Favorite Ninjutsu book?

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

  1. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Most average Japanese really do not believe anyone is a ninjutsu master, any more than someone in western society believing someone is a medieval knight. For the sake of actual Japanese martial artist most likely Hatsumi or one of his previous students would most likely be the most knowledgeable on the subject. There is some controversy on Togakure ryu but there is controversy in a lot of koryu arts. It is very possible that Togakure were things taught to Takamatsu who synthesize pieces together and called it Togakure ryu. I would say even if Takamatsu did make it up from some books, his background in other arts his research and understanding the context would still produce a better source than Anthony.
    We do know that Takamatsu was soke in legit koryu arts and was more well known for kukishinden ryu I think in those martial art circles during that time.
    Don Roley did a translation of his work.
     
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  2. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    So the guy you claim is superior has not publically translated any authentic Ninjutsu scrolls to make them available to the Western public despite having this understanding of kuden but if I email him or someone named Roy Ron they would give me private translations of the entire Bansenshukai, Ninpiden and Shoninki, well you don't have to twist my arm, give me their e-mail addresses and I will ask them for these translations. I don't have as much time as I would like to learn fluent Japanese, its on my to do list, I already speak and understand several languages but have trouble reading them so I am working on that, currently trying to learn to speak the various languages in Indonesia, never enough time lol. Anyway thank you for your recommendations please give me those e-mails and after I compare their translations I will let everyone know if they were drastically different.

    I trust Antony Cummins and his work seems to fit everything I know about Shinobi but I am keeping an open mind about the experts your recommending who have been taught the kuden of the ryuha that the scrolls come from... I really didn't think it was possible because I thought the Hattori Ryu and the others were extinct and nobody was passing down the kuden of those arts.
     
  3. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    After writing a rather long reply, I decided why bother, if someone wants to believe Anthony over people who can read kanji and lived in Japan and study the actual arts it's fine.

    If you watch Anthony skills you can see how laughable they are.

    So until you learn kanji trying to convince you otherwise is a waste of time, go Google Roy Ron and don roley your self
     
  4. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Perhaps you should refrain from attacking him personally on an internet forum so you don't come off as a keyboard warrior. If his translations of Bansenshukai, Ninpiden and Shoninki are so flawed due to his team not being privy to the kuden of the respective ryuha of those scrolls, it stands to reason that the person making all the claims of how piss poor the translators work is would be able to produce a translation of those respective scrolls so that any reasonable person could compare them and decide for themselves. Instead of being reasonable or even pointing out some of the supposed glaring issues that were mistranslated in the scrolls by Antony's team, we have instead personal attacks about his skill level and demands that the language be learned, though in the same breath the critics state that unless the kuden for the respective ryuha is known the translator would be translating the scroll out of context. If you really want to muddy the waters perhaps you should make a fuss about how the scrolls were not the original and that the original scroll was very different, like they do with bible debates lol.

    I'm trying hard to take this seriously, the OP asked for our opinion, my three picks are all well known authentic scrolls on "ninjutsu" the only publicly available English translations of these scrolls is by Antony's team, if you know of some other translation available to the public by all means share, instead I am told to contact some one named Roy or Don and ask their unbiased opinion because supposedly they are experts on the language, I keep an open mind, I ask for their emails, I want to compare line by the the translations of Antony's team with their own translation to see how they differ. Again I am keeping an open mind I am leaving room for the possibility that something translated by a team of language experts and someone with a Masters degree in Archaeology may have goofed something up despite it being reviewed by experts in the various old martial traditions but no we can't have a discussion on the actual content that is mistranslated we have to resort to childish commentary about the supposed lack of skill of Antony from people that likely never fought him and haughty remarks about how kuden is required but God forbid we actually discuss just what that Kuden is... no that is reserved for the paying customers I mean members of the super secret real ninja club lol.
     
  5. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    By the way it did not go unnoticed that nobody has remarked about my comment about the Ryuha that claims to be older than Tenshin Katori Shinto Ryu... in its 34th generation supposedly lol... high turn-over rate or perhaps all the Soke were killed when they threw an over extended Koppo-style punch in war.
     
