Japan Today

David L Reinke comments

Posted in: Musk plans largest-ever supercomputer for xAI startup: report See in context

Where have I seen this before...

Oh yes: Colossus - The Forbin Project.

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Posted in: Hollywood sex symbol Raquel Welch dies at 82 See in context

Her work in The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers was excellent.

Hail and Fare Thee Well Raquel.

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Posted in: Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto battling stage IV cancer See in context

Excellent actor and Fantastic musician.

I wish him the very Best of Luck for the struggle ahead.

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Posted in: Chris Pratt battles future aliens in small-screen 'Tomorrow War' See in context

Watched the trailer yesterday -- looks good, perfect for Sci-Fi Saturday at the Home Cinema.

Now, if I could just afford to upgrade to a 75" Sony 4K monitor... ;-)

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Posted in: Samurai dance teacher moves online as Tokyo Olympics bans overseas spectators See in context

Would be more accurate to call this 'shin-bugaku' as the original form has existed for hundreds of years.

Certainly nothing wrong with an update, and this takes nothing away from Koshiro san's artistic efforts, however better not to ignore the long tradition of bugaku.


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Posted in: Through the mailbox slot: Japanese theater offers new viewing experience See in context

Interesting idea and I do admire the Company's creative staging in these days of pandemic.


I'd rather watch a Kabuki play, so I'll wait until it is safe to do so.

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Posted in: Gal Gadot 'whitewashing' row sparks Cleopatra history debate See in context

Hollywood Romans

Writing in the New Your Review of Books (1/13/11) Professor Mary Beard observed:

“For the most part, however, we have no knowledge of many of the most   basic facts of Cleopatra’s life. Her famous end is perhaps well enough served, with some further eyewitness testimony (however biased or            unreliable it may be, and all from her enemy’s side). Of the beginning of her life we know almost nothing. She was the daughter of Ptolemy XII, but the identity of her mother is a mystery, as is the date of her birth.”

“The truth is that “peel[ing] away the encrusted myth” of Cleopatra reveals that there is very little underneath the ancient fictional surface, and certainly nothing that can be the stuff of a plausible life story—unless it is            padded out with half-relevant background that is, in a sense, fiction of a different kind. In this case the rich evidence on papyrus that survives from Greco-Roman Egypt hardly helps. In the end, we should probably resist the  allure of biography and stick with the Augustan myth and Horace’s  ‘demented queen.’”

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Posted in: Gal Gadot 'whitewashing' row sparks Cleopatra history debate See in context

Holywood Romans

As historian Adrian Goldsworthy noted:

“Absolutely nothing is certain.  Cleopatra may have had black, brown, blonde or even red hair, and her eyes could have been brown, grey, green or blue.  Almost any combination of these is possible.  Similarly, she may have been very light skinned or had a darker more Mediterranean complexion.  Fairer skin is probably marginally more likely given her ancestry.  Greek art traditionally represented women and goddesses as very pale, and fair skin seems to have been part of the ideal of beauty.  Roman propaganda never suggested that Cleopatra was dark-skinned, although this may simply mean that she was not exceptionally dark or simply that the color of her skin was not important to her critics.

At no point will we need to consider Antony’s appearance at similar length and this should remind us that the obsession with Cleopatra’s looks is unusual, and not entirely healthy.  Not only is there no good evidence, but also there is something disturbing about the desire to base our understanding of her first and foremost on her appearance.Cleopatra was not another Helen of Troy, a mythical figure about whom the most important thing was her beauty.  She was no mere object of desire, but a very active political player in her own kingdom and beyond.

Cleopatra was born and raised in the real and very dangerous world of the Ptolemaic court in the first century BC.  When her father died in 51 BC, she became queen.  Auletes had planned for his son and daughter to rule jointly.  Cleopatra had other ideas.”

-from Antony And Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy, c2010 pp.128-129

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Posted in: Live streaming See in context

Ours will go up May 5th -- one for each of our children and grandchildren.

A tradition that stated for our family when my parents were stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawai'i back in the 1960's and which we have continued ever since.

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Posted in: Japan's 1st female paratrooper See in context

All the Way -- Airborne!

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Posted in: Wes Studi to make Oscars history for Native American actors See in context

Studi is an excellent actor. His Oscar is well earned and richly deserved. Congratulations!

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Posted in: Gundam vs Hello Kitty Project asks you to choose between Japan’s greatest pop culture icons See in context

What -- no Godzilla?

Where is the Big G...?

Now he is a true pop icon.

No Godzilla = No vote.

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Posted in: How a vintage film format brought 'Apollo 11' back to life See in context

Saw this film in IMAX last week -- simply wonderful. The footage is really quite amazing.

This film is well worth your effort to see, and on the biggest screen you can find.

Even if you lived through this, as I did, it all seems new again.

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Posted in: Good feeling, or bad feeling about young Han Solo? 'Star Wars' fans wait and see See in context

Ehrenreich was great in Hail Caesar! so I am optimistic that this new Solo film just might capture that old Star Wars magic. With the strong supporting cast it just might. However...

It is the story being told that really matters.

I will hope for the best and take the ride.

As always, time will tell.

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Posted in: Halal sushi See in context

Sushi -- It's the Rice!

