Isao feature

The master swordsman Isao Machii has been dicing up whatever has been thrown at him so far. Whether it’s shrimpfruit, or soybeans, this expert has left his cutting mark in a field of sliceable items.

One field he hasn’t turned his sword on yet is baseball, but considering how much Japan loves the game, it was only a matter of time before Machii would step up to the plate, and he’s done so in an impressive display of swordsmanship you won’t want to miss.

The video, released by Oricon’s official YouTube channel, pits Isao Machii against a pitching machine set at 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour). Hitting a baseball might be one of the hardest things to do in sports, but there are plenty of major leaguers who can drill a ball coming in at that speed. This is exactly why they placed Isao only 9.22 meters (30.24 feet) from the machine, almost exactly half the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate. If a hitter has a blink of an eye to swing at a pitch, Machii has half a blink to draw his sword and strike the baseball. Impossible?

We don’t think that word exists in his personal dictionary.

They give him a couple of pitches to get a feel for the speed and the location but he doesn’t need more than that before he slices the baseball in a flash of steel and grace.

Isao 1

Isao 2

The ball is cut almost perfectly in half and the camera crew are ecstatic at the results.

Isao 3

Isao 4

After confirming the distance from the machine, the viewer might realize that the video was one continuous shot in order to show that there was no trickery involved. No movie magic here, just unbelievable swordsmanship.

Isao 5

While the speed is impressive, we’d still love to see Machii facing a real pitcher, with some real movement. We definitely think that would be a pretty amazing matchup. For now, TV producers will have to keep thinking of new ways to test the modern samurai, since he’s passed every single one so far.

Source, images: YouTube/oriconofficial