  6. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Here is what you cannot escape, Ninjutsu has very little to do with unarmed self-defense techniques like your Karate or Jujutsu type of schools, Shinobi may come with different specializations but this myth about their being an unarmed ninja fighting method passed down for generations and is now locally available in your mini-mall commercial studios in the west is absolutely ridiculous. I am sorry I really enjoyed all those ninja movies in the 80s especially American Ninja and Ninja Turtles and its great that it motivates young kids to take up martial arts but I get tired of watching westerners get prayed upon by cunning Asian businessmen selling the Hollywood ninja hype. That is the real reason Antony is so hated he gave the western audience access to scrolls that outlined a great deal about actual shinobi techniques and none of which matched up with the garbage being put out by these ninja con-artists. That being said if you belong to an organization or school and you are happy with what your learning and you know that you can make what you train functional, more power to you, keep going or as Hatsumi would say shut up and train.
     
  7. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Sami I have no problem saying all this in Anthony's face.
    Since you are to lazy to actually google.
    Shoninki index
    Freestyle


    Are you Kidding me?! the very job of a translator is to know the language!
    I think what Don said is the most important here "All I have to do is show that you did not translate, but instead slipped your own ideas in under the guise of it being part of the original.And people can look at this and conclude that if they want a pure translation that is honest in keeping someone's opinion separate from the original material, then they have to go elsewhere. Your translation is badly flawed by this kind of action."-http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96472&page=16

    A person who is translating is to translate the text not put what they think it means in the actual texts. Commentaries are to be done at the bottom. When you put in the translation what you think it says and have no basis or understanding of context your opinion on the matter has no weight.
    You can buy these type of things in Japanese used books stores I have seen them, of course they are not original.
    No one is saying the actual scrolls are not good to read but the translation is mixed with someone's inexperience commentary as well as people who do not know the context.
    Basically it is like this. A person finds a book on Shingon Buddhism has a Japanese person translate it then takes the translation and adds his own words into the meaning even though he is not a priest or really doesn't know much about the subject.
    The problem is if you don't know Kanji how would you know who is right or not? Lets pretend Anthony never existed for a minute, if the Kanji club published the book and translated the text, wrote a commentary it might not get to much flack it may not be as accurate because they might know context but hey better than nothing. But lets say they just translated it with no commentary and some guy gets their draft and then starts adding what he thinks which isn't 100% bad yet, but then this guy has no knowledge on the subject
    it means the original meaning starts to change and becomes distorted.

    The language experts I am assuming the Kanji club may be able to translate the kanji word for word but the context may not be accurate.
    Let me give you some examples:
    I am going to type the english, than the kanji, than a google translation of kanji, than context.
    The sun sits in the center, focus on the center to let the air raise only when you close the gate can you see heaven.-My english translation(understanding context)
    日座于中,凝聚中心让气上升,紧闭门户方见苍穹。
    Sitting in the center, the cohesion center to gas up, closed the door to see the sky.-Google translate(kanji club)
    Commentary:(The sun represents Yang Qi the center is the Dan tian, The Air is the Qi circulating, closing the gate is the hui yin contraction, seeing heaven is becoming immortal, so the translation is when you focus on your center the energy will be drawn there after enough time the energy will raise pass through the gate up the spine and form the spirit which in enough time will travel to heaven to be an immortal.)

    Well being that I actually train in Katori Shinto ryu I can say his sword skills suck.
    So you think people who know Kuden should just give it to strangers?
    I addressed it already but in case you are to lazy or can not read well here:
    "There is some controversy on Togakure ryu but there is controversy in a lot of koryu arts. It is very possible that Togakure were things taught to Takamatsu who synthesize pieces together and called it Togakure ryu." Katori Shinto ryu was founded by a vision.
    The history may have been embellish, may have been some oral or the school may have been created entirely by Takamatsu based on some legit waza he learned.
    I am sorry where in Japan did you train again?
    And you are basing this on what exactly? Did you forget the Ninja Juhakkei and Bugei Juhappan because Jujutsu is there and seeing how most Ninja were of the warrior class it is reasonable that they knew Jujutsu to some degree. By the way speaking of Jujutsu have you seen say Katori Shinto ryu jujutsu? It is very crude.

