The ancient martial arts of Japan were demonstrated in Tokyo as part of the "Adulthood Festival" on Tuesday (January 15).
The ancient martial arts of Japan were demonstrated in Tokyo as part of the "Adulthood Festival" on Tuesday (January 15). The Adulthood Festival is a public holiday in Japan. It is the day when all those who become twenty years old during the year are declared to be adults.
Most people simply relax on the holiday but there are some traditionalists who spend the day demonstrating the martial arts.
In Tokyo's Budokan Hall, the Hall of the Martial Arts, about three hundred practitioners demonstrated various techniques of attack and defence. While the Japanese martial arts are growing in popularity in western nations, they are on the destine in their home country. Only a thousand spectators watched the demonstrations of Sumo (wrestling), traditional archery, judo, kendo, naginata, aikido, karate, and Samurai swordsmanship.
Most traditional Japanese sports, including the martial arts, are designed to kill. So the trick in demonstrations is to avoid killing. This is done by concentration on poise, breathing, and the etiquette of the sport. Every gesture is carefully rehearsed according to centuries-old ritual. The sports are strongly in influenced by Zen Buddhism.