Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Hanetsuki is a traditional Japanese New Year's game. It is played with a wooden paddle called hagoita and a shuttle called hane. The game resembles badminton,only difference is that it is played without a net. While the game's popularity has declined in recent times, beautifully ornamented hagoita are still a popular collection item.

Sumo is Japan's national sport and is a Japanese style wrestling. It is originated from the ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto Gods. Many of the traditional rituals are still followed today.
The basic rules of sumo are simple: the wrestler who first touches the ground with anything besides the soles of his feet, or who leaves the ring before his opponent, loses. The fights take place on an elevated ring, called a "dohyo", which is made of clay and covered in a layer of sand. The fights themselves usually last only a few seconds, or in rare cases, about a minute.


The aim in Judo is not only winning fights but also training one's body and soul. The literal translation of Judo is "the gentle way". Techniques are much more important than stamina in Judo.

Karate is related to Chinese Kung fu ands Korean Taekwondo. In karate, one strikes with their fists, elbows and feet in a defensive action. Karate is more of defensive rather than attacking. Karate-do means "the way of the empty hand" because karate only uses bare hands and feets, rarely with weapons.

Kendo is Japanese fencing. It means "the way of the sword". The participants in modern kendo are well protected and use bamboo swords. Similar to all the Japanese martial arts, the training of one's mind is essential.

Kyudo is Japanese archery and its literal meaning is "the way of the bow"
Bows have been used for many centuries in Japan, both as weapons of warfare and as hunting tools.

Kyudo is quite a popular recreational activity which is practiced in kyudojo. Special kyudo facilities can be found in schools, culture centers and the like. The bow used for kyudo is about two meters long.

Translating Aikido, it roughly means "the way of the harmonious spirit". Aikido techniques allows one to overpower their opponent without much strenth and also without much injury to both parties.

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