you know he did not translate it!
    One ryuha may not be the best source to speak about the context of another ryuha that they do not know about. They may give what they think it means but without the kuden, without the context it may not be correct. Japanese have two faces so what I think is they were just being polite with Anthony, but I seriously doubt anyone is taking him serious you would have to understand Japanese context and mannerism.
    A translation that may miss the point of what its original author meant isn't much of a translation I think.
    You do know that Hatsumi has other scrolls from other koryu school. So what you are saying is closer to authentic Ninjutsu is a white guy who can't speak or read Japanese who has no ninjutsu teacher is more authentic?
    Why don't you email him yourself. Why not email Roy Ron he has translated some himself. Those two understand the context and speak and understand the language.
    I trust someone who speaks and reads the language and understands context over someone who can't.
    Or why don't you go learn Japanese and read the actual kanji yourself.

    As I have said before and I am speaking as someone who does translate without context you won't translate correctly. Unless you Sami can read kanji having a debate with you is pointless.
     
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  19. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Antony Cummins is clueless. As Chris said "just no". Antony is at best an individual trying to make a buck with little to no idea what he is doing. Even worse that his books on Ninjutsu are his books on Vikings. ;)
     
  20. Mou Meng Gung Fu

    Mou Meng Gung Fu Purple Belt

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    I've heard of Mister Cummins, and I think I may have even visited his YouTube channel once or twice. But other than that I don't know much about him or his opposition.

    Earlier there was a whole lot of mention in regard to 'legitimate' Ninjutsu masters and schools. Which ones do the Japanese regard as legitimate?

    I also want to say thank you all for turning this into an interesting thread. I must admit that I'm not very knowledgeable about the finer, technical aspects of Ninjutsu (everything I learned about ninja came from books and videos, except for the two or three semi-authentic Ninjutsu practitioners I met who only showed me a little bit of what they know). So if I sound like I have no idea what I'm talking about, it's because I probably don't (lol). I blame the ninja for being confusing and manipulating my mind with their publishers and politics.

    I haven't heard anyone mention Seiko Fujita yet. What is your take on his Ninjutsu and are there any books on it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017

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