Ancient Warriors Ninja Shaolin And Samurai

Published on Dec 13, 2012

A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan who specialized in unorthodox warfare. The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination, and open combat in certain situations.[1] Their covert methods of waging war contrasted the ninja with the samurai, who observed strict rules about honor and combat.[2] The shinobi proper, a specially trained group of spies and mercenaries, appeared in the Sengoku or “warring states” period, in the 15th century,[3] but antecedents may have existed in the 14th century,[4] and possibly even in the 12th century (Heian or early Kamakura era).[5][6]

In the unrest of the Sengoku period (15th—17th centuries), mercenaries and spies for hire became active in the Iga Province and the adjacent area around the village of Kōga, and it is from their ninja clans that much of our knowledge of the ninja is drawn. Following the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate (17th century), the ninja faded into obscurity, being replaced by the Oniwabanshū body of secret agents.[7] A number of shinobi manuals, often centered around Chinese military philosophy, were written in the 17th and 18th centuries, most notably the Bansenshukai (1676).[8]

By the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868), the tradition of the shinobi had become a topic of popular imagination and mystery in Japan. Ninja figured prominently in folklore and legend, and as a result it is often difficult to separate historical fact from myth. Some legendary abilities purported to be in the province of ninja training include invisibility, walking on water, and control over the natural elements. As a consequence, their perception in western popular culture in the 20th century was based more on such legend and folklore than on the historical spies of the Sengoku period.

drawnblog:

In the summer of 1950, Hans Namuth approached Jackson Pollock and asked the abstract expressionist painter if he could photograph him in his studio, working with his “drip” technique of painting. When Namuth arrived, he found:

A dripping wet canvas covered the entire floor. Blinding shafts of sunlight hit the wet canvas, making its surface hard to see. There was complete silence…. Pollock looked at the painting. Then unexpectedly, he picked up can and paintbrush and started to move around the canvas. It was as if he suddenly realized the painting was not finished. His movements, slow at first, gradually became faster and more dancelike as he flung black, white and rust-colored paint onto the canvas.

The images from this shoot “helped transform Pollock from a talented, cranky loner into the first media-driven superstar of American contemporary art, the jeans-clad, chain-smoking poster boy of abstract expressionism,” one critic later wrote in The Washington Post. But Namuth wasn’t satisfied that he had really captured the essence of Pollock’s work. He wanted to capture Pollock in motion and color, to focus on the painter and painting alike.

Above, you can watch the result of Namuth’s second effort. The ten-minute film, simply called Jackson Pollock 51 (the 51 being short for 1951), lets you see Pollock painting from a unique angle — through glass. The film achieved Namuth’s aesthetic goals, but it came at a price. Apparently the filming taxed Pollock emotionally, and by the evening, the painter decided to pour himself some bourbon, his first drink in two years. A blowout argument followed; Pollock never stopped drinking again; and it was downhill from there…

(via Jackson Pollock: Lights, Camera, Paint! (1951) | Open Culture)