Friday, August 01, 2014

Ommmmm...

I liked this telling of the old Musahi yarn.

It led to musings with roomie about the similarities between the Samurai and Cowboy mythos, and why there's such cross-pollenization between the film genres.
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13 comments:

Richard said...

It did make me recall the "Rules for a knife fight?" scene in BC & the SK.

Anonymous said...

"And the Oscar for Best Director of a Western goes to Akira Kurosawa"

Watch Yojimbo and compare it to "A Fistful of Dollars" and do the same with 'The Seven Samurai' and 'The Magnificent Seven'.

I think Akira Kurosawa was eventually awarded an honorary Oscar, I remember watching it.

Al_in_Ottawa

Mike_C said...

Interesting link ... and demonstration of limitations of spell-check. Hmm. I was gonna list the two I found, but spoilers! (Because of years-ago "emotional trauma" at the hands of my thesis advisor I am now unable to NOT proofread. Thanks again, Prof. McW!)

Still, anything with the description "drenched in humiliation and dripping rage" in it gets a pass on the odd typo or two.

Good point about the similarities in our mythologizing about cowboys and about samurai. That said, somehow "Samurai up!" doesn't quite have the same ring to it....

Paul said...

Living rent free. that is the way.

I like the story and will share it at my Do-Bak.

Windy Wilson said...

We don't know what "Samurai up! sounds like in Japanese.

Was Musahi the Samurai who eventually began fighting and beating other Samaurai with whatever weapon happened to be at hand, like nearby sticks and rocks?

Matthew said...

Al,

Read "Red Harvest" by Hammett, Kurosawa did. ;)

Mike said...

"I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1MkjmbdHUM

LoFan John said...

The "leaving the guy on the island" story I originally heard attributed to Bokuden Tsukuhara, another famous swordsman. The "crushing his skull with an oar" part happened in Musashi's final duel, against Sasaki. Musashi,though not the only great swordsman of his time, is a fascinating character; and a ronin like him is more cowboy-like than most samurai. That's probably why Kurosawa, wanting to make a movie like an American western, made the hero of Yojimbo a suddenly masterless samurai.

Ray Conrad said...

There's a documentary called "The Japanese Version" that examines this cross-pollination. In the usual Western, the rugged hero is minding his own business, runs into some trouble. Maybe he takes a few lumps. He goes and rounds up a posse of his friends and takes care the problem. Western culture takes away a message about individuality and initiative in solving a problem. Japanese culture takes away a message about the community coming together for the strength to resolve an issue. Which is right? Maybe both.

mikee said...

The "leaving the guy on the island" story I originally heard attributed to Bruce Lee, who used a dingy off a junk to disable a belligerent foe, in Enter the Dragon.

As to the warrior spirit of one's life, the slap scene from "My Name is Trinity" still wins for getting inside the enemy's OODA loop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C-fRdCmzDk

T.Stahl said...

The samurai which, upon discovering that a farmer's boy with a musket could shoot them from their horses, killed all the black smiths?

No, I don't like them.

Wouter de Waal said...

Meanwhile, over on http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/cossacks-being-polite-to-power-immigration-dilemma/ they're comparing Cossacks to cowboys.

The internet is a weird and wonderful place.

Geodkyt said...

Windy Wilson -- Yup. In his final years, he stopped carrying a sword altogether, and used to kill sword wielding samurai (looking to up their box score by hanging one in-season Musashi on the den wall) with said stick.