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Sword and Brush: The Spirit of the Martial Arts

Sword and Brush: The Spirit of the Martial Arts [Kindle Edition]

Dave Lowry
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.99
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Product Description

Product Description

moment of perfect clarity that is the force behind all the traditional Japanese
arts—from archery to flower arranging—is celebrated here in Dave Lowry's
exploration of the common principles shared by calligraphy and the martial arts.

examples of Lowry's calligraphy, accompanied by his essays, show how the way of
the brush reflects the strategic principles of the way of the sword. Each
calligraphy represents a term from the martial arts—such as
the way, or
The accompanying text amplifies our understanding of the term, what it meant to
Japanese warriors, and what it means to practitioners of calligraphy and the
martial arts today. What becomes clear is that these two seemingly unrelated
disciplines actually partake of the same profound elemental spirit.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 860 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications; 1st edition (20 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EO6ZWX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #436,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sword And Brush: By Dave Lowry. 3 July 2011
By ShiDaDao Ph.D TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The American author, Dave Lowry has written a number of books regarding traditional Japanese swordmanship, and has regularly contributed articles to martial arts magazines. Having trained in Japan, Lowry has produced in this book, a selection of key terms used within traditional Japanese martial arts as a whole. The terms selected are not limited to Japanese swordmanship, and are found within many other schools.

The paperback (1995) edition contains 119 numbered pages, with 42 entries that include the Japanese ideogram and around 2 pages of English translation and interpretation. The characters translated are:

1) Do. 2) Bu. 3) Keiko. 4) Sabaku. 5) Kata. 6) Ryu. 7) Shi. 8) Dan. 9) Heiho. 10) Oku. 11) Ki. 12) Shin. 13) Ken. 14) Iru. 15) Kan. 17) Ju. 18) Den. 19) Fudo. 20) Wa. 21) Omote/Ura. 22) Jutsu. 23) Te. 24) Kamae. 25) Yoyu. 26) Hara. 27) Uke. 28) Kyu. 29) Tan. 30) Gei. 31) Kage. 32) Zan. 33) Sha. 34) Myo. 35) Rei. 36) Ma. 37) Ku. 38) Furyu. 39) I. 40) Shugyo. 41) Hodoku. 42) In and Yo.

The Foreword is provided by Douglas Skoyles (Aikido), who offers a summation of Dave Lowry's life as a swordsman in the Yagyu Shinkage lineage, and explains how Lowry's work has inspired him in his martial arts training. Lowry explains in the Introduction how the use of the sword is inherently linked to the use of the calligraphy brush in Japan.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Lowry, an accomplished martial artist, teacher and student of Asian history, presents another terrific insight into the wonderful world of the martial arts. Each "chapter" begins with the traditional japanese caligraphy for a common martial arts term. Lowry then breaks the components of the caligraphy character(s)which gives even seasoned students of the martial arts a new perspective on both the term and their training. This is followed with commentary and insights into how this relates to the martial arts training experience. The calligraphy for "Kyu" (color-belt ranks) for example is dissected into elements that represent the "tying together of threads." Lowry then allows the reader to "discover" how this relates to martial arts training (my "discovery" was that, just as threads are woven together to make cloth, the experiences of a "lower rank" student are "woven" together to create a "black belt" rank.)

I highly recommend this book to intermediate and advanced students of Japanese martial arts. Lowry's perspective allows the reader to fully understand what previously were "simple concepts" and re-evaluate the way they approach their training.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sword and Brush 19 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`Sword and Brush: Spirit of the Martial Arts' is yet another excellent book from Dave Lowry. I will admit I am becoming a fan of Lowry's work and I've yet to read a poor book by him. I love his martial arts integrity and obvious love of all things Japanese and martial arts and this comes shining through in this book. This book has a selection of Lowry's own calligraphy of various Japanese words and it then goes on the relate these words and concepts to martial arts. It also looks at how these words were formed and originally written and the ides behind them, so you can see the development and why it links into the mind of feudal and martial arts life. Each chapter is short, usually about 2-3 pages, and manages to give you a quick inspiring boost in a short space of time, which makes this a book excellent to come back to over the years for a quick pick-me-up when your training is flagging. The calligraphy itself is attractive and a great way to start each chapter and Lowry's writing is in his typically clear and evocative style. If you've read any of Lowry's other books then you will definitely enjoy this one and if you like this I recommend his collected essays/articles which are also inspiring and motivational.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kanji and budo 7 Oct 2007
Dave Lowery uses shodo in basic Kanji vocabulary to gives us insight into budo and zen. Shodo is the Way of calligraphy. The art of writting with brush and ink is a common metaphor for Zen thought.And this art was studied by the samuari, Shodo has many similarities with the way of the sword as can be seen in the essays that Lowery has for each kanji character. This book is a great evening read.
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