Ninjutsu contradictions

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by fatninja, May 10, 2017.

  1. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Brown Belt

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    Interesting. I didn't see anything in that book that could be described as a "bloodthirsty fantasy". He seemed to draw everything there from direct sources such as writings from those systems he discussed, but I will admit that this subject is far outside of my area.
     
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Cummins is well, inept and wrong on many accounts and as Chris mentioned he operates in his own fantasy world. If you were looking for good translations by an individual who actually trains and reads and writes Japanese at the highest level then you would want Don Roley's translations:

    Books for Sale

    You are not going to learn anything of value from books by Stephen Hayes or Antony Cummins. Way to much misinformation!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    An excerpt from the book: the samurai were a head hunting cult -- 5/05/17

    The sheer ridiculousness of the passage there is astounding... an overly sensationalised, and thoroughly inaccurate description based on a failure to understand the historical realities, the culture, or even the direct sources he's taking his bizarre ideas from, as he is choosing to only follow what suits his own misconceptions, as he does over and over again. The idea of samurai being a "head hunting cult", that "head hunting was one of their core activities" is purely based in his perverse fascination with the act of beheading.... Antony rather infamously did a video of displaying heads with a decapitated pigs head.... a bit gruesome, but with him grinning like he's just been offered a lap dance. The dude's sick. His appearance on the "documentary" Samurai Head Hunters was just as bad, and just as flawed.... frankly, the guy has issues, and those pervade his "work".

    I'm waiting to get permission to quote a critique on this exact text (the excerpt, and the book it came from) from Prof. Karl Friday.... who has nothing good to say for Cummins and his offerings... but suffice to say that his take is that it is entirely without merit, and that Antony has no clue what he's doing, as he fails to even understand different times in samurai history, and how that changes things.... making sweeping claims that aren't true across all periods.... and even failing to be accurate for any period at all.

    I wouldn't even use it as a firelighter.

    I'm also going to link an article from another koryu practitioner who, although he lists himself as very much an amateur historian and researcher, is far beyond Antony's credentials in every relevant regard. This article covers the issues with Antony's claims and methods, and uses the term "fraud" to describe him... due to the rules here, I'm not going to state if I would use the same word... but I do heartily suggest reading the article (as well as the second in the series, if you want to understand his issues on a martial level). The blog article is: Antony Cummins is a FRAUD

    The basic thing is that no-one, not a single soul who come to Antony's work with actual knowledge find value in his offerings... instead, we find them to be, more than anything, a hindrance... as people who are introduced to the topics using his works without fail come away with incorrect knowledge and assumptions.... not too dissimilar to those who rely on Hayes' early works, really....
     
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  4. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Brown Belt

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    Interesting. Thanks for that. The book I liked doesn't contain any of that sort of thing that I recall, but it is certainly concerning that other works do.
     
  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thank you very much Chris for making me splutter my coffee out! I looked at the excerpt of the book and this... "In the main, a man does not like having his head cut from his neck", no sh*t Sherlock! that is some really bad or deliberately comic writing! :D:D
     
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  6. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Double check your book.... that's an excerpt directly from the book you recommended.
     
  7. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Brown Belt

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    I'll go back and look, thanks.
     
  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Okay, I have permission to quote from the review given, with a small amount of editing at Professor Friday's request. The excerpt I linked above came up for discussion at a closed Facebook page I am a part of, which is dedicated to Classical Japanese martial arts and history (Koryu arts and the surrounding culture), and, as expected, no-one there found anything positive. The most precise and dispassionate critique, though, was from Professor Karl Friday... who, if you're unaware, is a highly respected member of the Koryu community, being a Shihan (Menkyo Kaiden holder) in Kashima Shinryu under Seki Humitake, as well as being a highly regarded academic, holding teaching positions in a number of universities, lecturing on Japanese and Asian culture, and history. He speaks and reads Japanese fluently, and presently lives in Japan, teaching there. He has published a number of incredibly well regarded books on Koryu culture, Japanese history (centred around warrior culture), and more.

    Prof. Friday's response is as follows:
    Note from myself... this is not unlike the idea of Native Americans being labeled "scalping savages", despite the practice being introduced by French bounty hunters... to continue:

    Prof. Friday then goes on to critique Antony Cummins himself, as well as advising on better sources for such material.

    For clarification, Antony Cummins does not read, nor speak Japanese at all. His "translations" are done by others, with no knowledge or understanding of the context, leaving Antony to add his own imagination to the translation work they do. This is not a good recipe for anything credible at all.

    Professor Friday was then asked about the validity of Antony's work and translations, and this was his response:

    My thanks to Professor Friday for giving me permission to quote him here.
     
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  9. fatninja

    fatninja Yellow Belt

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    Okay, From what I have learned is for Accurate info/translation of books of Ninjutsu, Don Roley is a great source, but as an aside what about books on the Samurai arts, Bushido?, Asian philosophies like the Book of 5 rings, Art of war? I don't think I'll be getting anymore Hatsumi books because it seems as though Steve Hayes has his hand in every one, True?
     
  10. dunc

    dunc White Belt

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    No!
     
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    No, Stephen Hayes certainly does not have his hand in every one. Those written twenty plus years ago, sure. If you look at the newer ones like Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai, The Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques, Advanced Stick Fighting, Japanese Sword Fighting, The Essence of Budo and more. There are some older books that Stephen Hayes had nothing to do with like Stick Fighting or the Tetsuzan compilation or all of the books written in Japanese. There is a lot of good information out there. The book written by Paul Richardson is also a good read: Introductory history to the nine schools of the bujinkan by Paul Richardson (Paperback) - Lulu
     

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