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nationalism in the martial arts

This tag is associated with 5 posts

Through a Lens Darkly (44): Martial Arts in Pre-War Japanese Schools

    Introduction   Today’s post is the result of a happy coincidence.  As regular readers will be aware, I occasionally collect and share vintage images of the Chinese martial arts.  Many of these come from the sorts of ephemera (postcards, advertisements, old newspaper clippings, newsreels) that contain interesting data on the social place of … Continue reading

Research Notes: Foshan’s Kung Fu in 1919.

    First, the Important Stuff   Is it possible to approach history without theory?  I think not.  It is the existence of some sort of preexisting story or framework of understanding that we carry around in our heads which tells us that some given source is relevant data in the first place.  Nor are … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (30): Magic Lanterns and the Asian Martial Arts, 1900 – 1920

    Introduction   When introducing topics like the transnational translation of the martial arts, the construction of popular beliefs about Asian culture through images of violence, or even the reduction of hand combat’s once radical message to yet another product within western consumer markets, one might be forgiven for assuming that the upcoming post … Continue reading

Through a Lens Darkly (23): The Dadao and the Katana – Symbolic Echoes Within the Modern Martial Arts

Introduction No topic within the study of the modern martial arts is more burdened with nationalist myths and legends than military fencing. By the middle of the 20th century blades were supposed to have become obsolete on the battlefield. Yet the Second World War (WWII) saw a resurgence of interest in the sword and knife. … Continue reading

Imagining the Martial Arts: Hand Combat Training as a Tool of the Nation

Introduction: The Martial Arts and National Identity in the Popular Imagination While few people can really claim to be experts in either the history or practice of the martial arts, the last six decades of popular culture have given most individuals in the west a set of shared beliefs and impressions about these fighting systems.  … Continue reading

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