Re: [SCA-JML] Period Japanese texts on swordfighting?
- It depends on what you mean by "combat text"; the only one that I'm aware
of, that to any degree actually describes techniques, and is certifiably
period, is Heiho Okugisho, written by Yamamoto Kansuke, who was one of
Takeda Shingen's generals, and died in 1561. The copy that I have is an
exact copy of a post-period printing (mid-Edo), where the facing pages have
the original Japanese on one side and English translations line by line on
the other, with all of the illustrations on both pages.
I got my from Bugei when it was first (re-)published, it's now out of print
(Amazon says you can get used copies for $150+), but Shinkendo says a new
edition is 'coming soon', for what that's worth.
There are other Japanese budo treatises out there which have roots in
period, but, between the secretive nature of Japanese swordsmanship
schools, and the fact that most of them probably evolved over the course of
the centuries, especially as kendo sprouted from the roots of kenjutsu,
it's harder to prove which of their techniques are actually old enough;
even the Yagyu books were written in the late 17th century, and while may
well have been preserved accurately since the beginning of Edo, they just
as well may have not. I actually think Go Rin No Sho is more likely to be
period in its essence that those others, since Musashi actually fought in
wars in period, even though he didn't write it down until a few decades
into Edo (which, BTW, would be good enough period documentation for most
arts, including dance and music), he was in fact a primary source for his
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