The ancient martial arts of Japan were demonstrated in Tokyo as part of the "Adulthood Festival" on Tuesday (January 15).
GV Exterior hall where festival held
SV Signs on front of hall exterior
SV Japanese hall inside hall
SVU & Tilt up of martial arms costume display (3 shots)
SV President of meeting
SV Competitors at ceremony (2 shots)
SV Sumo wrestler walks forward & bows to festival president
SV 3 Competitors in traditional costume
GV Sword fight
GV Group of junior kendo contestants PB to GV of hall and other contestants
CU Contestants watching
Pan of junior kendo contestants putting on face guarca
CU Kendo rods PB to GV competitors kneeling then get up and walk forward (2)
CU Older contestant watching
GV Kendo contest commences GV spectators & GV contest
SV Kendo instructor & contestants remove armour (2)
SV Female spectators
GV Junior sumo doing warmups (3)
GV Junior battles adult wrestler, others watch more of sumo match (3)
SV Junior Kendo contestants bowing
GV Junior kendo contestants file out
GV Exterior hall
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Background: 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.