Japanese sword master reviews the movies, shows how it's done

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/10/japanese-sword-master-reviews.html


In a similar vein I really enjoyed this one.

HEMA guy reviewing movie sword fights. And he seems to understand the actual needs and language of film, so he focuses on whether things are used effectively accurate or not as much as anything.


Interesting how he never actually criticizes any of these clips. Instead of saying “that’s unrealistic nonsense” he says “it would take a true master to do this difficult thing,” and then lets the numerical score speak for itself. It doesn’t get much more Japanese than this.


Or the fact that nothing, even his favorite that inspired him to start down this path, gets a full 10/10


It’s a Zen thing - nothing can be perfect.


More like “It’s a movie. You don’t get authentic or realistic in movies”

This is a fun video, but I’m oddly stuck on this guy’s name. Since he’s speaking Japanese, his surname would be “Kaito” right? But I’m pretty sure that’s a male given name and not a surname.

And I’ve never heard the name “Suiju” before, but internet tells me it’s a female name: https://japanese-names.info/first_name/suiju/ What’s more, it actually sounds to me like he says, “Kaito Suijuyo to moushimasu.”

Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here. Any pera-pera Japanese speakers here who can enlighten me?

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I wonder why fine films like Yoji Yamada’s Twilight Samurai or The Hidden Claw weren’t used? Maybe it had something to do with film permissions.


It turns out in Japanese, the way the name is written (which characters the parents select) has a lot more to do with the “gender” of the name. Even if your name is a very typical male name, but it’s written with the characters for lovely child, your teacher is going do a double take at roll call. Just like my country, Japanese parents like to get creative with names… Some of them are old family names, some of them are trying a little too hard to be unique. It’s his name. I’m certainly not going to argue with him that it’s a girl’s name. Personally, I find those online name resources to be a bit of a stretch on a good day.

And as for the yo that you’re hearing- you’re probably picking up on the suuuuper formal pronunciation he’s using here. Dude is on TV representing his craft. I don’t know any men that use watakushi day to day, but it’s much more common in this kind of formal situation. I don’t hear the yo, but I do here a lot of very stressed pronunciation that comes with formal speech. Maybe that’s what’s tricking your ears.


The surname reversal is actually pretty common, even when speaking Japanese, if the perceived audience is non Japanese. I run into it so much I just ask upfront if I’ve got the family name correct so that I don’t put my foot in mouth for the rest of our interaction.


Thanks for the detailed response. To make things even more confusing, as of Jan 1 the official recommendation is that even in a foreign language, names should still be written and spoken in the same order as in Japanese: family name before given name https://www.languagemagazine.com/2020/01/23/japan-reverses-western-name-order/

I predict a lot of confusion about this among non-Japanese in the next few years…

The gentleman is a samurai master. Upon meeting him, if he said My name is Sue, I would say How do you do!

I would say there’s a large amount of very deadpan humour here.


Just saw this recommended in my Youtube algorithms and it was pretty interesting. I kinda wished he went in to disprove some of the motions used, but that’s what I look for in a clip like this.

This was what I was kinda expecting from this video. Guess this one wasn’t too comfortable covering things in that kind of detail.

You see a lot of these sorts of videos. And it’s usually some one with some very specific expertise or experience commenting on something they wouldn’t really know about. Like I seriously saw one the other day where a bow hunter criticizes archery in medieval films.

Or it’s some one who does know a thing or two giving a pass fail on real or not.

Neither is all that interesting.

Sort of why this Dave Rawlings guy stands out. For one he seems to understand how movies work enough to actually enjoy them in their own right. For another he’s more interested in telling you how it works, than nit picking where things are wrong. And I really like that he takes the time to deflate some incorrectness running around his own field, when he gets into how spinning shit around isn’t actually unrealistic.

He’s taking it as an opportunity to teach. Which is nice to see.


Maybe, but it’s also just the typical Japanese tendency to not be direct when communicating unpleasantness.

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It’s also possible that’s his martial name, given to him by his teacher, and it may have a spelling that has some other meaning/significance. Some schools have that, no idea if that’s true in his case.

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