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Old 12-20-2008   #21
theshaunz
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Re: Japan and Japanese people



excerpts from Wikipedia:
Matango (マタンゴ?), also known as Matango, Fungus of Terror and Attack of the Mushroom People, is a 1963 tokusatsu eiga (Japanese "special effects film"). It was directed by Ishiro Honda (Godzilla)
based on the story "The Voice in the Night" by William Hope Hodgson (http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/voicenig.htm)

The movie has developed something of a cult audience over the years; partly due to its bleakness and unusual themes, particularly when compared to other Japanese films of the same period.

I saw this last week, and it's a pretty enjoyable B-movie with a few genuinely disturbing moments
It's also public domain:
Internet Archive: Details: Attack of the Killer Mushrooms
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Old 12-22-2008   #22
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

Quote Originally Posted by theshaunz View Post
based on the story "The Voice in the Night" by William Hope Hodgson
More than from "The Voice in the Night," the plot of the movie is drawn directly from the first part of the novel The Boats of the Glen Carrig, when the shipwrecked sailors on the island finds an abandoned ship, in wich are attacked by night, and discovers the fungoid plants with human shapes who once were the crew of that ship.

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Old 01-06-2009   #23
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

Isuzu Gemini commercials, Old School (NO CGI)

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Old 01-06-2009   #24
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Bonazzi View Post
Quote Originally Posted by theshaunz View Post
based on the story "The Voice in the Night" by William Hope Hodgson
More than from "The Voice in the Night," the plot of the movie is drawn directly from the first part of the novel The Boats of the Glen Carrig, when the shipwrecked sailors on the island finds an abandoned ship, in wich are attacked by night, and discovers the fungoid plants with human shapes who once were the crew of that ship.


"Now, suddenly, and in the distance, I caught the far wailing that came before the night, and abruptly, as it seemed to me, the tree wailed at us. At that I was vastly astonished and frightened; yet, though I retreated, I could not withdraw my gaze from the tree; but scanned it the more intently; and, suddenly, I saw a brown, human face peering at us from between the wrapped branches. At this, I stood very still, being seized with that fear which renders one shortly incapable of movement. Then, before I had possession of myself, I saw that it was of a part with the trunk of the tree; for I could not tell where it ended and the tree began.

Then I caught the bo'sun by the arm, and pointed; for whether it was a part of the tree or not, it was a work of the devil; but the bo'sun, on seeing it, ran straightway so close to the tree that he might have touched it with his hand, and I found myself beside him. Now, George, who was on the bo'sun's other side, whispered that there was another face, not unlike to a woman's, and, indeed, so soon as I perceived it, I saw that the tree had a second excrescence, most strangely after the face of a woman. Then the bo'sun cried out with an oath, at the strangeness of the thing, and I felt the arm, which I held, shake somewhat, as it might be with a deep emotion. Then, far away, I heard again the sound of the wailing and, immediately, from among the trees about us, there came answering wails and a great sighing. And before I had time to be more than aware of these things, the tree wailed again at us. And at that, the bo'sun cried out suddenly that he knew; though of what it was that he knew I had at that time no knowledge. And, immediately, he began with his cutlass to strike at the tree before us, and to cry upon God to blast it; and lo! at his smiting a very fearsome thing happened, for the tree did bleed like any live creature. Thereafter, a great yowling came from it, and it began to writhe. And, suddenly, I became aware that all about us the trees were a-quiver."

-- The Boats of the Glen Carrig by William Hope Hodgson


Actually that part of the novel, where they find these strange anthropomorphic plants is a very memorable one. Spooky stuff. I remember how it gave me the creeps when I read the novel a few years ago.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
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Old 01-06-2009   #25
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Re: Japan and Japanese people




ever heard the story about Yotsuya Kaidan...?

Yotsuya Kaidan (四谷怪談), the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Iemon, is a tale of betrayal, murder and ghostly revenge. Arguably the most famous Japanese ghost story of all time, it has been adapted for film over 30 times, and continues to be an influence on Japanese horror today.

Written in 1825 by Tsuruya Nanboku IV as a kabuki play, the original title was Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (東海道四谷怪談). It is now generally shortened, and loosely translates as Ghost Story of Yotsuya.



The story opens with a murder. Iemon, an unemployed ronin married to Oiwa, killed his father-in-law because he was aware of Iemon's evil past deeds. Penniless, Iemon has been forced to make his living as an oilpaper umbrella maker in order to support his delicate wife and new child. This situation has led him to resent Oiwa.

