Tag Archives: Play

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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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


First Zine and Future Shop

★Please Note: Feedback on this post would be extremely appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Only January, and I’m already beginning to tackle some of my New Year’s goals (New Year’s Resolutions, Anyone?)!!!

First and foremost, I’ve been working on goal #1, making progress on some of the finished illustrations for Elias & The City of Cats. I’m hoping to make a bit more progress in the coming days and then meet up with Gabe on Friday to show him my work. :D

In the meantime, I’ve been brainstorming on goals #6 and #7, my first self-printed zine and my online storefront!

Zine:Shop 1

Possible envelopes for first zine.

The other day, I decided that my first self-printed zine will be an illustrated poem.

I was doing some research on The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and came across the perfect poem for my first zine! I think this poem will be unexpected and exciting while still tying in with The Poet and the Flea. The poem will remain a secret for now, but I’ll give a free copy of my zine to the first person who can correctly guess which one it is. Hint: The Seven Deadly Sins. I’ll be truly impressed if anyone gets this!

As far as production goes, I’d like to keep this zine relatively simple since it’s my first: about 6 to 8 pages, black and white with simple lines, a number of special hand-watercolored copies, all packaged in a lovely envelope. I’ll probably print about 25 or 30 copies, but I’d love to know if anyone is seriously interested in purchasing a copy so that I can figure out if I need to print more or less.

Zine:Shop 2

I’ve been planning my online storefront for a while now, but I’m waiting for the right time to set it up and launch it.

I’ve decided to use Storenvy, because it seems user-friendly and stylish. And it helps that it’s free.

Other than my first self-printed zine, I’d like to offer a wide range of products including The Poet and the Flea merchandise (prints/posters, t-shirts, tote bags, badges/pins, etc.). For prints, I’d like to keep them high-quality but made-to-order so that one can request any page of The Flea or whatnot.

The most ambitious product I’d like to see in my store is a The Flea plush toy. I’ve been playing around with many ideas for this, but know it has to remain relatively simple. The plush toy will definitely be handmade in black fabric, possibly with buttons for eyes and silver/gold (maybe glow-in-the-dark) fabric paint to add texture/scales. It will take me a while to get to this project (and I might recruit some help for it), but I’m excited to see how everything turns out.

Also, I’d like to offer commissioned illustrations, but I have to work out the details on that!

Again, feedback is very welcome! Just leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at gegallas@hotmail.com!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


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