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Sensei
06-18-2006, 06:30 PM
Monday, June 12, 2006

http://www.japan-coachman.com/sele/images/images_dream/kiyomizutemple.gif

Towards the entrance of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, there is an abnormally large spear placed in a hole in the wooden walkway. The staff itself is rectangular and smooth, about 8 and a half feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Legend has it, that the warrior-monk, Benkei, used it as a walking stick and left it at Kiyomizu temple. Also, according to legend, if you can lift it, you will be rich.

The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

Benkei's Spear
http://kariya.cool.ne.jp/jpg/kiyomizu04.jpg

Well, being with a group of 20 students who were begging me to try to lift it, I had no choice but to try. The metal of the staff was very smooth with really no way to get a secure grip. There was a single, tiny peg sticking out of the staff at about eye level, but it was not an aid at all - if anything, trying to use it probably made it more difficult. It did not budge for me at all.

In retrospect, I should have tried to hold it with a choke-hold and lift it that way, but there was a line of tourists waiting to give it a shot, so I gave up after a couple uninspired attempts.

Stumprrp
06-18-2006, 06:34 PM
thats pretty cool man

Jinkies
06-18-2006, 07:31 PM
Ive always wanted to take trip to Japan, this just adds one more reason

KevinStarke
06-18-2006, 07:33 PM
Very cool, i've always wanted to go visit Japan, stay for a few months but i've always lacked the funds. I'll get around to it someday, and i'll not only lift that spear but i'll strike down my enemies with it.

toki
06-18-2006, 07:40 PM
going to japan in 6 months! I'll be sure and post a picture of my swinging that thing around :)

greathuskie
06-18-2006, 08:02 PM
had it been directly on the ground i gaurantee you could lift it

bigbadwolfe
06-19-2006, 04:39 PM
Is it held up by that wood or how is it sitting upright? Just curious alsmot looks anchored in a way. Please elaborate on Benkei? Who what when where how? you know the typical questions enquiring minds wanna know!!!

Wolfy!!!

toki
06-19-2006, 05:25 PM
on a similar note, there is a guy at work who is about 50yrs old who is always talking about giant people and how they used to exist as recently as 100 years ago still.

Bob
06-19-2006, 05:41 PM
Very Interesting Sensei...
Like those Scottish and Irish Stones...
I bet there are a bunch of stories like those around the Japanese templates..
good luck on your next one.. tourist..

Sensei
06-19-2006, 06:05 PM
It does remind you of those Scottish lifting stones, like Inver, doesn't it?

The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

Benkei was a warrior monk in the 12th century. He is most famous for posting himself at a bridge in Kyoto and defeating 999 samurai and collecting their swords. The 1000th warrior he faced was Minamoto Yoshi-tsune (*edited w. hyphen to bypass filter*) who defeated him - Benkei became one of Minamoto's most famous warriors and eventually died in battle under his service.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a178/johnnymnemonic/gojo1lg.jpg

Toki,
Good luck! Get pictures. I will probably make a special trip and give it another shot the next time I am in Japan.

waynedang
06-19-2006, 06:33 PM
It does remind you of those Scottish lifting stones, like Inver, doesn't it?

The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

Benkei was a warrior monk in the 12th century. He is most famous for posting himself at a bridge in Kyoto and defeating 999 samurai and collecting their swords. The 1000th warrior he faced was Minamoto Yo****sune who defeated him - Benkei became one of Minamoto's most famous warriors and eventually died in battle under his service.

Toki,
Good luck! Get pictures. I will probably make a special trip and give it another shot the next time I am in Japan.


bring some chalk and a belt next time:thumbup:

bigbadwolfe
06-19-2006, 07:40 PM
Waynedang you beat me to that!!! I was gonna say chalk and belt!!!!

Wolfy!!!!

biggimp
06-19-2006, 11:16 PM
lol. just practice your deadlifts man.

Sensei
05-06-2007, 08:49 PM
I'll be making a trip to Nippon again this summer. Time to start training grip and be a little more serious about my upper body work - hopefully, if I get to Kyoto, I can actually make a decent attempt at it this time around.

vdizenzo
05-07-2007, 05:28 AM
Yeah, never say die!

RedSpikeyThing
05-07-2007, 07:38 AM
I'll be making a trip to Nippon again this summer. Time to start training grip and be a little more serious about my upper body work - hopefully, if I get to Kyoto, I can actually make a decent attempt at it this time around.

I bet the people behind you would **** their pants if they saw you lift it. That'd be awesome.

Jinkies
05-07-2007, 10:27 AM
Has it never been lifted?

