This film is simply put, a gem. It’s is a rare documentary on the most well-known of the Japanese martial arts, including Kyujutsu, Kendo, Karate, Judo, Iaido, Sumo, Naginatajutsu, Kobudo, and more. Although it is presented as a documentary, it is perhaps the most artistic expression of the genre. With it’s use of Noh imagery and superb cinematography, Budo stands next to other well-known Japanese classics.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this movie is the level and quality of the production for being an “independent” film with primarily a cult target audience. This movie is also very deliberate and careful in including a variety of schools, while preserving an impressive “who’s who in Japanese martial arts” cast.
If you ever wonder what Japanese martial arts are supposed be, or where it all originates, check this film out. Whether it’s the super slow motion sequences of cutting, or the long and painstaking process of forging and creating the most beautiful weapon ever made, this movie is sure to impress you. You will not be disappointed.
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The Art of Killing is an award winning 1978 Japanese martial arts documentary created and produced by Hisao Masuda and financed by The Arthur Davis Company. Considered a cult classic, the film is a compilation of various Japanese martial art demonstrations by several famous Japanese instructors such as Gozo Shioda, Taizaburo Nakamura and Teruo Hayashi. Martial arts featured in the film include: karate, aikido, kendo, sumo, and judo among others. The only modern Japanese martial art not featured in the film is kyudo.
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