Spirit of the Samurai
I suppose I became a modern Samurai through the experience of my father's death. My father belonged to the old school of Samurai philosophy -- a way of life that I despised for one reason - he committed ritual suicide known to the Samurai as Seppuku, or Hara-kiri. I remember the day that he died. It was cold and very early in the morning when he came to me and told me about the ways of the Samurai. He told me about honor and a life dedicated towards a morality of perfection; a way of life that had the highest moral goals in attempting to achieve a perfect state of being and living. He also told me at length about the ancient Samurai who valued the warrior's aggression as much as kindness and compassion. I was a bit confused by his lecture. After all, I had…… [Read More]
Just a half century ago, though, the country was brought to its knees after becoming the first - and only - country to ever be attacked with nuclear weapons. hile the pundits continue to debate whether the two atomic bombs used to end orld ar II were truly necessary, the fact remains that they were used because policymakers in the est believed that the Japanese people would defend their homeland to the last Japanese citizen, resulting in perhaps millions more casualties than those experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This spirit of defending the homeland to the death was the proximate result of the bushido spirit engendered throughout Japanese society by the samurai tradition that had such a profound impact on the country's culture over the years. Other aspects of Japanese culture were also shown to have been influenced by the samurai, including arts and theatre, as well as the popular…… [Read More]
This film is distinguished from the average samurai film by the director's "masterful handling of cinematic technique," in which he captures the essence of a scene in a mere few moments with a series of glances rather than dialogue and special effects.
Moreover, Kurosawa creates a moral complexity of good and evil, creating sympathy for both the samurai and the farmers, and although the samurai are portrayed as heroic while the farmers are weak, he "also points out that heroic deeds are not always performed for noble reasons, and that there are different kinds of heroism." Kurosawa creates a "delicate juxtaposition between the samurais' graceful art of combat and the barbaric reality of war."
At the end, Kambei, the leader of this small group of samurai, realizes that the farmers, although weak, are the lucky ones, for they are at one with nature, "participating in the timeless ritual of life,…… [Read More]
Fall of the Samurai: From the Tokugawa to Early Modern Japan
Fall of The Samurai: From The Tokugawa Era to Early Modern Japan
Japanese samurai are counted among the world's most popular military forces; they emerged in pre-medieval times and were active from the seventh to late nineteenth century. The samurai were initially employed as mercenaries, but quickly evolved to become the Japanese Empire's chief military force; before long, they transformed, in effect, into Japan's ruling class. While the transition of the samurai from leading ordinary military lives to being embroiled in inter-clan intrigues and elite political events was relatively rapid, their military-influenced moral principles and core values remained intact throughout. Their improved sense of devoted spirituality and integrity were, in fact, so well-known that they became the inspiration for great stories of courage, which resound even now with readers. This odd balance of deadly effective military strength with gentlemanly,…… [Read More]
The war is driven by the modern military which has abandoned its warrior ethic and now fights with guns -- a theme repeated in The Last Samurai. Again Funakoshi represents this position. He tells the Japanese military captain, "Who I challenge to Kung Fu and what I do is no business of the military. . . . I am not a politician." The distinction between colonial imperialism and true warrior ethic is pronounced. The military captain is disappointed in Akutagawa's failure to destroy the rival sect, and kills him, although he has the true spirit of the Samurai about honest fights and honor. The military leader can only say, "To best serve the Japanese emperor, you'd better forget what is right or wrong." This highlights the contrast between new imperialist might, technology, and economic power and the old warrior system.