    For the record I do not study Ninjutsu I study Daito ryu and Katori Shinto ryu as well as Chinese arts
     
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  8. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Overall, I really enjoyed your response, thank you for putting some effort into it. I pulled out my copy of "True Path of the Ninja" and I immediately noticed that both Antony Cummins and Yoshie Minami are on the cover as well as Otake Risuke who writes the forward and Dr. Nakashima Atsumi who does the preface, all named on the cover. In addition to the translation of a 17th century instruction manual (Shoninki) it also includes a section on defense against shinobi from the Katori Shinto Ryu Sword School. Anyway, the reason I pulled out the book is because after I read your post where you quoted Don saying all he had to do was show that he did not translate but slipped in his own ideas etc... I recalled that Antony made no secret of this and clearly stated it at the start of the book, so I wanted to be sure.

    On page 17 "The Feel of the Translation" he explains why he integrated information normally found in the footnotes into the text, i.e. for many of the same reasons you and others have alluded to. A literal word for word translation would have contained a great many things that would have made little to no sense to someone with a modern frame of reference. So no need to prove it, its no secret, he is definitely weaving his footnotes into the book to help us non-17th century shinobi understand what the heck we are reading.

    I will check out your links after I finish typing this just wanted to let you know that the effort you spent in responding to me is not going to be wasted I will maintain an open mind and check out your links. Also while it is true that Katori Shinto Ryu was founded by a vision it is a well establish and recognized Ryu-ha, the oldest if I am not mistaken while Togakure Ryu turned out to be as you said. Also I agree with you about Shinobi having trained in the warrior arts available i.e. Jujutsu etc. what I was saying is that the con-artists out there signing up students to learn Ninjutsu but only teaching them bad karate or crude jujutsu but claiming that it is the foundation for all ninjutsu skills is misleading students, the training of actual Ninjutsu in America would be on the FBI watch list so fast, could you imagine some Ninjutsu Sensei teaching his students how to use poison, explosives, breaking and entering, black magic etc.
     
  9. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Checked out your Genbukan link, correct me if I am wrong but I thought the Genbukan was created by someone related to Hatsumi who broke away from the Bujinkan... it would be nice to have an organization translating that was not affiliated with the people who are feuding with Antony Cummins, that aside the actual translation seems the same as Antony's book other than he adds a little more depth of explanation. Just my opinion but whats on the Genbukan site reminds me of Sun Tzu's the art of war. Anyway I didn't notice any glaring differences so maybe the true problem is not the translations at all.
     
  10. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Well Sami I guess you will believe what you want I do encourage you to learn Kanji and get an actual text of these books and read what it actually is, but since you can't read kanji I guess you will have to go with anthony's version though since he put his commentary in the text how much is translated and how much of it is what he thinks or is making up something to think about every time you read it.
     
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  11. Sami Ibrahim

    Sami Ibrahim Green Belt

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    Learning fluent Japanese and learning to read kanji is on my to do list I have spent a little time and made a little progress toward that goal but I am a little busy with retiring from Military service, moving to a new location and working toward a Masters degree in Psychology, not to mention being a new father and training and teaching martial arts. I always look forward to all the new reading material that becomes available after I learn a new language. Right now I am putting the finishing touches on my Arabic and starting on learning Bahasa. Priorities are important... it has been a long time since I have had any involvement with Japanese Martial Arts, I did once live in a Dojo around 13 years ago where a certain man fluent in Japanese taught numerous Japanese Martial Arts including Jigen Ryu, though I think he was primarily an Aikido practitioner, while I dabbled in these arts while teaching there it was not very long before I went active duty in the US Army.
     
  12. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Speaking of Jigen ryu I have met the soke of tenshinsho jigen ryu he invited me to train with him very casual friendly guy.
     
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  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    @Sami Ibrahim

    I'm not going to go back and pull apart all your defences of Antony... suffice to say that, if you're basing your understanding on him and his work, then you'll find that you're going to be off base in quite a number of areas, at best.

    I will, however, invite you to read the comments posted in this thread (Ninjutsu contradictions) regarding him and his work, rather than simply copying it over again....
     
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