One of many weapons in the Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Renmei arsenal taught at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa Arizona is the yari (槍), or better known as the Japanese spear. This martial arts weapon, along with other samurai weapons are taught to members of the Arizona School of Traditional Karate in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona, and to our Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai members in North America.
The yari is a spear, once favored by some samurai and warrior monks in Japan’s past. There are many types of yari and each one had its own indigenous techniques as well as interchangeable techniques from yari to yari. Yari is the weapon of sojutsu, a Japanese martial art.
|Yari training in Saratoga Wyoming. Soke Hausel and Sensei|
According to Japanese folklore, a god named Izanagi no mikoto stood at the Bridge of Heaven and thrust a hoko into the earth’s ocean. As he withdrew the hoko, tiny, shinning drops fell from the weapon back into the ocean to form islands we now know as Japan. This legend is very old and Draeger and Smith (1980) indicate the use of spears on the Japanese islands is older than legend, and spears likely existed on Japan as early as 200 BC. Others argue that spears appeared much later in Japanese history, but this is likely an argument of semantics, which is why I separated spears into the three categories above.
- Draeger, D.E., and Smith, R.W., 1980, Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts: Kodansha International, 207 p.
- Kapp, L, Kapp, H., Yoshihara, Y, 2002, Modern Japanese swords and swordsmiths: Kodansha International, 95 p.
- Sinclaire, C., 2001. Samurai: The weapons and spirit of the Japanese warrior: The Lyons Press: 144 p.