The symbolic struggle between national identities is epitomized in the…… [Read More]
Nutrition, Rituals, Spirituality, And Health Care Practices of the Samurai Culture, As Depicted ithin the Movie The Last Samurai
According to Tom Stovall and Dustin Granger, "The ancient Samurai, Miyamoto Musashi wrote in his "Book of Five Rings,": "It will be difficult for you to succeed unless you look at things on a large scale'" (PharmaCafe). Similarly, within the movie The Last Samurai (2003), director Edward Zwick shows various ways in which the Japanese Samurai of the late 19th century looked at and holistically practice nutrition; prayer, war, and death rituals; spirituality, and health care practices, all on a scale with nature. These holistic practices, in turn, promoted the Samurai's own inner harmony: mentally, physically, and spiritually. For example, The Last Samurai depicted various nutritional practices, prayer, pre-war, death and other rituals; attitudes about spirituality and the meaning of life, and medicinal philosophies and practices within the Samurai culture. All…… [Read More]
movie industry in America has been controlled by some of the monolithic companies which not only provided a place for making the movies, but also made the movies themselves and then distributed it throughout the entire country. These are movie companies and their entire image revolved around the number of participants of their films. People who wanted to see the movies being made had to go to the studios in order to see them. They made movies in a profitable manner for the sake of the studios, but placed the entire industry under their control and dominated over it. The discussion here is about some of those famous studios inclusive of that of names like Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Culver, RKO, Paramount Studios, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Raleigh Studio, Hollywood Center Studio, Sunset Gower Studio, Ren-Mar Studios, Charlie Chaplin Studios and now, Manhattan Beach Studio.…… [Read More]
Because Scott McCloud's focus is exclusively on comics as an art form, his discussion of Japanese comics in chapter 2 -- while interesting -- does not draw some obvious connections between the style and method of Japanese comics and other forms of art. This is what seems most interesting and obvious to me. McCloud discusses the rise of the "masking" style in Japanese comics -- this involves a use of "iconic" (or heavily stylized) central characters acting out the drama of the comic in front of a backdrop which is more realistic. As McCloud notes, this device -- rather than being artistically disjunctive -- "allows readers to MASK themselves in a character and safely enter a sensually stimulating world" (43). In the case of Japanese comics, McCloud notes that readers in Japan have more recently "developed a taste for flashy, photorealistic art" which leads to a further refinement…… [Read More]
hy Is Angst So Universally Appealing?
The course of true love never did run smooth according to the Bard of Avon. Certainly any relationship involving at least two people must allow for at least a good chance of turbulence. But surely true love might indeed run smoothly within the pages of a novel or the rolls of an epic? ell, yes, if that were what the author wanted and (at least as importantly) what the audience wants and expects. But the idea of love that we as humans in different eras and different places often seem most content to embrace as we follow fictional lovers is one in which there is confusion and angst. Fictional lovers are often those who do not know their own minds about what will make them happy and must be forced by fate and the gods to acknowledge the love simmering within them.
This…… [Read More]
The British Empire gained significant land share within North America through its conquests and emigration. From the founding of Jamestown to the growth of the greater New England region, the North American territories represented a significant portion of the British Empire. Following the Seven Years War, England won the entire territory of New France and doubled the territory possession within North America. Although from a trade perspective North America was not the furtive economic zone that Britain originally envisioned, it did become a several exporter of tobacco, cotton and rice to the British Empire, as well as naval material and furs from the northern region. The American Revolution affected the British Empire in several different ways, it proved to be a symbolic blow the largest empire of the European Continent, and it provided a model for liberation and freedom throughout the rest of the colonial territories. The American Revolution occurred…… [Read More]
Disorder does not descend from Heaven,
It is the spawn of a woman. 10
Contemporaneous with relocating the capital from Edo to Tokyo was the drawing up of the 'Memorandum on Reform of the Imperial Palace' in which Article 1 states that the emperor would 'deign to hear about all political matters' in the front throne room adding that 'women are to be prohibited from entering the front throne room' 11.
Yoshii Tomozane, enior ecretary for Court Affairs peremptorily dismissed all court ladies, after which a rare few were reselected for appointment. In his dairy, he noted: 'this morning, the court ladies were dismissed in their entirety… the power of women already lasting for centuries has been erased in a single day. My delight knows no bounds." 12.
In this way the power of the 'hens' was removed from the 'Enlightened regime' of Meiji rule and suppressed throughout the country.…… [Read More]
Akutagawa uses perspectivism in his story In a Grove here the main focus is on the incident that is being investigated by the high police commissioner. Here Takehiko is found murdered and the police highly suspect Tajomaru "The man that I arrested? He is a notorious brigand called Tajomaru." Tajomaru, confesses to the murder and gives a detailed description of the occurrence of the incident he began with agreeing and the "…when I disposed of him, I went to his woman and asked her to come and see him… (6)" then "...I was about to run away from the grove, leaving the woman behind in tears, when she frantically clung to my arm…"(6) and finally "…Then a furious desire to kill him seized me.(6)" As much as this appears to be an easy case to solve, matters get complicated when the wife of the slain Samurai testifies. She confesses to…… [Read More]
Living standards were poor in the overcrowded cities and "the emergence of political parties caused disputes with the emperor and his ministers, leading to frequent elections and political assassinations. Many intellectuals worried about the loss of identity in a changing world; others were concerned at lack of economic opportunities for the enlarged educated class" (Chapter 33, Pearson, 2009).
