The goals of the budo - the martial arts and ways of Japan - lie in refining the body and spirit. These goals are not always the obvious ones - and are learned only through the guidance and direction of great teachers. The techniques, methods, and rituals of the sensei can serve as guides to a well-lived life - and provide invaluable lessons for today's martial artists.
The study of budo, or the Japanese martial arts for self-cultivation, is a lifelong path toward perfection of character. Here, Dave Lowry, a sword master who has practiced and taught budo for over 40 years, addresses the myriad issues, vagaries, and inconsistencies that arise for students of karate-do, judo, kendo, kenjutsu, aikido, and iaido as their training develops.
"I just sat in a Dojo of the mind."
Dave Lowry juxtaposes his singular experience as an adept student of kenjutsu (the art of swordsmanship) under a Japanese teacher in St. Louis with a riveting account of the samurai tradition in Japan. Intertwining tales of the masters with reflections on his own apprenticeship in the samurai's arts, he reveals in their time-honored methods a way of life with profound relevance to modern times.
Beginning students in Japanese martial arts, such as karate, judo, aikido, iaido, kyudo, and kendo, learn that when they are in the dojo (the practice space), they must don their practice garb with ritual precision, address their teacher and senior students in a specific way, and follow certain unwritten but deeply held codes of behavior. But very soon they begin to wonder about the meaning behind the traditions, gear, and relationships in the dojo.
"Great to learn about the dojo and behavior inside."
Persimmon Wind - part memoir, part martial arts history, and part travelogue - relates Dave Lowry's experiences as he travels to Japan to reunite with his sensei, visit the graves of others of his martial lineage, and explore a country and culture that profoundly influenced his life. Lowry's account reveals a Japan unlikely to be witnessed by the average Westerner. Drawing on his deep knowledge of the martial arts, Lowry acts as an interpreter of sorts, deftly describing for the listener the myriad ways in which Japan's subtle, yet rich customs and rituals inform and enrich the seemingly mundane practices of life.
Driving home after being kicked out of college, Tucker meets and picks up the mysterious Corinne Chang at a rest stop. Infatuated, and with nothing better to do, he ends up with her in St. Louis, where he gets a job as a chef in a Chinese restaurant. Even though he’s a gwai lo—a foreign devil—his cooking skills impress the Chinese patrons of the restaurant, and his wooing skills impress Corinne when she joins him there as a waitress.