Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Samurai Sword Mania

Those Scots.
Samurai sword terror as five stabbed

FOUR teenagers were among at least five people stabbed in a street battle linked to gangland wars in north Glasgow.

Samurai swords and knives were used by youths as young as 15 as the Milton area erupted into violence.

As someone who is engaged in a serious study of Japanese Swordsmanship, I find myself torn between curiosity, amusement, and disgust.

What kind of swords are they using? There are at least five different kinds that can be called "samurai swords." The one people are most familiar with is the katana, so I'm guessing that's what they are using.

Where are they getting these things? But I should not be surprised. I was walking by a tobacco store the other day and saw several sets of swords on display. I walked in and confirmed that they were junk, created to be put on display (and not looked at too closely.) But even a scrap of metal can be sharpened to a razor edge and be very dangerous.

How are they affording these things? I bought my own sword (a student sword, called an iaito) in 2005. It cost me ~$600. A real katana would cost in the ~$8000 - $10000. Again, not to be surprised--I just plugged "katana" into Google and found many places that would sell me a "real samurai katana" for less than $200.

Why are these guys getting away with it? Don't the police have that great anti-katana weapon, the pistol? Not to boast, but I'd take any of these guys on one-on-one with a jo (a walking staff.)


Taleena has emailed me a link about, well, some kind `o hero:

English Samurai Saves Police

Real-Life Super Hero Cuts Down Crime

Perhaps inspired by Pulp Fiction (or any number of comic books), a mysterious vigilante with a samurai sword rescued two police officers from a gang of toughs in South Shields, England, last week. It all started when as many as five assailants, armed with knives, chains and a hammer, allegedly forced their way into an apartment and began ransacking the place. Outside, two off-duty detectives, who happened to be passing by, heard the screams of a woman and entered the premises to investigate. They confronted the intruders, but, being out-numbered and out-armed, quickly lost control of situation. Accounts vary, but it appears that just as one of the robbers drew his knife and lunged at one of the cops, a mustachioed do-gooder appeared out of the blue brandishing a three-foot samurai sword.

He cried out, "Leave him alone, he's a police officer!," and then went on a rampage swinging his blade "wildly back and worth and wounding at least one of the robbers." Disoriented by his attack, the gang panicked, allowing police to gain the upper-hand. But, as superheroes tend to do, the South Shields Samurai vanished in the ensuing chaos as quickly as a he had appeared. Police are now seeking his whereabouts and, while not condoning vigilantism, admit "[t]here is no doubt this person assisted." Looks like Batman may have some competition!
Well, it wasn't me. I don't swing my blade wildly back and forth. But you gotta love the "mustachioed do-gooder."

...And you know that the South Sheilds Police would arrest this guy in a New York Minute.

1 comment:

Taleena said...

Heavens! don't you know guns kill people and escalate violence? We must Think of the Children

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