The Chinese government, however, had a much larger territory to govern, and far more internal strife with which to cope. It was weakened by the Opium ars with the est, which had left it carved into spheres of influence. It also had to pay interest on loans it had incurred fighting the war. Cheap, manufactured foreign goods put many local tradesmen out of business. The sheer expanse of China made it difficult for the ruling Qing Dynasty to control the different provinces in the country, much less create a system of unified…… [Read More]
Some of my customers only pay me in rice. Sometimes, in the winter, I wish for warmth and warmer quilt for the cold nights, but winter does not last long here, and so, it is not such a big worry as others in my life.
In addition, I worry about the government, and their policy that seems to be leading toward cutting my country off from the rest of the world. We have enjoyed prosperity and new ideas through the Jesuits and others who have come to live and trade with us, and it seems that the government is going to ban foreigners, and even ban us Japanese from leaving our island. This worries me, because I fear that trade and our economy will suffer, and the government does not seem to have a way to resolve the issue. I know it is not wise to question our wise leaders,…… [Read More]
This is an attempt to study the history and development of one of the great institutions of United States and a part of the images of the country that has spread in the whole world. As is well-known, the dominance of the world by United States came after the Second World War when the traditional leaders of United Kingdom and Germany lost their predominant positions due to the destructions of the war, and the impact of change in economic order due to the freedom of many countries. This was the freedom of the colonies and United States had been one of the first colonies to be free, and the former colony became the leader, along with Russia which was the pathfinder of the failed social and economic structure of communism. It was a contest between the two to prove the relative superiority of the two systems, and the…… [Read More]
Confucianism is one of the major factors that influenced gender views and perception in traditional East Asia, particularly in relation to the treatment of women in these societies. Confucianism is primarily a teaching that was brought by Confucius, a philosopher, political figure, and educator. The teachings of Confucius formed the foundation of education in the traditional societies in East Asia, especially in China, Korea, and Japan. Confucius teachings affected many things in these societies including fixing gender roles between women and men. Based on these teachings, which influenced nearly every facet of life in the conventional Korean, Japanese and Chinese societies, placed women at a disadvantaged position. The teachings contributed to the development of a patriarchal environment in these societies, which worked to the disadvantaged of women. This paper examines how women exerted power and influence in a patriarchal environment in these three societies and what it teaches us about…… [Read More]
Definition of the Problem (Gun Control)
In America as well as other parts of the world, the role played by guns in committing violent acts, and what must be done in this regard, is a hotly debated topic. However, some facts are incontestable. Over 31,000 individuals sustained gunshot injuries in the year 2010, in America. As these victims are mostly youths, gun violence can be considered as one among the primary reasons for premature deaths in the U.S. Apart from mortal wounds, there were, in the same year, approximately 337,960 non-fatal acts of violence perpetrated with the use of guns; emergency departments of American hospitals received 73,505 cases of nonfatal wounds made by guns. The economic and social costs associated with gun violence are also huge, in the U.S. (Webster, 2013)
However, ironically, in spite of gun violence's colossal impact, a majority of public discussions in regard to…… [Read More]
Please see Appendix a for a give year ratio analysis of Starbucks Corporation illustrating the significant effect the recession is having on gross margins. Yet despite this pressure, Starbucks continues to be successful in keeping its gross margins above industry average at 9.67% for the latest fiscal year. Also noteworthy about their financial performance is the increase in evenue Per Employee from $53,864 in 2004 to $59,156. This speaks to the fact that Starbucks is being successful with their long-term strategy of delivering exceptional customer experiences, so much so that there is greater levels of repurchase of drinks and food even in a recession (Churchill, 2008). All of these factors point to the critical need for managing customer experiences more closely than ever, with a strong orientation towards giving customers and opportunity to have their voices heard on potential new products. Starbucks has excelled in the area of social networking,…… [Read More]
Additionally the allied powers recognized Japan as a sovereign nation having the right of individual and collective defense as defined by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations (Treaty of Peace with Japan).
Additionally it was established that the allied powers occupation forces would withdraw from Japan within a 90 day period (Treaty of Peace with Japan). However the treaty does not prohibit the presence of a retention force. The security aspect of the treaty also explains that any goods that were given to allied troops by Japan were to be returned within 90 days (Treaty of Peace with Japan).