Now you can make it with tuna or salmon or just about any other fish you have a taste for, and by the same token, you can make sushi with cucumber or avocado (a favorite) and any number of other veggies.

Please forgive my ignorance of dietary laws, but I would guess there is no restrictions on avocado?

Sushi -- it's all about the rice.

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Posted in: 'Hellboy' casting prompts backlash over 'whitewashing' See in context

That should be: "...it is worthing noting..."

Auto-correct will be the death of communications in the digital age.

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Posted in: 'Hellboy' casting prompts backlash over 'whitewashing' See in context

"the Japanese manga adaptation "Death Note" also drew criticism for transferring a Japanese story to Seattle without any Asian actors."


The Seven Samurai was transferred to the American West as The Magnificent Seven -- no Asian actors.

Rashomon was transfered to the American West as The Outrage -- No Asian actors.

Yojimbo was transfered to the American West (by way of Italy) as A Fistful of Dollars -- No Asian actors.

The Hidden Fortress was transferred to a Galaxy Far Far Away...

Well, in this case the cast was more ethnically varied with each succeeding episode. Indeed, it is worth nothing that the one actor with his face on more action figures than any other human in history is Polynesian. Temuera Morrison, from New Zealand, played Jango Fett, and by extension, ALL of the Clone Troopers, the most popular figure in the Star Wars toy line.

Minor distinction perhaps, but one that is not likely to ever be matched let alone surpassed.

As for the character in the new Hellboy -- yes this is a missed opportunity. There is a wealth of acting talent across all ethnic lines here in the US so why not put it to work? A missed opportunity indeed.

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers begin accepting ideas for mascots See in context

The choice is obvious -- Godzilla!


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Posted in: Former TV announcer Mao Kobayashi dies of cancer at 34 See in context

A hard day for her family, and indeed for all families who have fought and are are fighting this battle against cancer. For those who have survived, and their loved ones, it reminds us of just how lucky we are.

All the best to Ebizo and his children.

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Posted in: Tokyo 2020 launches mascot design competition See in context

The mascot should be Godzilla, simple as that. ;-)

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Posted in: Godzilla speaks! Interview with 12-movie veteran 'kaiju' actor Haruo Nakajima See in context

The Big G!

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Posted in: 'Shin Godzilla' visual effects team creates monster video for Kitakyushu tourism campaign See in context

The only thing missing is the Big G himself, saving the day.

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Posted in: 'Game of Thrones' trailer offers glimpse at new season See in context

Looks good to me.

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Posted in: LEGOLAND train begins service on Nagoya's Aonami line See in context

LEGO -- what a toy!

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Posted in: Nagoya Castle’s concrete keep to be demolished and replaced with traditional wooden structure See in context

How does Hikone Castle (Ii Clan) rank with regards to the other castles listed above? Just wondering.

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Posted in: ‘Roppongi Kabuki Part II Zatoichi’ – the most accessible Kabuki ever See in context

"...more accessible to the younger Japanese generation and also to foreigners."

The great Kabuki plays are no less 'accessible' to modern audiences than is Shakespeare or Sophocles.

Some have said that Kabuki in English is not Kabuki, but is a play without kumadori or mie still Kabuki?

Perhaps this new play might better be classed as "Imaginary Kabuki." a term coined by the French when they staged a production of Shakespeare's Richard II using acting and staging conventions of traditional Kabuki.

Theatre should be a living art form so bravo to Ebizo for his efforts. Even so, I still prefer a good production of Kumagai Jinya or Chushingura or Yoshitsune Sembon Zakura. The old classics satisfy my plebeian taste.**

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Posted in: 'La La Land' has Hollywood singing a different tune on musicals See in context

LaLaLand is not a bad film, however it is not a great film either.

I do appreciate the work done by the cast & crew, and particularly by the choreographer, and yet...

14 Nominations? This is not Singing In The Rain of Ben Hur.

Indeed, look at the film Hail Caesar, also released last year -- the Sailor Dance number, "No Dames" is a lot of fun and well executed. Hail Caesar pokes fun at Golden Age Hollywood but will go unnoticed by Oscar. Although it is not the best film from the Coen Brothers, it is still a smart comedy and they hit their mark right between the eyes.

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Posted in: Filming begins on first Marvel superhero flick with black lead actor See in context

There is also the Falcon, who appeared in both Captain America Winter Soldier & Civil War, as well as Ant Man. Perhaps it is also worth noting that Colonel Nick Fury, commander of SHIELD, and thus the Avengers, is played by Samuel Jackson.

Just a couple of minor details...

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Posted in: Thelma Schoonmaker on sculpting 'Silence' and editing Powell See in context

'Schoonmaker and Scorsese quickly decided to strike most of the original voiceover. “The images were so powerful that we could strip away a lot of it,” she says.'


Likewise, Powell & Pressberger were good at letting their images speak. Excellent filmmakers all.

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Posted in: Hikone Castle celebrating 410th anniversary in style See in context

Wonderful castle with an excellent museum showcasing the beautiful red armor of the Ii Clan. There is even a full Noh stage within the castle. If you are interested in Japanese Feudal History then Hikone Castle is a must see.

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