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Iaido: History, Teaching & Practice Of Japanese Swordsmanship Paperback – May 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Weatherhill; First Edition edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0834805006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0834805002
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,746,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William de Lange studied Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden and at Waseda University in Japan. He is active as a translator and interpreter, and is a practitioner of the Shinkage school of swordsmanship. He is the author of the series Famous Samurai, as well as The Real Musashi, the first English translation of the Bushu denraiki and the Bukoden, accepted among Japanese scholars as the oldest and most reliable records of Miyamoto Musashi's life and exploits outside those from the hand of the master swordsman himself.

More About the Author

William de Lange is the author of books, ebooks and apps on Japan's traditional culture, from history, samurai culture, to arts & crafts, and language dictionaries.

Bio: William de lange was born in 1964 in Naarden, the Netherlands to Dutch and English parents. In the late 1980s, he aborted his English studies to embark on a journey that eventually led him to Japan, where he supported himself by making traditional Japanese scrolls and writing articles for the Japan Times Weekly. On his return to Holland, he entered Leiden University to make the highly controversial issue of the Japanese press clubs the focal point of his Japanese studies. In 1993, he returned to Japan on a scholarship of the Japanese Ministry of Education. Following his graduation, he lived in Japan for most of the remaining decade, studying the art of Japanese fencing under Akita Moriji sensei, eighth dan master of the Shinkage-ryu. He currently lives in the Netherlands, where he spends his time writing and translating books on Japanese subjects.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Miguel A. Maldonado on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Interesting book on the Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu style of Iaido. This style claims to be "Koryu", or traditional school. Not for beginners, because only shows you what`s done, but no how`s done.
If you are an Iaido student from any other style this book is a refreshing look at a different style. The differences in this style are many, from the initial draw,"Niki-Tsuke", which in this style is more a two handed deflection of your enemy`s weapon,(Sword,Spear,Tanto etc.),to the imaginary blood cleaning of your sword, "Chiburi or Chiburui", which in this style comes from elevating your sword to a high position,"jodan no kamae" and cutting down in front of your knee, while kneeling. The book does not explain that this is done, with a reversed grip of your left hand. The noto or sheating of your sword is explained in the text, but is not shown in the photographs, which I believe was omited on purpose. I only give 4 stars to this otherwise excelent book, because there`s a lot that is not expalin or show.For someone who is just begining Iaido I recommend "Iaido Sword:kamimoto-Ha techniques of Muso Shinden Ryu" by Richard W. Babin. ISBN 1581603770. Is another style and the book is not a "how to" book, but at least explains many things and most important if you are a beginner, gives you many safety tips, and advise on swords, etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dino on September 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a bad book for someone experienced in Iai, definitely a dry read. The photos and descriptions of technique are somewhat vague and generally un-helpful unless you've seen it in real life before. If I had picked it up in a bookstore I'd flip through it and then put it back. It is still a good, well written book and a good addition to the library of the sword enthusiast just don't expect to beat any samurai after reading it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CLT on August 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a former student of Akita Moriji sensei, I am very much obliged to give this book 5 stars. The book is actually 2 parts- the original (translated) kata section and a well-researched history section. Akita sensei wrote the kata section which includes pictures of him doing the kata and an explanation (albeit basic) of the moves. I believe he published his book as a way to explain the kata to other sensei in Japan who are not familiar with Shinkageryuu, so the descriptions are written for experienced iaidoka- NOT beginners. The book is meant to merely be a guide to remember and explain, not to thoroughly teach the kata. One more point to remember is that Akita sensei's Shinkageryuu is somewhat different from the Yagyuu family Shinkageryuu which is more comon. The history section is great for anyone interested in iaido, though.

Akita sensei has now handed over teaching to his son, but another sensei, Akita sensei's protégé Matsuoka sensei, has also become very well-known for this style. I sincerely hope people in and outside of Japan with embrace this and other non-MSR and MJER styles to continue the traditions. Reading this book, as well as others on lesser-known styles, is essential for experienced practitioners.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Schiro on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would have to agree with some of the other reviews about this book. It starts with the teachings and then goes into the practice. The teaching portion is pretty good telling you how to be a Samurai. The practice portion is very vague. A person would really have to know the techniques in order to perform the katas. I studied Eishin Ryu for a while is the reason I know some of the waza's but, seeing how these techniques are in the book I could get lost nevermind the beginner.
This is a good book to add to your library for conversation. Maybe! But I would not buy this bokk if I was just starting out with never picking up a katana.
If you do want to purchase this book I would go to used and new books for sale tabs to find a very cheap one.
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