Political and economic clauses- This aspect of the treaty confirms that any conventions or treaties that Japan had with other nations before would come back into effect unless they contradicted the new treaty (Treaty of Peace with Japan). This reenactment of prewar treaties was to occur within one…… [Read More]
European exploration the world was undertaken in the 1500's in an attempt to reach the markets of Asia. And once they reached the East, the Europeans quickly found that their technological superiority gave them a strategic advantage over the Asian countries they encountered. As a result, the West began a period of Colonial Imperialism whereby European nations, followed later by the Americans, occupied and administered entire regions of Asia as colonies to be economically exploited. The Asian countries of India, China, and Japan reacted differently in response to the predations of the West, with differing results. India was completely conquered, China ended up conquered to a degree, and Japan started conquering. These three different results were in due, partially because of the stability of their nations, and partially due to the ability of each to adapt and modernize.
The origins of British rule in India began with the British East…… [Read More]
If the other pays dealt with prostitutes and people who were poor now the readers gets the chance to see what happens in the life of emperors and samurais. While in the plays which we have discussed previously it was the lack of financial power to cause the dramatic endings, in this particular play destinies will have a similar tragic ending, this time caused by a social position which makes people hungry for even more power then they have. Honour remains a key factor again (Keene, 1951, 30-70).
The last play, the uprooted pine tells yet another story involving a prostitute and a married man. Again the social pressure seems to make the story possible between them. this time the man would have enough money in order to rescue the woman he loves but he can not because that would make his wife suffer too much. The situation can be…… [Read More]
Although scientists found artifacts and art objects of the Olmecs; until this century they did not know about the existence of the Olmecs. Most of the objects which were made by this community were associated with other civilizations, such as Mayan, Toltec or Chichimecan. The Olmec lived between 1600 B.C. And 1400 B.C. In South Mexico. The name of this tribe comes from an Aztec word "ollin" which means "land of rubber."
At first they ate fish and they later start to farm, and that made it possible for them to "develop the first major civilization in Mesoamerica." (The Olmec Civilization) Thanks to the steady food supplies the Olmec population grew and some came to have other occupations. "Some became potters or weavers. Others became priests or teachers." (Ibidem) Once the population grew, so did their farming villages which developed into cities. The present-day city of San Lorenzo was…… [Read More]
1950s was a decade of change for the U.S. - cinema was no exception, as it modeled itself to accommodate the social changes U.S. society was going through. Films not only provide entertainment to masses but are also believed to express the general outlook of society by the way it sets and adopts trends. 50s was marked by postwar prosperity, rising consumerism, loosening up of stereotype families, baby boom and growing middle-class. It was the time of reaction to the aging cinema, especially by the freedom loving youth who were keyed up with fast food (Mc Donald's franchised in '54), credit card (first in 1950) and drive-in theaters (Filmsite.org). Young people were fed-up with the conventional illustration of men and women. With growing interest in ock-n-oll and break-free attitude prevailing, a social revolution was very much in the offering, and that was to transfer the cinema as well…… [Read More]
Jeanne records her personal feelings and impressions, but also interweaves historical facts with her reconstructed internal monologue so the reader learns about the home front during World War II as well more about Jeanne's adolescence. Seeing the Japanese internment camps through the eyes of a child highlights the sweeping and irrational nature of President Roosevelt's dictate, and knowing that Jeanne's stories are true, not a fictionalized account of the camps, forces the reader to confront this episode in American history without denial or excuses. The camps were closed after the Supreme Court declared them illegal in 1944, but the camps lived on in the hearts of the interned -- the spoiled food, the constant sickness from the filthy latrines, and most of all, the reminder that the American government had declared Japanese-Americans lesser citizens, solely because of their race. They were seen a lesser immigrants in a land…… [Read More]
relationship of music and culture and history in Japan. The music of Japan is as rich and diverse as the culture of Japan's people, and it has a long place in Japan's history. Several different musical forms and instruments make up Japan's musical history, and it has ancient beginnings in the earliest history of Japan in many cases. While the Japanese have held on to their musical past, they are also not afraid to create new musical traditions, such as the karaoke fad that swept the world in the 1990s and beyond.
Ancient Japanese Music
Many scholars believe that Japanese music has its roots in the music of China, an ancient culture that dominated Asian culture from the earliest recorded history. However, studies indicate this is really not the case. Japanese music historian Egon Wellesz notes, "It might be expected that Japanese music would exhibit considerable Chinese influence; but it…… [Read More]
suicide has been of interest from the beginning of Western civilization. For philosophers, clergy and social scientists, the subject raises myriad of conceptual, theological, moral, and psychological questions, such as What makes a person's behavior suicidal? What motivates such an action? Is suicide morally permissible, or even morally required in some extraordinary circumstances? Is suicidal behavior rational? How does suicide affect those that remain? The fictional books Virgin Suicides and Norwegian Wood address some of these topics, only to find, as in real life, that each situation differs and the ones who are left must find a way to personally resolve their confusion and move on.
The definition of suicide is confusing. People have long looked at suicide in a negative fashion, although someone who dies to save others is more likely to be seen in a better light than someone who has done so to relieve mental or physical…… [Read More]
Cellular phones and video games did not exist in the past due to the absence of technology back then. The Japanese video game industry has revolutionized the world with its innovative games from giants such as Nintendo, Sega and Sony. The role-playing games genre has been a big contribution by the Japanese and a large part of their culture. They did not have video games back then but they had text-based adventures which people could play on their own. Mario brothers, pokemon, digimon are some of the brand names of Japanese culture. The Japanese game industry has developed a following around the world as people eagerly await games, which have the typical Japanese background music. These background tracks are also on the best selling charts in Japan.
Japanese culture depends on sharing subcultures such as expressionism, an urban sense of style, and high educational attainment. These processes and patterns…… [Read More]
orn in 1948 in South Carolina, William Gibson was to become one of the most prolific representative of science fiction and an exponent of what is to referred to as the cyberpunk genre in science fiction. Even if he did not actually defined the termed (it has been used previously, see below), William Gibson became the most recognized writer of cyberpunk and he created and defined the term cyberspace, a term with which we are becoming more and more familiar today. His book Neuromancer, written in 1984, won him international fame and recognition, as well as the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philipp K. Dick Award.
Of course, discussing William Gibson means discussing, however briefly, the concept of cyberpunk. Gibson did not actually invent the term: it was first used by ruce ethke somewhere in the 1980s as a title for one of his short stories.…… [Read More]
The short story "A Faimily Supper" by Kazuo Ishiguro is not a simple piece of literature about a family gathering for a meal. A young Japanese man has returned home to Tokyo after spending years in California with a girl, though that relationship has now failed. He learns the cause of his mother's death two years earlier: posioning from a fugu fish. His father's business has recently collasped into ruin, and the father's business partner commited suicide. They are joined for dinner by Kikuko, the sister, who studies at a university. A fourth additoinal family member, the now dead mother, also appears in the story as a spectre. The brother and sister reminise about the sighting of a ghost in the garden when they had been children, while the father guides his son through the house of empty rooms, reminiscing about the life that once was there before…… [Read More]
When Neo-Confucianism arrived in Japan in the 16th century, it built on the pre-existing ideas of Confucianism that had already been imported into the island centuries earlier (Tsutsui 104). As far back as the 5th century, the Japanese had mixed with Confucian ideas about society and the role of the person in the world. Confucian ideas taught the Japanese about what it means to be a moral person. However, the Japanese also incorporated Buddhist concepts into their culture -- and these focused on the metaphysical side of nature and how to define reality (or unreality). These two systems of thought, along with Taoism, molded Japan for hundreds of years. By the time Neo-Confucianism arrived, the Japanese were ready to address the issues that the schools left unresolved. Buddhism presented life as basically unreal and that nirvana was the real reality. Confucianism taught values about society and how to respect life,…… [Read More]
A further crucial aspect is the way in which the media covered the war. Media coverage was extensive and brought the horror and the reality of war into the ordinary American home as never before. Another aspect was the emergence of the " new left" element in the country which was critical not only of the war but of the way that the society was being run and administered in general. The site provides some insightful background on this aspect. "The Vietnam War was unprecedented for the intensity of media coverage -- it has been called the first television war -- as well as for the stridency of opposition to the war by the so-called "New Left." (Vietnam War)
As mentioned, stress and trauma and its after-effects were largely ignored in veterans who returned home after the war. However, more recently this condition has become known as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.…… [Read More]
Jacking, male, stated, "We know the kick-ass ladies really exist, and they are increasing." Twisted Soul, like all interview subjects, mentioned the prevalence of females in the martial arts. All subjects did acknowledge that female action heroes are less common than male ones, but at the same time, both males and females could name at least one real-life active heroine.
The most avid viewer of Tarantino's Kill Bill was, in fact, a woman. Helena Yip, who studies martial arts, saw Kill Bill twice "for the sake of reviving it." She especially appreciated "the power, the female power...that strong female characters kick ass." Yip compared the Bride to Chyna, a real life professional wrestler who has not only won championships against other women but also against other men. "She became equal with the male wrestlers...as a female I feel so gratifying," (sic). TKDavid, a male reflected Helena's values. Regarding the character…… [Read More]