I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved samurai movies. I even took up marial arts at one point in my life; it wasn’t the right time though, since I never pursued it. Eh. Here’s a documentary on Miyamoto Musashi, the ultimate samurai, as it’s being laid out for us by Mark Dacascos. There are some interesting insights on the art of samurai, but also on the Japanese culture.

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High And Low (1963)

Sadako's Movie Shack

Gondo is a wealthy man who has risen through the ranks from being a humble shoe maker inside the National Shoe company to becoming an executive and share holder in the company. Having been on the shop floor, Gondo knows what it takes to make good quality shoes but his fellow executive wants to save money and make cheaper shoes instead that will fall apart quickly. He refuses to go along with their scheme to oust their boss and has a plan of his own to take over the company. To do this, Gondo has mortgaged everything in his possession including the fancy house that his family have on top of a hill. During this time, somebody kidnaps the son of Gondo’s chaffeur having made a mistake as the kidnapper really wanted Gondo’s son. A ransom is given as being 30 million yen to release the boy and the kidnapper…

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Heart of a Rockabilly is a Rose


Hear of a rockabilly is a rose

I have been waiting with excitement to upload this post as it is probably one of my favorite street portraits.  This photo appeals to me because I feel it could have been taken a a different time in history.  The more I look at his picture I see a photo that could have been taken in the era of cowboys and Indians, he has the air of outlaw with a strong hint the antihero character.  I tend to imaging a lone gunslinger that comes across an injustice which compels him to help.  Then you have his tattoo, this giant rose with horses off to the side.  It is as if his neck has become part of his clothing pulled up tight to the edge of his jaw line, framing his face perfectly.  The rose itself is delicate but has a few barbs and if you are to handle it you…

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Mushishi (2006)

Sadako's Movie Shack

At the turn of the last century, a young boy and his mother are travelling to a nearby town. It is raining heavily and unfortunately a landslide occurs which comes crashing down on the boy’s mother. The boy is discovered looking for the body of his mother by a female Mushi master Nui. The Mushi are mystical insect-like creatures that causes illness to human beings and a Mushi master can usually cure a person of an affliction. Moving ahead in time, we follow another Mushi master called Ginko who is looking for a place to stay out of a snowstorm. He finds an inn and discovers several people in the area have gone deaf in one ear. Ginko suspects the Mushi are behind the ailment. After curing them, he is asked by the innkeeper to look at her granddaughter who is hearing voices and sprouting some horns on her forehead…

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Neighbors Settle Dispute With Samurai Sword


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Neighbors Settle Dispute With Samurai Sword

Have difficult neighbors? Here’s a full proof plan and all you need is some old-fashioned Japanese weaponry.

A fight over foul language in California ended with two neighbors fighting each other with a samurai sword and a shovel. Don Miller, 36, is in jail for allegedly slashing Mark Johnson, 22, with the sword. But both men claim they were acting in self-defense.

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City Cops

Kung Fu Movie Guide

(1989, HK, Impact Film Co.)

Dir. Lau Kar-wing; Pro. Joe Siu King-fai; Scr. Barry Wong Ping-yiu; Action Dir. Lau Kar-wing, Ridley Tsui Po-wah; CastCynthia Rothrock, Kirk Miu Kiu-wai, Shing Fui-on, Ken Tong Chung-yip, Michiko Nishiwaki, Suki Kwan Sau-mei, Wu Fung, Mark Houghton.

92 min.

A typically dodgy Hong Kong cop affair with FBI agent Rothrock travelling to the Far East to investigate the disappearance of a key witness withholding incriminating evidence against the Japanese mafia and its hoard of gweilo minions. A couple of crass CID officers (played by Kirk Miu and Shing Fui-on) get involved and unfortunately end up dominating the film, tagging the informant’s sister to gather more evidence in true Stakeout rip-off style. Broad and occasionally coarse humour seems to be the order of the day, and things get really bad when the police twits start to fall for the two ladies…

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“If you want to see Japanese culture, don’t come to Tokyo” was my joking reply to a request to show off Japanese culture during a family visit planned later this year.

