New Year 2012 Greetings


New Year 2012New Year 2012 Greetings. (Click here to see the accompanying poem and read more from this artist.)

I liked this post so much, that I am re-posting it on my blog. It is very relatable to the subjects that I choose for my blog since it has a Japanese origin and theme. This blogger is a very talented photographer, artist and poet. Check them out and enjoy!

Also, since it is December 31, when I am writing this blog, have a Wonderful, Prosperous and Happy New Year everyone.

Xiangqi: Chinese Chess


English: Chinese Chess (Xiangqi) Deutsch: Chin...
Image via Wikipedia

Xiangqi is also known as Chinese chessThe name means “elephant game”.  象 xiang means “elephant” and 棋 qi means “board game.

It is a two-player game similar to Chess in the Western world; as well as Chaturanga, from ancient Indian; Shogi, Japanese chess; and Janggi, from Korea. Considered the most popular board game in China as well as Vietnam.

The board of the game is representative of a battle field. The game pieces are two separate armies at war against one another. The object of the fame is to capture the opposing army’s general or king.

References:

Xiangqi:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi

Xiangqi: Chinese Chess (How to Play):   http://www.chessvariants.com/xiangqi.html

English: A xiangqi board in the starting posit...
Xiangqi in the starting position

Bojutsu — Art of the Japanese Bo Staff


Français : Démonstration de bojutsu
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, I started taking mixed martial arts classes. I have wanted to do this for many years and have just now fit it into my schedule. My first class was one where I learning the basic movements of the bo staff or bojutsu–bo staff technique. Talk about fun! I cannot wait until I can spin that baby around like a true professional. I plan to buy my own bo staff with dragons etched into the wood, no less.

Here is a quick rundown about bojutsu (棒術). In the Japanese language, bo means “staff”.  Staffs are one of the earliest weapons in the history of humankind. Their usage in Eastern Asia spans thousands of years.

Techniques involved in bojutsu include: slashing, swinging, pole vaulting,  a prop for hand-to-hand strikes, threatening the opponent by twirling the staff at high speeds  and stabbing.  They make a fantastic offensive weapon as well as defensive in that the person wielding it can knock the opponent off-balance by catching then off guard. Once this happens, the bo staff wielder uses the many spin techniques to strike.

The thrusting, swinging, and striking techniques resemble the same empty-hand movements of karate and are often used in conjunction with this martial arts disciple. In this way, the bo staff becomes an extension of one’s arms and hands.

References:

Carved Dragon Straight Bo

Carved Dragon Straight BoBushido Martial Arts Supplies:  http://www.shopbushido.com/weapons/staffs-bo-s-and-jo-s/carved-dragon-straight-bo.html?SID=5086e851610ab65bb52d63c2f1e24735

Bojutsu:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C5%8Djutsu

Thousand Waves Bo-Jutsu  Basics;    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba1C-GQld58&feature=related

Watasumi Sanjin: Legendary Dragon


 Monument of the Legend of Izumi Kotaro in the Omachi Dam lakeside park.                   (See larger image at this link.) http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Izumi_Kotaro_statue_in_Lake_Ryujin.jpg

Dragons are big news in Japan and have been so for a very long time. The most ancient of them all is Watasumi Sanjin, also known as Ryujin, who ruled the upper, middle and lower sea. Named the “Great Watatsumi  (sea) god” in the Kojiki, the oldest chronicle of Japanese myths and compared to the mountain god, Ohoyamatsumi.  The deity, Izanagi–who escaped from Yomi, the underworld created Watasumi along with the Sun and the Moon and nine other gods in Japanese mythology.

Watasumi has Shinto Shrines throughout Japan dedicated to him. Ōwatatsumi jinja or Daikai Jinja, in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, the Watatsumi Jinja in Tarumi-ku, Kobe, and the Watatsumi Jinja in Kokura Minami-ku, Kitakyūshū.

File:Watatusmi-Jinja.JPGTarumi-ku, Kobe

File:Owatatsumi-jinja2.JPGSumiyoshi-ku, Osaka

Watasumi Sanjin is just one more reason to read Legend of the Cherry Jewel, the urban fantasy action/adventure, set in Japan, when is comes out next year.

(Coming soon to Amazon.com, but you can read the first chapter of Legend of the Cherry Jewel here at: http://lediarunnels27221912.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/legend-of-the-cherry-jewel-chapter-one-lost-and-found/

RELATED LINKS

Dragons of the Orient “Hengeyokai” Shape-shifters http://lediarunnels27221912.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/dragons-of-the-orient-hengeyokai-shape-shifters/

Watasumi  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watatsumi

Sumiyoshi sanjin   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiyoshi_sanjin

Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiyoshi-ku,_Osaka

Tarumi-ku, Kobe   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarumi-ku,_KobeTarumi-ku, Kobe