We recently took a look at the latest iteration of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which showed us how far scientists have come in building sophisticated robots, and yet how far those machines have left to go before they can get from point A to point B without falling down hilariously. But little did we know that while we were snickering at those clumsy creations, another group of engineers were building their own robot that can perfectly perform a severing strike with a samurai sword.
They don’t come much more badass than Isao Machii. Dubbed the “Heisei Samurai” or “Modern Samurai” he’s a five-time Guiness World Record holder for feats such as slicing a BB pellet in half mid-flight with a sword. He is also the creator of the Shushin-ryu style of Iaijutsu which is a martial art centered on sudden sword strikes.
Needless to say, this guy has the skills to pay the bills. And pay bills he does by occasionally appearing in commercials. Last year, we saw him promote Toaster Strudel by playing a live version of Fruit Ninja. Now, he’s back to take on more food with his mighty sword, this time at speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (93 mph).
There’s a lot going on at the base of Tokyo Skytree. Not content with being the tallest structure in Japan and the tallest tower in the world, Skytree also boasts an entertainment complex the size of a small town. Hiding among the shops and restaurants is an aquarium, a planetarium, and a university campus…
Well, sort of. The Chiba Institute of Technology’s ‘Skytree Town Campus’ is more science exhibition than campus – but it does have this badass Japanese sword made from a 450-million-year-old meteorite.
You could say that the traditional Japanese sword, or katana, symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Japanese spirit. We see these swords quite often in comics, anime and movies, but how well do we really know the spiritual and cultural elements they embody?
To find out, we went to a true expert to learn about the fascinating and mysterious world of Japanese swords. Join us for an in-depth interview with master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!
Sometimes people can be a little shy about their hobbies and may not always be upfront with their friends, even if it’s something they really like. Things like cosplay or model building aren’t always seen as the epitome of cool (although, many would argue otherwise!).
When one girl was asked by a friend why she bought a fake katana (Japanese sword), she came up with a pretty terrible fake reason. However, that lie turned out to be a really good idea!
What child hasn’t run around swinging a giant sword at imaginary enemies? We did it when we were kids and we’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you did too! It’s just too bad that you can’t do it as an adult–at least not without someone calling the police! (Don’t ask how we know.)
Except that you totally can! Iaido, a Japanese martial art which uses real swords, is all about swinging blades at imaginary enemies–and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Of course, most iaido schools don’t use “giant” swords, since, in reality, an arm can only stretch so far. But certain styles have told reality to go jump in a river and given practitioners swords big enough to make Sephiroth blush.
Check out the awesome “giant sword” videos taking the Japanese Internet by storm below!
Rainy days means umbrellas, which means boys and girls smacking each other unrepentantly while waiting for the train with their makeshift swords/lances/lightsabers/sonic screwdrivers.
This “extracurricular activity” is certainly enjoyed by all of the world’s excitable youth, so we bet you can tell exactly what kind of weapon your umbrella turns into when swords are drawn! Our umbrellas become katanas with an acidic edge that can slice through anything!
But what about Japan’s netizens?
On a late night light rail train in Phoenix, Arizona on what authorities believe to have been October 6, a man rescued another passenger from a fight by wielding his samurai sword towards the assailants.
The incident was caught on video and uploaded to YouTube. None of the parties involved have been identified and the police are currently investigating.
Museums always struggle to find ways to attract younger visitors, so it’s not unusual to see a museum tie in an exhibition to some pop-culture trend. Even the Bizen Japanese Sword Museum which you’d think is one of the “cooler” museums for the kids has had to come up with new ideas recently.
As a result anime fans may want to take a trip to Setouchi City in Okayama Prefecture this summer to check out the “Neo Japanese Sword Evangelion” exhibition. This exhibition is a fusion of the hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and the works of Japan’s finest traditional sword makers. Read More