Guido
05-07-2007, 10:42 AM
Just do the choke hold next time. If it's 200 lbs, you should have little trouble getting it out if you get a decent grip on it. ( or just use chalk :p)

TTT
05-07-2007, 11:06 AM
Does that wooden platform have sidewalls? Can you put your feet underneath it, next to the spear, or do you have to kind of lean right over the top of it with your feet away from the base of the spear? Because that would make it exponentially harder.

vrizzle
05-07-2007, 08:43 PM
How about strongman tacky?

Sensei
05-07-2007, 09:00 PM
do you have to kind of lean right over the top of it with your feet away from the base of the spear? Because that would make it exponentially harder.Yes, you do. If you could get in closer it would be easier.

I don't know how much chalk would help - the spear is totally smooth. Stickum spray or strongman tacky would probably make it A LOT easier, but I'd feel like a cheater, not to mention the fact that the next poor sap would end up with unexpectedly sticky hands after giving it a shot... Ah well, I guess I'll just have to lift it RAW DAWG!!!

Lones Green
05-07-2007, 09:33 PM
Yes, you do. If you could get in closer it would be easier.

I don't know how much chalk would help - the spear is totally smooth. Stickum spray or strongman tacky would probably make it A LOT easier, but I'd feel like a cheater, not to mention the fact that the next poor sap would end up with unexpectedly sticky hands after giving it a shot... Ah well, I guess I'll just have to lift it RAW DAWG!!!

i have faith in you! make sure to update us before or after your next attempt.

Guido
05-08-2007, 09:08 AM
I would just do a lot of isometric holds with something smooth, work your way up in weight, and then when you try it again with the Spear you'll have sufficient hand strength to do it. Seems mostly to be an issue of grip strength.

Sensei
05-08-2007, 09:25 AM
I'm thinking about rigging something up w. chain and 3" diameter PVC. Shouldn't cost more than a $10 to make - probably be fun.

Con
05-08-2007, 01:00 PM
I know this is kinda off topic, but reading this has reminded me how much I like reading books about japan/china in the ancient times.

Sensei, do you know any good fiction or non-fiction books about some of this stuff?

Detard
05-08-2007, 02:07 PM
so you kinda have to do a 200lb front raise with a vertical barbell? Or can you get up to it and get a nice low grip and squat it up? Has anyone lifted it before?

Sensei
05-08-2007, 02:46 PM
Sorry, no I don't. Most of the stuff I've read were pretty dry, stuffy, textbook-like history texts. You could probably find some more readable stuff at Barnes & Noble, et al about samurai, bushido, ninja, etc.

I guess "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi Miyamoto, "The Pillow Book" by Sei Shonagon, and "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu (Chinese) are pretty enjoyable if you like reading classic literature.

"The Tale of Genji" by Murasaki Shikibu is NOT enjoyable, but I'm sure if there was a good, modern translation it could be....

Sensei
05-08-2007, 02:48 PM
so you kinda have to do a 200lb front raise with a vertical barbell? Or can you get up to it and get a nice low grip and squat it up? Has anyone lifted it before?
Yes, basically. I'm sure people must have picked it up before. A group of six or so students working together ended up picking it up after I tried.

Sensei
05-08-2007, 03:14 PM
You might do fine with it. I would guess that if you had a strong enough grip, you could get enough leverage to lift it - at least I'll be giving it a shot. You do have to lean over the railing a bit, but I don't think it's not a crazy impossible angle.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a178/johnnymnemonic/glossary%20pics/DSCF03611.jpg

2PACMAN2
05-08-2007, 03:39 PM
You might do fine with it. I would guess that if you had a strong enough grip, you could get enough leverage to lift it - at least I'll be giving it a shot. You do have to lean over the railing a bit, but I don't think it's not a crazy impossible angle.

http://www.geocities.jp/kakitutei_pickup/yo****sune/DSCF03611.jpgWell, I guess we won't be able to see this pic, because the profanity filter blocks the name "y o s h i t s u n e"... I'll post it up later.
ive just deleted that post cuss i seen the big pic now, didnt come up before - looks much harder to grip that i had thought haha i wouldnt expect a spear to be like that..but still, i dont think the grip would be a problem for me personally, an i definately think i could lift it up somewhat, but im not sure about getting it out of the hole cuss i dont know how deep it is? e.g, would i need to re-grip after an initial pull?

from the looks of that picture, what i think i would do, is lean right over as much as possible (being tall would help here), grip it as low as possible with my arms in a locked out hammer curl position, an then do a good morning - if this is allowed i reckon there would be a good chance of victory >how much money do you get for this?

Sleepy Guy
05-08-2007, 09:21 PM
I would practice that exact lift if you can. Build up balance and get use to handling the implement.

Guido
05-09-2007, 08:11 AM
Seeing that pic makes it look much more difficult. I didn't notice how high the railing was in the first pic you showed. Also, are you sure that thing only weighs 200 lbs? Looks like it would be heavier than that based on it's size and thickness.

