TOKYO: While sophisticated high-tech weapons may rule the world, in Japan the samurai sword remains a sacred artifact and groups such as Kamui keep the history of the katana alive.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the samurai artist swordsmanship group put on a spectacular performance in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Swordsmanship is part of Japan’s military credo budo and while sword fights are largely a thing of the past, the art lives on in the national sport of kendo, which uses bamboo staves.
Kamui’s founder and master SHIMAGUCHI Tetsuro, who appeared in the Quentin Tarantino movie “Kill Bill,” has taken it upon himself to sustain the classic art of swordsmanship.
“Rather than just marking this milestone performance as a mere endpoint, we intend to infuse our swordsmanship, nurtured over the years, with our souls and pass it on to the future,” he said.
“Since our formation in 1998, we’ve experienced various challenges, and the 25 years have passed by in the blink of an eye. It was a time when there were few period dramas, and performance culture was not widely recognized.
Whether our daring challenges and activities at that time were the right choice or not, I cannot say, but the undeniable result for me is the strong bond I share with the Kamui members and fellow swordsmen who have walked this journey together.”
Kamui has expanded both domestically and internationally and has performed in over 150 cities worldwide.
Tuesday’s performance recounted a classical tale of gods and royalty from Japan’s ancient past.