History of Japanese Budo 01


The Beginning of Japanese Martial Arts

From "Taiheiki Hero Biography" by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
The last battle of the warlord Saito Tatsuoki. From “Taiheiki Hero Biography" by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Japanese-Budo was born as a technique of warfare. There are many types of Japanese-Budo, such as Ken-jutsu, Iai-jutsu, and Ju-jutsu. Japanese-Budo is the root of Japanese martial arts, which is now enjoyed all over the world. Japanese-Budo was the art of the samurai fighting in war. But now, many people are learning Japanese-Budo as a self-defense technique, traditional culture, and exercise for health. Japanese-Budo is a systematization of how Japanese weapons are used. In this blog, I will introduce many remaining Japanese-Budo.

The beginnings of Japanese-Budo are very old. However, it is difficult to accurately examine its history. Because Japanese-Budo in the early days was a soldier’s technique and ordinary people didn’t know about it. People in the past didn’t write books about Japanese-Budo technology.

However, there are records of Budo in various ruins, materials, and old paintings. Skeletons with scars from swords and arrows have been found in ruins from the Yayoi period about 2000 years ago. Agriculture began in Japan during the Yayoi era. Perhaps there were wars between villages during this period for land and water. And war requires weapons and the skill to use them.

After that, many technologies were imported from mainland China. Among them were the newest bronze and iron swords and arrows. And the horse was coming. Powerful people in this age collected strong weapons, horses, and people who can use them. In this way, a powerful country was created within Japan, and an army was created.

There are descriptions of weapons such as swords, spears, and bows in the 1,300-year-old Japanese history books Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. Many researchers believe that the prototype of Japanese-Budo was created during this period.