Though the old cliché about capital cities not reflecting the culture of their nations can hold true to some extent, and although I’d certainly not credit anyone with having experienced Japan if they’ve only seen Tokyo, I’d defy anyone to find a more authentically Japanese experience than the third weekend of May in Tokyo.

With the month over half way gone already, the weather has turned nice and warm, but not yet humid, the air smells of jasmine flowers, and it’s all going on right now.  This weekend sees the final day of the May Grand Sumo Tournament in Ryogoku on Sunday 20th, and just across the river in Asakusa the Sanja Matsuri, one of Tokyo’s biggest festivals…

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Diverse Japan

An epically beautiful film!

Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer) follows up his martial-arts-heavy 13 Assassins with a more thoughtful, contemplative film that considers the role of ritual suicide in the ranks of the Samurai in 17th Century Japan. Hara-Kiri: Death of A Samurai, a remake of the Yasuhiko Takiguchi 1963 classic,  is told in most part by two long flashbacks, the movie tells the tale of a young unemployed samurai, Motome Chijiiwa (Eita), who is forced to commit ritual suicide by cutting open his stomach (seppuku) as punishment for

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Painted Tiger 1


I’ve been thinking a lot about my tattoos as I approach my first session of my back piece, what my tattoos have meant to me at the time I got them, and what they mean now. Also I will provide some background, where they were done, year…So Here I go…

When I got my first tattoo I was soldier stationed at Ft. Gordon Georgia, home of the Signal Corps hooah!  I was twenty-one with my son Brock at home 5 months old.  I missed him terribly, I barely got a chance to know him before I shipped out.  I was twenty-one married, no prospects, I actually was working at the Thermal lamenting Plant making thermal lamenators, they laminate ID’s.  I was miserable, I felt hopeless.  I though joining the army was a shot, for me to a better place for my family, for myself, selfishly.   At the time I got the tattoo, I had survived basic training, now I had freedom, in the less restrictive signal school.

The year was 1991, last century.  The shop was one of those shops that preyed on soldiers, The work was not bad.  I have been fortunate, my artist have all been good, not necessarily cheap, but good.  I loved getting the piece, I felt different from people who were with out ink.  That separateness, is a feeling I have had my whole life.  Now with the first tattoo, that was before tattoo shows, mall tats, tattoo parties, it was still kind of rare. I don’t very well remember the artist’s name, but I do remember that he was an old Georgia Biker.  Funny thing I had him redo the color because it wasn’t as brite when it healed.  Haaa haaa how little I knew.  I have never went back to have work redone, I’ve been lucky.

Meaning? It was in honor of my son, who was so far away, and I missed every second of every minute of every hour of every day I was away from him.  His mother Katrina is represented by the American flag, probably could have been a German flag for accuracy.  And the Cuban flag to represent my Cuban heritage.  It has held up rather well.  It is one of my most meaningful tattoos, it is a way I can always have my Son Brock with me…

ENTER THE NINJA by Die Antwoord

The Red Pen of Doom

Well, this is different. It’s not achingly good or insanely low-budget and terrible.

The music is oddly OK, and the production values are high.

But it’s just so flipping weird.

Let’s take inventory: We’ve got  (1) a skinny ex-convict or whatever who thinks he’s some kind of ninja, though (2) his albino woman who keeps singing “samurai” all the time and (3) I have no idea whether this third person, the short man wearing a hoodie, is supposed to be a ninja, a samurai or some kind of wizard.

Let’s clear up the ninja vs. samurai thing real quick. Samurai = soldiers with big katanas and armor. Ninja = what every Internet Tough Guy wants to be. Pick one, not both. They are incompatible.

Also, ninjas will NOT allow Tom Cruise into their secret club.


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