Japanese Traditions Visit Russia—Samurai Warriors’ Dance

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A Japanese sword group shows the art of ancient Japan in St. Petersburg. They're modern descendants of the samurai warriors, determined to perserve the traditions. Our Russia correspondent gives us an insight into the art of samurai dances and poetry.

"The Soul of Japan" festival is held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Modern descendants of the samurai showcase the culture of Japan— ‘the land of the rising sun’.

Traditional sword dances with poetry take main stage in the program.

They are poems about the exploits and philosophy of the samurai.

[Mishiba Meteki, Master of Japanese Songs]:
"Japanese poetry has always been performed in a singing style. During the performance I stretch my stomach, it is necessary to collect a lot of air. While I am singing a single note, I hold in the air, then let it go.”

Since the 19th century such poetry has being accompanied by dance, called Camby.

Camby demonstrates the art of fencing and is also a spiritual discipline.

[...]

In addition to artists from Japan, today, Russians are also performing.

Helen used to work with martial arts.

Five years ago, after seeing Goto Keisen’s performance, Helen fell in love with Camby.

[...]

To swiftly pull out the katana-sword from its sheath and strike the enemy with skill and a kind of elegance—In Japan, this has always been considered an art form.

But the real master of iaido rarely pulls a sword.

An iaido master seeks to control himself, not the enemy.

[...]

According to concert organizers, interest in Japan is constantly growing in St. Petersburg.

[Vitaly Vasiliev, Director, Center for Humanitarian Programs]:
"The word ‘samurai’, the philosophy of Japanese military life and culture is a topic interesting enough to attract many people."

The Japanese Cultural Festival is now in its 12th run.

For Russians, it is a unique opportunity to learn more about the traditions and true culture of the eastern nation.

NTD News, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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