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Thread: Swordwork and "The Last Samurai"

  1. #46
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    Originally posted by Earl Hartman
    No nudity?

    Damn.
    A shoulder, from the back.

    The actress has only one name, Koyuki.
    Don J. Modesto
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    ------------------------
    http://theaikidodojo.com/

  2. #47
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    Default ahem

    California: The buzz: Constitution a small hurdle to big dreams
    Sacramento Bee ^ | October 20, 2003 | Dan Smith


    Posted on 10/20/2003 7:23:30 AM PDT by John Jorsett


    Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't been sworn in yet as California's next governor.

    But as he threw his arms around President Bush on a stage last week in San Bernardino, the 56-year-old, Austrian-born bodybuilder-turned-movie-star-turned-governor-elect - who has always plotted his goals years ahead of time - must have wondered whether he was embracing his future.

    The U.S. Constitution says only American-born citizens can be president. But Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, wants an amendment allowing foreign-born but longtime citizens - like Schwarzenegger - to run.

    In a 2001 interview in the Vancouver Sun, Schwarzenegger, who already was talking about his ambition to be California governor, was asked whether he thought the presidency was out of reach. His response: "Well, you'd have to redo the Constitution. But they've had so many amendments that it's not really a problem."

    Jesse Choper, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, chuckled at that response: "In more than 200 years now, there's been 27 amendments" out of hundreds of attempts. "And the first 10 were off the top, in the Bill of Rights."

    Choper said he has no objection to the idea on the merits: "What's the big deal about being born in the United States?"

    But if history is any guide, he said, "it is very difficult to amend the Constitution."

    Of course, it's also very difficult to become governor in a recall election. This is only the second time it has happened in U.S. history.
    from: http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news...9/posts?page=4

  3. #48
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    Default Liked it (with qualifications)

    Saw it, liked it (with some exceptions).

    Why can we watch "Superman" and never say "Hey, that can't really happen!" ?? But we watch this obvious fiction and act like it's suppose to be an historical recreation? [well, okay ... "Samurai" is closer to real life than "Superman"]

    I liked the bokuto work -- the "whacka-whacka" sticks (as Meik Skoss calls it). Tom's tenouchi wasn't bad. I can envision someone comfortable with sabre to adapt to a different paradigm. This section really made me sit up and take notice.

    I liked the cinematography and early Meiji uniforms (french kepis at the beginning) but note they transitioned to an 1880s type of uniform at the end of the film. The rifles looked to be the 1880s model. Would have enjoyed seeing more smoke obscuration for the final battle -- especially just before the first artillery barage.

    I loved Billy Connolly! He made a great First Sergeant "Awrite yew barstads ...!" What was really great is that this famous Scottish comedian spoke in an Irish accent, so that he was understandable. If you've ever heard his LPs, you'd not understand a word. Is he Aberdonian or a Glaswegian? I think Aberdeen as I can usually understand those from Glasgow. Anyway, I half expected English subtitles when he spoke.

    I liked Tom's fight choreography -- fighting to the end and getting the Red Armored Guy. Loved the body-checking throughout, and the short kick to the groin.

    I HATED the following (1=very bad):

    1. Emperor Meiji's attidude in front of Tom.

    2. The "final salute" provided by the victors.

    3. The girl "sausage lips". Did they use Botox injections in early Meiji? She reminded me too much of a modern woman placed in a "jidai gekki" film. Totally wrong look -- she reminds me of a Japanese Julia Roberts, whom I hate.

    4. Ninjers.

    5. Ninjer-swords/square tsuba.

    4. Tom's "Can-Can Ryu" kicks.

    As someone else already commented, I think the movie lasted 30 minutes too long (they can give those extra minutes to "Return of the King").

    Originally posted by Ron Tisdale
    What other industrialized nation does the same (elects actors to major public office)? Ok, perhaps (if I remember correctly) Italy. Sniff.
    Answer: Japan. Yokoyama "Knock" Governor of Osaka; previous occupation actor/commedian. Recently accused of fondling the backside of a female campaign supporter.

    Earl -- I can confirm there is no nudity in this movie unless you count Tom's bosom. (o)(o) Thank God there was no "requisite nude bathing" scene a'la "Shogun". Entirely unrealistic.

    Regards,
    Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

  4. #49
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    Well I just saw it with my brother today, and I feel it was quite a good movie. While I personally enjoy the study of history and culture, and I'm in school doing just that (my article on the cultural aspects of the Japanese sword made feature article on the front of the December issue of my college's anthropology club newsletter, yay) I also know that many Americans sadly do not, nor do they even care that much about what is outside the country. Popular culture is something that many Americans do talk about and enjoy though, so I think this movie, though not totally accurate, can give some sense to what the samurai and their code were in that era.

    As I'm sure many of you who did watch it did, I paid close attention to the bokken work that Mr Cruise was doing within the movie, and it wasn't all that bad in my opinion. I've seen worse anyway.

    While not totally historically accurate, I never went in expecting it to be such. What I simply hope the movie can do is bring those who are unfamiliar with, what I at least feel, are some of the more noble and positive aspects of the Japanese culture such as bushido, a better understanding and respect for that culture, and perhaps even move them to pursue it if they feel so inclined. If it can do that for some people, and help them find a better sense of their lives and peace of mind, then I think that is enough. It seems to have had that effect on my brother, as he is now quite motivated to learn Japanese, sorry, Nihon-go. I have never seen him so motivated and determined about something in an academic sense of learning like this, and so I'm quite grateful to this movie. Thank you for your time.

