Watch a katana sword slice through plastic water bottles in slow motion


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/14/watch-a-katana-sword-slice-thr.html


#2

That table. I’m glad it wasn’t a hand or foot.


#3

I feel like being annoying so here is goes.
Katana translates literally to sword, so the headline of this article is:

“Watch a sword sword slice through plastic water bottles in slow motion”

In fairness, the video also uses “Katana Sword” so its not the author’s fault.


#4

Well, that’s certainly an interesting way to mix drinks.


#5

Ought to be their next video. For SCIENCE!


#6

If on your journey, you should encounter G̶o̶d̶ plastic water bottles, G̶o̶d̶ plastic water bottles will be cut.


#7

I’ll raise your pedantry: the person wielding the katana in the video should grip the tsuka sans thumbs and forefingers :slight_smile:


#8

Yeah, but if you lived under a rock and/or didn’t know Japanese, you might not know a katana is a sword.

Also, back in my day we test cut our swords on peasants. Kids these days have no respect for tradition.


#9

Tsujigiri, eh?


#10

Gesundheit!


#11

So much more gripping, entertaining and involving than “Kill Bill”.


#12

More specifically, tameshigiri, often done using condemned criminals (might as well put them to a good use!). Tsujigiri is more in the way of just indiscriminate killing, not necessarily done to test a sword.


#13

Entschuldigung!


#14

Does it trap the souls of it’s victims, tho?


#15

Actually, the Japanese word for sword is ‘ken’, a katana is a type of sword.


#16

Yes, but a katana is always a sword so using sword is redundant.


#17

To be fair, there are about four or five different words that translate from Japanese to English as “sword,” and they all refer to different, specific things (that have no such distinctions in English). The katana is specifically a medium-length, single-sided blade. So it’s more like referring to a “chameleon lizard” rather than “lizard lizard.”

It seems like 剣 (ken) refers to double-sided blades, whereas 刀 refers to single-sided blades. And now I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of etymology, where, depending on who you listen to, “katana” either derives from the words for “one-side” and “edge” or is a Portuguese loan-word, “catana,” meaning “large knife or machete.”

But it specifies a type of sword, the distinction for which isn’t easily expressed in English. Also, without adding “sword,” they could have meant they were going to cut the water bottles using a Swedish heavy metal band, a Ukrainian or Bosnian athelete, a particular model of mobile phone, scooter, or copy machine…


#18


#19

I’ll see your pedantry and raise you a finer point: you DO use your thumbs and forefingers, but lightly. They steer but don’t grip very hard. The pinky fingers, ring fingers and (sometimes) the middle fingers do most of the gripping. The lower hand (usually the left) is gripping more forcefully than the top hand. That left hand is the anchor, the power, tying the weapon to hara and therefore to the ground, through the body and feet. Both hands favor the smaller fingers for gripping, and the larger fingers for steering and fine motor. The middle finger pinch-hits for both teams, as needed, especially in transitions.

The stylized, open thumb and forefinger, even pointing with the forefinger while striking, that you sometimes see …are part of the weird, impractical ways that Aikido and Aikiken have evolved in the USA since the 1950s. Watch Ueshiba strike with the bokken - his hands are ON it. No open grips during a strike. Only open during transitions. He’s not pointing or open-forefingered or open-thumbed. But I guarantee that his strong little hands aren’t holding a tight death grip, either. His forefingers and thumb are steering. His pinky and ring fingers are gripping.


#20

One of my favorite Buddhist quotes.