Sleepy Guy
05-09-2007, 04:23 PM
It's his walking stick and the lifters :windup: can not lift it. Kinda puts things into perspective or it's one big lie and the monk was 5 foot 95lbs with a sense of humor.

Sensei
05-09-2007, 06:57 PM
I got that weight from a Japanese site - I have no idea if it's accurate, but it seemed like a reputable site.

Benkei was probably a 'giant' among men in those days, but 900 years ago that could have been a man 5'11, 220... Who knows how big he was.

Hephaestus
05-14-2007, 02:57 PM
Hey sensei, i noticed you visited Japan recently a few times. (Read your article on bench pressing in japan). Do go there for business or just enjoying traveling or some other reason? Just curious, i've always been interested in traveling there. Maybe sometime in the future i will have that chance. Well good luck next time getting the spear out, that looks pretty heavy.

Sensei
05-14-2007, 03:11 PM
Have family there. Go there with students too. I usually get there at least once a year.

Hephaestus
05-14-2007, 04:01 PM
Oh i see. Take you awhile to get over the language barrier or did you learn it pretty fast?

Sensei
06-17-2008, 02:04 PM
I grew up with very, very little Japanese (a few words and phrases). I majored in it, lived there a few years, did grad school and visit there frequently. I have no problems with daily conversation and topics of need and interest, but I can still find myself lost in context-specific settings.

UPDATE: I successfully lifted the spear last week. There is small "handle" towards the bottom of the spear - I would have never found it, but I was looking for a way to hold the spear lower and squat it up and there it was. If you have small hands (which I do), you can grip it with one hand and, essentially one-arm deadlift it up. Honestly, anyone who does much lifting at all should have no problem lifting it in this fashion if you can find that handle.

HP666
06-17-2008, 02:15 PM
I'll pick that up and use it for a toothpick. :ninja:

bigmoney
06-17-2008, 02:17 PM
that's awesome sensei. Did you end up "training" for it before you tried it again?

RedSpikeyThing
06-17-2008, 02:18 PM
I bet the people behind you would **** their pants if they saw you lift it. That'd be awesome.



UPDATE: I successfully lifted the spear last week.

were they surprised?

Sensei
06-17-2008, 03:35 PM
I haven't been lifting heavy at all. The only reason I was able to lift it was that small (hiden) handle. It felt like cheating. I'll lift it again wielding it like Benkei next time.

The group I was with was impressed, but it's pretty easy to impress a group of non-athletic early-teen boys and girls... I was happy to feel it break off the ground though.

mickyjune26
06-17-2008, 03:50 PM
Too bad we didn't get a pic of your attempt to see how big it is in relation to an american. I can't tell how big those people are in the picture.

Detard
06-17-2008, 06:05 PM
Congrats sensei. Thats pretty tight man!

Bob
06-17-2008, 06:08 PM
Awesome job Sensei... hope you got updated pics...

HP666
06-17-2008, 06:37 PM
I grew up with very, very little Japanese (a few words and phrases).

I can say one thing in Japanese: "O du ka say ro ku ku."

Pardon my spelling on that Sensei.

This is a very important phrase if you like Japanese girls.

Sensei
06-17-2008, 09:55 PM
Thanks everybody.

Too bad we didn't get a pic of your attempt to see how big it is in relation to an american. I can't tell how big those people are in the picture.It's about 8ft. from end to end. I suppose there's about 1.5ft. of spear below the floor.

I can say one thing in Japanese: "O du ka say ro ku ku."I have no idea what that means.

motoko013
06-18-2008, 02:12 AM
I can say one thing in Japanese: "O du ka say ro ku ku."

Pardon my spelling on that Sensei.

This is a very important phrase if you like Japanese girls.

i too, have no idea what that says. the way you wrote it makes it sound like another language.

MillerTime1485
06-18-2008, 02:54 AM
Go find some scrap iron that weighs 250lbs and build a wooden thing in your backyard.. then lift the damn thing all summer!

HP666
06-18-2008, 07:40 AM
I can say one thing in Japanese: "O du ka say ro ku ku."

Pardon my spelling on that Sensei.

This is a very important phrase if you like Japanese girls.

Ok, this is the actually spelling: (I think)

Ore ketsubou yaku roku kyuu

philipcooper
06-18-2008, 10:28 AM
Off topic that lol

motoko013
06-18-2008, 07:13 PM
Ok, this is the actually spelling: (I think)

Ore ketsubou yaku roku kyuu

lol, i guess i understand what you are trying to say. word for word translation to english would "kinda" mean something pretty gross, but overall the structure and the vocab are off. not something you want to say when first meeting a girl that's for sure

Sensei
06-18-2008, 09:06 PM
I'm only guessing that you're trying to say something about "69", but online translators are awful... seriously. No Japanese would have clue what you were talking about if you walked up to them and said that unless you drew a picture and repeated yourself about 10 times.