Sharp moves | Weapons-wielding instructors teach students to move like samurais
Japan, Mie Prefecture – Performance instructors have been teaching students how to use ancient weapons to mimic the movements of ninjas and samurais, as seen in the Mie Prefecture on Wednesday. Hokkaido-born instructor Ryoto Kawasaki showed off his moves with a traditional naginata sword as he performed ‘tate,’ which can loosely be translated to mean ‘sword-fighting’. “I perform both as a samurai and as a ninja. As a ninja, I use short swords, doing some action, jumping, backflips, acrobatics, and unusual weapons. Samurai basically only use swords and blades,” said Kawasaki. With 20 years of experience, Kawasaki also holds classes in Nagoya, Mie, and Kyoto, and has appeared in documentaries. Fellow instructor Yuka Ikezawa, a fifteenth-generation ninja hailing from Iga, also explained how everyday objects were fashioned into weapons by the ancient warriors. “Many of the ninjas were farmers,” said Ikezawa, stating that the sickles used for cutting crops were easy to smuggle into battle, as many people ‘didn’t recognize’ them as weapons. He has classes in Nagoya, Mie, and Kyoto, and is also active as a ninja performer on Japanese TV.