Saturday, December 3, 2022
HomeWorld'New generation of samurai': Swordsman Kamui urges youth to live consciously, morally...

'New generation of samurai': Swordsman Kamui urges youth to live consciously, morally with warrior's spirit


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Samurai artist Tetsuro Shimaguchi, also known by his artist name Kamui, is training a new generation of youth from around the world in the ways of the sword, as well as the warrior’s mindset.

Kamui has visited 140 cities around the world, operates dojo across the world, and oversees the largest samurai-centric cultural preservation campaign in the world. 

He arrived in Washington D.C. on Wednesday ahead of his performance at the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival opening ceremony. He will also make a special appearance for an NBA halftime show at CapitolOne Arena.

“Even if I die, I want to leave a legacy of samurai culture for the future,” Kamui told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “This is more important now than ever.”

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: THE STORY BEHIND VIRAL PHOTO OF UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR WITH SAMURAI SWORD

Kamui began his study of the samurai tradition as a college student. With a background in performing arts such as kabuki and previous experience with martial arts such as karate, Kamui began to understand the samurai lifestyle as not only a discipline from the past to study, but an art form to be revived.

“People think, ‘Ah, I can’t be a samurai. They’re so cool, and I’m just a normal person.’ But that is not the case,” Tetsuro told Fox News. “I have noticed that the speed of society is moving way too fast and people have much less patience than they used to.”

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

The samurai warrior is one of the most iconic cultural symbols of Japan, both past and present. The swordsmen were a class of nobleman devoted to serving regional lords as soldiers, diplomats, and guards. As Japan began to modernize in the beginning of the 20th century, the samurai transitioned into a more legal and political role in the Japanese peerage system, similar to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords.

Following World War II, the Japanese nobility was abolished, and the official status of “samurai” evaporated. 

Now, the term no longer denotes an office or privilege. Instead, the Japanese see themselves as the public inheritors of the “samurai spirit” and the Bushido code.

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

While the affinity for samurai still exists in Japan, younger generations are drifting further and further from their classical culture. As American cultural supremacy and the allure of European design and fashion saturates the Japanese market, fewer and fewer Japanese youth desire much interaction with the samurai lifestyle.

“Today, Japanese people are using their phones so much. They need to reach out and make connections across cultures,” Tetsuro said. “They can represent themselves and their own culture by building these connections.”

“The problem is that you need to understand and appreciate something that you can’t see or touch,” Tetsuro explains. “But with performance, you can see it. It has a stronger feeling.”

“It’s not just about the sword,” Kamui said. “There’s more to samurai than fighting.”

Kamui’s testimony rings similar to one of the most skilled samurai in history, Miyamoto Musashi, who carried an undefeated record of 61 duels. Miyamoto also stressed the need for knowledge of the “unseen.” In his tome of accumulated teachings, Book of the Five Rings, Miyamoto urges the reader to explore not only combat techniques, but experiences and knowledge of the “spirit” and “nothingness.”

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

Kamui promotional photo, provided by Kamui Dojo

Samurai have historically been expected to compliment their skills as warriors with an extensive skill set in the humanities and religion. Samurai were prolific poets, artists, philosophers, and sportsmen.

“The image of the samurai cutting people down is still very strong, but there’s so much more than that.” Kamui said. “I want people to see that there is more to [samurai] than sword fighting. Education is the most important part.”

Kamui is currently working with Japanese regional governments and national groups to revive the samurai tradition, based out of his dojo in Aizu – the historic samurai city. He runs similar schools across the globe, and has students of many different races and backgrounds.

“The most important thing for samurai – for any powerful person – is honor, responsibility, pride, and preparedness for any situation,” he said.

Kamui said that experiencing foreign cultures from countries like the U.S. was like a mirror. By observing and participating in the interesting parts of other cultures, he was reminded of and understood better his own heritage: “It made me realize my own Japanese-ness inside of me – seeing American culture.”

Comparing the American cowboy motif to the Japanese samurai, Kamui muses that while both are “cool” and “strong,” there is much more important lessons under the surface.

“While the gunfighting and swords are cool, what’s way cooler is having the determination to fight for what’s right,” Kamui said. “I want people to start thinking like that.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Kamui made a recent splash in the U.S. after a photo of his cultural collaboration with a Ukrainian official went viral.

Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky was photographed in traditional samurai armor during the run-up to the ongoing Russian invasion of his home country.

“This armor was provided by samurai artist Tetsuro Shimaguchi. He is a friend of Ukraine and friend of [mine],” he continued. “It was a cultural project to put on full, real armor to feel how Japanese warriors were feeling themselves in a battle.”

The samurai photo shoot was not originally meant to be a rallying cry for support in the Ukraine. However, he said, “When Russia began threatening Ukraine, [I] decided to make an appeal to Japanese people who remember what the bushido spirit is. It was a simple message very well received by Japan.””This armor was provided by samurai artist Tetsuro Shimaguchi. He is a friend of Ukraine and friend of [mine],” he continued. “It was a cultural project to put on full, real armor to feel how Japanese warriors were feeling themselves in a battle.”

The samurai photo shoot was not originally meant to be a rallying cry for support in the Ukraine. However, he said, “When Russia began threatening Ukraine, [I] decided to make an appeal to Japanese people who remember what the bushido spirit is. It was a simple message very well received by Japan.”

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments