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ltdomer98
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
AJBryant wrote:
This was an endless source of amusement to some friends of my early on in Japan.

Seibu Ikebukuro = Western Military Pond Bag.

What do we make of Takadanobaba? (High Paddy of the Horse Place?)


Yeah, it can be a fun game, as long as you don't take it seriously. And wouldn't in be Horse Place of the High Paddy? Maybe it's where they parked the horses when they went farming...
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Supposedly that's where the shogunate stables were -- hence the "taka".


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
msr.iaidoka wrote:
ltdomer98,

I have always wanted to learn the actual names of my various techniques just out of curiosity, not for any believe that they mean, "Flying Squirrel Testicle Smash" or anything special. Sometimes techniques can have some pretty strange names with no apparant reason, and that is a great source of humor for me, especially some of the more flashy martial arts.


Peace,

Matt


It gets really bad when it comes to Chinese and Thai Martial Arts. Personally I take Aikido where most of the technique names mean exactly what they are. Unlike Muay Thai with such interesting techniques as "The Giant Lord abducting the Lady" and "The Rat Walking the Line". Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Some Observations and Thoughts on Kobayashi's "Seppuku& Reply with quote
msr.iaidoka wrote:
ltdomer98,

I have always wanted to learn the actual names of my various techniques just out of curiosity, not for any believe that they mean, "Flying Squirrel Testicle Smash" or anything special. Sometimes techniques can have some pretty strange names with no apparant reason, and that is a great source of humor for me, especially some of the more flashy martial arts.


Peace,

Matt


Interestingly, I never thought about the actual meaning of the techniques I (attempted) to perform in the Bujinkan. I knew "onikudaki" had something to do with a devil, but more importantly, I knew it required a certain over-under motion of the arms coupled with a definite shift in hip attitude. Add the term "migi" or "hidari" and you knew if it was left or right. Add "ura" or "omote" and you knew if it was an inside movement or an outside movement. I guess I didn't really go in for the sophisticated analysis of the movements. I was more concerned with whether I was doing them right. And when that happened, there was no question of names.

I guess I'm resurrecting yet another old thread (my favorite hobby today), this time at the specific request of Wave Tossed, who expressed that "Seppuku" was his favorite film. I wanted to make some observations that I have only recently begun to make about this film, which, incidentally, launched me on a hopeless Tatsuya Nakadai obsession...

Anyway, everyone points out the faults of the Iyi clan in forcing Chijiwa Motome to carry out his expressed intention of seppuku to the letter, not the spirit, of the law. On the other side, I found the actions of Motome's father Jinnai to be rather selfish, hastening his own death in order to meet his ruined lord in death, rather than offer aid and support to his son in this world. Thus, he laid the burden on Tsugumo Hanshiro that would ultimately destroy him. Even so, Tsugumo does not complain. He (Tsugumo) also rejects the offer of a high marriage for his daughter Miho. Is this partially because he has assumed responsibility for Motome as well? In a sense, his friend put him in this fix, and he is faithful to Jinnai's last wish, which is a moral binding that would have been unnecessary if Jinnai had just stuck around and not gone rashly into his own seppuku.

I am not downplaying the role of Miho and Motome's love for each other but merely pointing out the strictures under which Tsugumo must operate, the constraints of friendship in reaction to the customs of the time.

Another thing I was unclear about (I have watched the film twice, so I am bound to have missed some things). What, exactly, does Tsugumo Hanshiro *do* in that household? He is always pictured with half made parasols, so maybe this is his profession? It is not made clear, but the fact that he "never even considered" giving up his swords when the going got tough brings to light the fact that Tsugumo is part of the culture, his mind not completely free or facile to the realities of life as an ex-samurai, as Motome seems to have accepted. Motome sells his "soul" for his family. Tsugumo keeps the trappings of the samurai life; in a sense, he is the remnant of the old samurai in the face of the bleak new life of the ronin. His revenge is wrought by exacting numbers, even down to his somewhat sarcastic call for Omodaka as his second (of the Shindo-Munin-Ichi school...). He stresses the school, because that is what Omodaka IS. He is not human; he is part of the problem. He operates exactly as a perfect samurai in a secure position. And the way Tsugumo manipulates hiim to force him to play out his end in the same exacting manner is what makes the "hair-tossing" scene so amazingly sweet.

One last note; I found the manner of Tsugumo's ultimate seppuku to be telling. He completes the belly cut, only to have the coup de grace delivered by a team of riflemen. Irony, the modern rifle supplanting the sword. Science supplanting art, the real tragedy of the death of the samurai.

I have to say this is right up there on the top tier of any film...sorry if the post rambled a bit. I would love to see this on the big screen someday...
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Some Observations and Thoughts on Kobayashi's "Sepp Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:


I guess I'm resurrecting yet another old thread (my favorite hobby today), this time at the specific request of Wave Tossed, who expressed that "Seppuku" was his favorite film.


"her" Tell me when it's over
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:43 am    Post subject: Re: Some Observations and Thoughts on Kobayashi's "Sepp Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
onnamusha wrote:


I guess I'm resurrecting yet another old thread (my favorite hobby today), this time at the specific request of Wave Tossed, who expressed that "Seppuku" was his favorite film.


"her" Tell me when it's over


So sorry. I guess *that* was a gaffe! Cheers!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I made the same mistake. Cool

For the record, I agree that it is a very thought provoking film that challenges the view on the "honour" of the ritual. Tatsuya Nakadai's performance is outstanding.

I think I could make the case though that it suffers from the same "love it or loath it" as 羅生門 (Rashomon) does. My wife can't watch Kurosawa's film, she simply tunes out. With 切腹 its much the same. She simply has no interest and couldn't be bothered never the mind the title which is of no interest to her either. We don't have any spare time at all these days, but imaging we did the chance of watching a 2 hour film like this one together, the odds of this happening would be zero. Tragic because I think its a very good film and would hope she watches it someday.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dash101 wrote:
I made the same mistake. Cool

For the record, I agree that it is a very thought provoking film that challenges the view on the "honour" of the ritual. Tatsuya Nakadai's performance is outstanding.

I think I could make the case though that it suffers from the same "love it or loath it" as 羅生門 (Rashomon) does. My wife can't watch Kurosawa's film, she simply tunes out. With 切腹 its much the same. She simply has no interest and couldn't be bothered never the mind the title which is of no interest to her either. We don't have any spare time at all these days, but imaging we did the chance of watching a 2 hour film like this one together, the odds of this happening would be zero. Tragic because I think its a very good film and would hope she watches it someday.
I was lucky in that my husband and I watched Seppuku together, and we both very much enjoyed it. We had to watch it in two shifts though, due to time constraints. Oddly, he hasn't watched any more with me, because I think Sword of Doom irritated him. He likes closure; I'm comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. My only quandary now is do I try to watch the Raizo Ichikawa trilogy version now that I can't picture anyone but Tatsuya Nakadai in the role? Cheers!

P.S.: I absolute adore Rashomon!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Some Observations and Thoughts on Kobayashi's "Sepp Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Another thing I was unclear about (I have watched the film twice, so I am bound to have missed some things). What, exactly, does Tsugumo Hanshiro *do* in that household? He is always pictured with half made parasols, so maybe this is his profession?
Just to answer this question: I recently did some research for an article I wrote for the Samurai Archives Journal (see the "announcements" thread for details). My article is about Edo-period ronin. Among other things, I found out that piecework was a fairly common occupation not only for ronin but for lower-ranked clan samurai whose stipends were too paltry to support their families. Re-papering umbrellas was one of the more common modes of piecework for samurai and ronin. The idea was that an umbrella goes over a person's head, so it's proper for a bushi or his family to do work re-papering umbrellas. For lower-ranked samurai, piecework, such as umbrella re-papering (or putting together fans, insect cages and other crafted items) was a "side job" to supplement their stipends. For ronin (who received no stipend at all), piecework was a "side job" done while purportedly seeking a position with a clan.

So yes, re-papering umbrellas became Tsugumo Hanshiro's main occupation. He would be paid by the piece and the pay would fluctuate according to market considitions. What he would do is contract with a wholesaler to receive the materials (umbrella frames and washi paper), put together the umbrellas and re-sell them to a wholesaler. The income from piecework was quite paltry and a ronin (or clan samurai) would have to go into debt in order to support a family if doing piecework was his occupation. Putting fans together became Miho's main occupation until she was too sick to continue -- and, among other hardships, the family had to do without her income once she became too sick to work.
Quote:
It is not made clear, but the fact that he "never even considered" giving up his swords when the going got tough brings to light the fact that Tsugumo is part of the culture, his mind not completely free or facile to the realities of life as an ex-samurai, as Motome seems to have accepted.
Absolutely. Tsugomo Hanshiro never even thought about giving up his swords. Remember that he was a combat veteran who had used his swords during battle.
Quote:
Motome sells his "soul" for his family. Tsugumo keeps the trappings of the samurai life; in a sense, he is the remnant of the old samurai in the face of the bleak new life of the ronin.
And yet Motome, like most samurai and ronin who had grown so poor that they had to sell their swords: he covered up the fact that he had sold his "soul" by using the bamboo sword blades inside the fittings -- that way no one would know of his shame. When the Ii clan discovered the bamboo blades, they were outraged. They determined to shame and humiliate him (as well as physically torture him) by forcing him to use this token of his abject poverty for committing the seppuku.

When the Ii clan members brought Motome's body back to Tsugumo and his daughter, and when they mentioned the bamboo sword blades -- remember when Hanshiro first made the assumption that the Ii clan members had lent Motome a steel blade to commit the seppuku. Had the Ii clan done so, then Hanshiro would have accepted this. However, it was the act of forcing Motome to use his bamboo blade that set Hanshiro off on his path of revenge.
Quote:
His revenge is wrought by exacting numbers, even down to his somewhat sarcastic call for Omodaka as his second (of the Shindo-Munin-Ichi school...). He stresses the school, because that is what Omodaka IS. He is not human; he is part of the problem. He operates exactly as a perfect samurai in a secure position. And the way Tsugumo manipulates hiim to force him to play out his end in the same exacting manner is what makes the "hair-tossing" scene so amazingly sweet.

One last note; I found the manner of Tsugumo's ultimate seppuku to be telling. He completes the belly cut, only to have the coup de grace delivered by a team of riflemen. Irony, the modern rifle supplanting the sword. Science supplanting art, the real tragedy of the death of the samurai.

I have to say this is right up there on the top tier of any film...sorry if the post rambled a bit. I would love to see this on the big screen someday...
Believe me, I could ramble on forever about this stunning film. I must have seen it almost a hundred times -- and yet each time I see it, I get something new from it.

[Edited to correct mis-spelling of "Ii clan"]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This post is not addressed to anyone in particular, and I'm not looking to get sucked into an argument here, but I feel compelled to point out that it is the "Ii" clan, not the "Iyi". "Ii" is definitely the proper spelling and they were one of the most important clans in the Tokugawa realm.

Also, I'm pretty sure Tsugamo was doing original paperwork on umbrellas, not re-papering used ones. Repairing old or damaged umbrellas for a second-hand umbrella retailer wouldn't bring any money on the table. A second hand umbrella peddler would likely do the repairing himself as he would not be able to pay for the outsourcing of menial work.

Again, I am not looking for an argument and will not respond to any rebuttals that are written specifically for the purpose of providing one for mere argument's sake. This is a one-time post on my part regarding this topic. Exclamation
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
This post is not addressed to anyone in particular, and I'm not looking to get sucked into an argument here, but I feel compelled to point out that it is the "Ii" clan, not the "Iyi". "Ii" is definitely the proper spelling and they were one of the most important clans in the Tokugawa realm.
Domo arigato -- and please excuse my mistake.

bow

Quote:
Also, I'm pretty sure Tsugamo was doing original paperwork on umbrellas, not re-papering used ones. Repairing old or damaged umbrellas for a second-hand umbrella retailer wouldn't bring any money on the table. A second hand umbrella peddler would likely do the repairing himself as he would not be able to pay for the outsourcing of menial work.

