Tag Archives: J-Drama

Conflicted About “47 Ronin”

Related Post: Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II.

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From Left to Right: Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, and Kou Shibasaki.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I am very conflicted about going to see 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves in theaters December 25th.

On one hand, the film seems to have little to do with Chūshingura (忠臣蔵), the original kabuki (歌舞伎) play I read in the “Traditional Japanese Literature” class I took at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo. Moreover, the film has reportedly not done well with Japanese audiences.

BUT, on the other hand, I really want to support the amazing selection of Japanese actors cast in the film. And, for that reason, I’ve devised the following list…

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Dogen on Lost (Season 6).
  • Notable Accolades: He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and received an honorary MBE award.
  • Why is he awesome?: While filming The Last Samurai (2003), he almost cut off Tom Cruise’s head (“Cruise has brush with death”).
  • Film Recommendations: Sanada-san stars in my favorite samurai film The Twilight Samurai (2002). This film has only two fight scenes (one short and one long), but they are both jaw-dropping in their seemingly effortless choreography and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Kou Shibasaki (柴咲コウ)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (2000); she was slated to play Gogo Yubari’s twin sister Yuki in Kill Bill, but dropped out due to other commitments.
  • Notable Accolades: She won a Japanese Academy Award for her performance in Go (2001).
  • Why is she awesome?: She starred in the first Japanese television drama I ever watched called Orange Days (2004) in which she played a deaf character, performing all her lines in Japanese sign language.  Plus, she’s an adorable pop singer (“KISS Shite” by KOH+).
  • Film Recommendations: Shibasaki-san stars alongside Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite Japanese films called La Maison de Himiko (2005) about a young woman who is asked by her dying father’s young male lover to work in her father’s nursing home for gay men.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Rinko Kikuchi (菊地凛子)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mako Mori in Pacific Rim (2013).
  • Notable Accolades: She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Babel (2006).
  • Wh is she awesome?: She’s the first Japanese actress in 50 years to be nominated for an Oscar! Plus, she’s appeared in a number of films with Tadanobu Asano (see below) including his directorial debut Tori (2003).
  • Film Recommendations: I absolutely adore The Brothers Bloom (2009), starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and (of course) Rinko Kikuchi!! :) Kikuchi-san silently pantomimes throughout this film and is an absolute delight to watch.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信)

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE ACTORS!

Some of these film recommendations might be hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re having trouble finding a title and really want to watch it, message me at gegallas@hotmail.com and I’ll see if I can help! :)

Also, for those of you who go see 47 Ronin, leave a comment here and let me know what you think!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Reader Appreciation Award!

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Wow, I can’t believe I was just nominated for another award — that’s the 3rd one in a very short span of time! I guess my dedication is starting to pay off. :) Feels especially good after receiving a number of various rejections over the past few weeks.

I would like to thank The Geek Transition for nominating me and for these kind words: “She just released a graphic novel called The Poet and The Flea, and I think it’s pretty cool. You can tell she put a lot of work into it. Congrats on the premiere, G.E.!” Thank you very very very much!!

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Rules

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Attach the icon to your site.
3. Answer the questions.
4. Nominate some other bloggers whom you feel deserve this award!

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Questions

Your favorite color?

As covered in my post “A Bit More About Me“: Since childhood, I’ve always favored blue. But nowadays everyone would accuse me of being passionate about the color black.

Your favorite animal?

Difficult question! I’m torn between llamas/alpacas, red pandas, and Shiba Inu (if a breed counts as an animal).

Your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Tea! Especially Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and Chai.

Your favorite number?

I’m not particularly fond of numbers. Though I prefer odd to even — it’s a question of aesthetic!

Your favorite day of the week?

Don’t really have a favorite day. My least favorite day is Wednesday.

Your favorite flower?

I have developed a fascination with the history of tulips after reading The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas.

What is your passion?

As you can hopefully tell by my blog, writing and illustrating. Also, Japanese language and culture.

Do you watch television?

I am a junkie for high-quality dramatic series like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, including a million BBC shows like The Hour, Whitechapel, and House of Cards. I just fall in love with the brilliant writing, the multidimensional characters, and the amazing actors. I also love really cheesy Japanese dramas — right now, my favorite is Guilty: Akuma to Keiyaku Shita Onna (Guilty: The Woman who Made a Deal with the Devil).

Who is your favorite author?

Another difficult question! Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces is practically my bible (I mentioned I’m a Jewish atheist, right?). I’m also quite fond of Robert Graves’s I, Claudius, Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow (Haru no Yuki), E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, etcetera, etcetera. My bookshelf looks frighteningly like a Penguin Classics library!

Do you like 80′s movies?

Not particularly. The closest I get are the BBC series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Smiley’s People (1982) starring Alec Guinness. And yes, I also love the 2011 version of  Tinker Tailor.

What social issues bother you?

Oh, don’t even get me started — we’ll be here forever! Just know that I watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and MSNBC (Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and all of them) religiously.

How do you like your eggs?

Usually, I like them scrambled. But I also like them poached, especially for an Eggs Benedict!

When did you discover blogging?

I truthfully can’t remember exactly. I remember first using a computer when I was 4 years old. And I started using deviantART sometime in middle school, if that counts.

Why do you like to blog?

I don’t always like blogging, but I’ve discovered how incredibly wonderful bloggers are on WordPress. Unlike other social media sites, bloggers here seem to have a bit more etiquette. I enjoy sharing my work and receiving positive feedback from other talented bloggers!

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Nomination

G. Martinez Cabrera

It’s been a true pleasure collaborating (Elias & The City of Catswith Gabe thus far, and I look forward to our future projects!

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Tchotchkes

I created this post a while back, but I only just now got around to completing it.

The other day, I decided to photograph a series of tchotchkes that inhabit my room. I think you can tell a lot about someone from their room/house, especially by what kind of items are just sitting around collecting dust.

For those unfamiliar with the word “tchotchkes”…

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a “tchotchke” is a knickknack, trinket, bauble, doodad, curiosity, etc. The word is Yiddish and, according to Wikipedia, “…has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere.” Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, “Depending on context, the term has a connotation of worthlessness or disposability, as well as tackiness…”

I don’t really consider these things “worthless” or “disposable,” because each object comes with its own memory and nostalgia. But, as you may observe, these objects definitely err on the side of “tacky.”

(Click on images to enlarge.)

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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