    Eric Whims
    "You don't need a reason to help people."

  5. #50
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    Guy:

    Fill me in on the "unrealistic" nude bathing scene in Shogun. Are you talking about mixed bathing?

    I heard a hilarious "culture clash" type story about this: in early Meiji, some Christian missionaries were scandalized to see men and women bathing naked together in a public bath (I don't know if the people were actually bathing in the same tub or if they were simply disrobing in plain view of each other). The missionaries insisted that this was immoral and that the people be separated.

    The next time they went to the bath they saw that their wishes had been followed, to a point: the room had been divided down the center with a rope and men and women were disrobing on opposite sides of the rope.

    Yeah, the chick doesn't look too pretty to me either, precisely for the reasons you state. I took one look at her picture and thought "Is this chick Japanese? What happened to her lips?"

    Great minds think alike, obviously.

    Well, the theater verson of RotK is almost 4 hours long, or so I have been told, which means that the extended DVD version will be even longer.

    Kool. Can't hardly wait.
    Earl Hartman

  6. #51
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    Hi Earl,
    Fill me in on the "unrealistic" nude bathing scene in Shogun. Are you talking about mixed bathing?
    More or less I refer to the "erotic" bathing [small tub with nude vixen waiting her master ...]. I've no doubt both genders bathed at the same locations at osento, but I'm willing to bet my doughnut to your dollar that in early Edo period it wasn't de rigeur for one male and one female to frolic in the same small tub. I dunno -- it just struck me as gratuitous. Not at all like the bathing scenes in historical artwork.

    Hmmmm .... mebbys I'm just envious. .... NO! of him, not her!!

    --Guy
    Guy H. Power
    Kenshinkan Dojo

  7. #52
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    Only one week until the King Returns, Guy.
    Earl Hartman

  8. #53
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    The 'Pelennor Fields' scene - bring it on!
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  9. #54
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    Let me get this straight: you two are complaining about ample lips? And a resemblance to Julia Roberts? Please. She's a Japanese actress with full lips, not the kuchisake onna!
    Chris Laughrun

  10. #55
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    Well, I think Julia (or Ghoulia, as I call her) Roberts is ugly. Too tall, too skinny, angular face, unbelieveably huge mouth, teeth like a beaver. Nothing appealing there at all. But, whatever. YMMV.

    I have only seen a few pictures of the actress in question and while I didn't immediately think "Wow, what a beast", she did look a little unusual for a Japanese. As Guy said, she has a very "modern" look that looked out of place.

    But then, I have always preferred round-faced women. The aggressive angular look that seems to be all the rage now has never appealed to me.
    Earl Hartman

  11. #56
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    Originally posted by Earl Hartman
    Fill me in on the "unrealistic" nude bathing scene in Shogun.
    For one thing, if I recall, Mariko simply walks into the room, drops her robe, and steps into the tub.

    In Japanese-style bathing one washes and rinses outside the tub, then gets into the tub for a relaxing soak. The Western custom of soaking in one's own dirt is disgusting.

    In You Only Live Twice the same thing, only worse, happens, when James Bond and "Tiger" Tanaka are taking a bath with a bunch of bikini clad women lathering them up in the pool.

    I liked the scene in Captive Hearts (a B-grade East-Meets-West WWII film) where the village elder's daughter-in-law is explaining carefully to the captured American flyer "Wash here, please. Not in tub. Then rinse." Then pantomimes dipping the bucket in the tub and pouring the water over one's self. "Then, okay to get in bath. Be careful. Very hot. Please enjoy your bath." She came across as very gracious and understanding of his lack of knowledge of Japanese customs. It was really beautiful.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  12. #57
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    Originally posted by ghp
    Hmmmm .... mebbys I'm just envious...of him...
    And what kind of envy would Freud call that?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  13. #58
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    I really liked the movie 'Captive Hearts'.

    Ron

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    I loved Billy Connolly! He made a great First Sergeant "Awrite yew barstads ...!" What was really great is that this famous Scottish comedian spoke in an Irish accent, so that he was understandable. If you've ever heard his LPs, you'd not understand a word. Is he Aberdonian or a Glaswegian? I think Aberdeen as I can usually understand those from Glasgow. Anyway, I half expected English subtitles when he spoke.
    Billy Connolly is as Glaswegian as they come.
    Ross MacIntyre
    'There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.'

  15. #60
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    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    For one thing, if I recall, Mariko simply walks into the room, drops her robe, and steps into the tub.
    IIRC [I watched Shogun on DVD a few weeks ago], Mariko and her maid enter the bathroom while Blackthorne is soaking...he is suitably embarrassed. Her maid helps her undress and Mariko sits decorously and gets water sponged over over her while Mariko explains that nakedness is 'not noticed' in the Japanese bath and was no big deal. [what a memory for detail, eh? ]

    Doubtless Guy is right however...communal bathing might be normal in public baths and in the family home, but the likelihood of a single man and another man's nubile wife sharing a tub seems pretty small. I wish I could remember how the scene went in the book...I think it was a bit different.

    Getting back to The Last Samurai...do you suppose that everybody in the village bathed in that outdoor spring, or just gaijin and Mrs. Japan of 1865? Wouldn't she have a tub at home?
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

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