Again, I am not looking for an argument and will not respond to any rebuttals that are written specifically for the purpose of providing one for mere argument's sake. This is a one-time post on my part regarding this topic. Exclamation
Not an argument. Just to point out a few facts, backed by research: Umbrellas were re-papered during the Edo period and samurai/ronin were involved in this work. It would be artisans, with many years of apprenticeship, who would design the original umbrellas.

Here is an online resource: Click on Chapter 9, part 4 "Made to Last: Re-use is better than recyle" from the work "The Edo Period had a Recycling Society " by Ishikawa Eisuke. This book was published by Kodansha in 1994, but can be downloaded. There is a section that focuses on the re-papering of umbrellas.

http://www.japanfs.org/en/column/ishikawa.html

Also check out the book, "Women of the Mito Domain" by Yamakawa Kikue. There is a chapter on piecework done by the samurai of the Mito clan. There are some descriptions of re-papering umbrellas.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
This post is not addressed to anyone in particular, and I'm not looking to get sucked into an argument here, but I feel compelled to point out that it is the "Ii" clan, not the "Iyi". "Ii" is definitely the proper spelling and they were one of the most important clans in the Tokugawa realm.


I am also guilty of this misspelling, Obenjo-san, so I must also accept blame. I tend to spell it that way because the eye-brain connection sees it more easily than "Ii," which I tend to squint at with my myopic Western eyes and wonder if the first letter is a lowercase "L" or an uppercase "I." But I'll certainly accept that "Ii" is more correct. (I remember the Ii figuring in a movie about the Shinsengumi, if my memory serves. I need to read more, don't I?)

Quote:
Quote:

Again, I am not looking for an argument and will not respond to any rebuttals that are written specifically for the purpose of providing one for mere argument's sake. This is a one-time post on my part regarding this topic. Exclamation
Not an argument. Just to point out a few facts, backed by research: Umbrellas were re-papered during the Edo period and samurai/ronin were involved in this work. It would be artisans, with many years of apprenticeship, who would design the original umbrellas.

Here is an online resource: Click on Chapter 9, part 4 "Made to Last: Re-use is better than recyle" from the work "The Edo Period had a Recycling Society " by Ishikawa Eisuke. This book was published by Kodansha in 1994, but can be downloaded. There is a section that focuses on the re-papering of umbrellas.

http://www.japanfs.org/en/column/ishikawa.html

Also check out the book, "Women of the Mito Domain" by Yamakawa Kikue. There is a chapter on piecework done by the samurai of the Mito clan. There are some descriptions of re-papering umbrellas.


Wow, I had no idea how historically rich the visual details in this film really were. I hadn't paid that much attention to the umbrellas at first, except as visual set-dressing. But then I began to wonder if this wasn't what Tsugumo was spending his time doing, because he wasn't doing anything else. Of course, this means I need to...watch it again! I'm luckily the type that loves to rewatch movies that have earned the distinction of being worth it, and this one definitely is. I've got a little backlog of films now that some more came in, however...I decided to try modern Kurosawa with "High and Low" and "Stray Dog," and I ordered what looks like a bootleg of the only other Kobayashi film I could find in my price range, "Inn of Evil." This DVD has no menu and so I have to play it much like a VHS tape. It is very dark...I mean hard to see! But when I have time, I will be perusing yet another of Kobayashi's works.

Cheers! Oh yes, I happen to have a paper umbrella that is in sore need of re-papering. Interesting that nowadays everything is less expensive to replace than to repair...thanks for the info and links, Wave Tossed and Obenjo!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm looking forward to watching this tonight.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Because videostores don't stock samurai movies here, and a cinema screening any is but a dream, I can only watch what I buy, meaning that this is probably the most important movie I haven't seen yet.

