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Namba Aruki (Namba Walk)


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Has anyone ever heard about "namba aruki" (ナンバ歩き) or "namba hashiri" (ナンバ走り), a walking method that was used in the Edo era in which the left leg and the left arm, as well as the right leg and the right arm, were moved at the same time (as opposed to the standard left leg-right arm/right leg-left arm combination)? Apparently, namba aruki originated in kabuki and became a standard walking style, especially among long-distance messengers (飛脚 hikyaku) who often covered 500 kilometres in 6-8 days.

Namba aruki is said to be more efficient as hips and shoulders don't work against one another, and the hips will always face forward. Also, your feet will no longer have to lift your entire body. In the course of Westernization during the Meiji period, namba aruki has reportedly fallen into oblivion.

There are plenty of how-tos on Youtube:

And there's an in-depth article on Tofugu:

I know I'll be walking my dog "samurai-style" tonight. :)
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