For months now I have felt deep shame that I do not have it in my library. Embarassed

But I have also decided a while ago now, that the next dvd I buy will be this!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I watched this yesterday and it was amazing. One of the best samurai movies I have seen. It was incredible, shocking, stunning, amazing. You have to see it.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's one of my favorite too ! When I first watched it, I didn't know what to expect. Of course I haven't been disappointed. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Tornadoes28 wrote:
I watched this yesterday and it was amazing. One of the best samurai movies I have seen. It was incredible, shocking, stunning, amazing. You have to see it.
Hey, the boy's got taste! Laughing

Tokkie wrote:
Because videostores don't stock samurai movies here, and a cinema screening any is but a dream, I can only watch what I buy, meaning that this is probably the most important movie I haven't seen yet.
Your town sounds like mine, Tokkie! All the samurai films I've watched have been stuff I bought either out of town or online (that is, except a couple of dollar special badly dubbed Sonny Chiba movies). Serendipitously, "Seppuku" was the very first movie I watched in my chambara renaissance; lucky me!

Quote:
For months now I have felt deep shame that I do not have it in my library. Embarassed
Don't be shamed! I only recently watched the Musashi trilogy with Mifune Toshiro for the first time. Most people start with that!
Quote:
But I have also decided a while ago now, that the next dvd I buy will be this!
I recently checked out Netflix online, which is a service I don't have but had considered trying; the top rated Japanese film on there is "Seppuku." Many thousands of mass viewers can't be wrong, eh?

...Of course, now that I've had to spring for a few thousand dollars to fix the car, I don't think there will be much in the way of entertainment expenditures in the near future... Down the Obenjo
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
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Hey, the boy's got taste!


I consider that a very high honor coming from you onnamusha. bow
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Don't be shamed! I only recently watched the Musashi trilogy with Mifune Toshiro for the first time. Most people start with that!


For shame! Shame on you
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:
Your town sounds like mine, Tokkie! All the samurai films I've watched have been stuff I bought either out of town or online (that is, except a couple of dollar special badly dubbed Sonny Chiba movies). Serendipitously, "Seppuku" was the very first movie I watched in my chambara renaissance; lucky me!


Ironically I don't even live in a small town (not that it is clear whether you do Smile ) but in a metropolitan city of a few million people. Chambara is unfortunately just such an incredibly fringe interest.

Every now and then you will find the odd samurai film (usually from the Madman Eastern Eye imprint - I think it gets mixed up in the massive amounts of anime orders!) so I've bought a few in stores, but usually I have to order online.

Unfortunately no netflix here either. Confused

But anyway, that's enough of my sexlife. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Since my last comment on this film was almost two years ago I will comment again. Just watched this for the 4th time and it is absolutely clear to me now that this is my favorite samurai film of them all. Just an amazing story and Tatsuya Nakadai is brilliant. His final one-on-dual and the final battle are my favorite sword fights I have seen.

I really an looking forward to Takashi Miike's remake of this. Although I am not sure how it will be in 3D. But Miike did such a good job with 13 Assassins that I think this could be something special.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As long as the 3D isn't badly done like Clash of the Titans I'm fine with it. If it's done well it shouldn't be noticeable. But I'm wondering how many of us will ever get to see it in 3D. I think I might have a small chance, since there is a major 3D theater here, but that wasn't the place they played 13 Assassins at when it came here, so I might just be able to see it in regular 2D.
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onnamusha
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Joined: 03 Apr 2008
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Location: Very rural Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This guy didn't like it much: http://tinyurl.com/3obpwbp I was amused to see Eita (Komatsu Tatewaki from "Atsuhime") appears in the role of Chijiwa Motome. His self-conscious nervous chuckle irritated me all through that Taiga dorama! Rolling Eyes From the review, I understand it is a complete reworking of the original work into a new screenplay. The reviewer gave it a D+. I guess we can only wait and see...
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