Iemon is lured into a scheme to marry the beautiful granddaughter of a well-to-do neighbor, who is in love with him. In order to clear the path for the new marriage, Iemon and the neighbor plot to murder Oiwa. Iemon gives Oiwa poison disguised as "blood-road medicine", intended to bring back her strength. The poison does not kill her, but instead disfigures her, causing her hair to fall out and her eye to droop. When a mirror is held in front of her, her despair at her disfigurement and the knowledge of her husband's betrayal causes her to die.

When a faithful servant, Kobote Kohei, becomes aware of the murder, Iemon accuses him of theft and has him killed. He then has Kohei and Oiwa's bodies crucified on two sides of a wooden door, which is then flung into a nearby river.

Thinking his troubles are over, Iemon plans his new marriage. On his wedding day to his new bride, Iemon lifts her veil to see Oiwa's ruined face. He instantly beheads her, only to discover he has killed his new bride. Horrified, he flees to the neighbor's house to confess, where he is confronted by Kohei's ghost. Slashing at the ghost, Iemon finds he has killed his neighbor, his new father-in-law.

From there the haunting continues, with the vengeful spirit of Oiwa pursuing Iemon. Everywhere he goes, he sees her ruined face, even projecting from an overhead lantern. Seeking escape, he retreats to the mountains and goes fishing. Instead of fish, he hooks the board with the corpses of Oiwa and Kohei. He then flees to a cabin in Hebiyama, where the ropes and vines of the cabin transform into snakes and the smoke from the fire transform into Oiwa's hair.

Fleeing the cabin, he runs into his brother-in-law, who kills Iemon and avenges all of the murders.

Influences

Many of Oiwa's traits are standard to the onryō, including her costume of white burial kimono, white and indigo face, and long, disheveled hair.

However, Sadako Yamamura from the film Ring is a clear homage to Oiwa. Her final appearance is a direct adaptation of Oiwa, including the cascading hair and drooping, malformed eye. Also in Ju-on when Hitomi is watching the television, the television presenter is morphed into a woman with one small eye and one large eye- possibly a reference to Oiwa.

Miscellanea

* Oiwa is supposedly buried at a temple, Myogyo-ji, in Yotsuya, a neighborhood of Tokyo. The date of her death is listed as February 22, 1636.
* Several productions of Yotsuya Kaidan, including television and movie adaptations, have reported mysterious accidents, injuries and even deaths. It is now a tradition, before staging an adaptation of Yotsuya Kaidan, for the principal actors and the director to make a pilgrimage to Oiwa's grave at and ask her permission and blessing for their production. This is considered especially important of the actor assuming the role of Oiwa.




This is Oiwa's grave. She died on February 22, 1636.
They say that if you stand here and wish hard enough then your wish will come true.
If you proceed straight through the graveyard, you will find a red torii (a Shinto shrine archway) and a large tree. Her grave is under the tree.
They say that if it is only out of curiosity that you visit Oiwa's grave, then your right eye will become swollen, just like hers was.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 01-06-2009   #26
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

Some interesting classical medical prints from Japan:

Digital Clendening: Japanese Medical Prints Woodblock Ukiyo-e: Home Page

This one is part of a series on decomposition:

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Old 01-08-2009   #27
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

"Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854)"

http://www.visualizingcultures.com/b...bss_intro.html
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Old 02-12-2009   #28
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Re: Japan and Japanese people


"Kwaidan (怪談 Kaidan?) is a 1964 Japanese anthology film directed by Masaki Kobayashi; the title means 'ghost story'. It is based on stories from Lafcadio Hearn's collections of Japanese folk tales. The film consists of four separate and unrelated stories. Kwaidan is the archaic pronunciation of Kaidan, meaning "ghost story"."
-Wikipedia

This movie is beautiful, eerie, and atmospheric. Everyone here would probably love it.
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Old 02-22-2009   #29
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

Here's my latest review posted to Amazon:



All Singles Complite
Availability: Currently unavailable


An Amazing Feast of Japanese Weirdness, 22 Feb 2009


This is not a cheap item, but you get quite a lot for your money. There are two CDs, each of them with pretty well as much music as it's possible to put on a CD (unless in the form of MP3 files, of course). There's a DVD with quite a lot of visual material. And there's a substantial book with the lyrics, pictures of the band members, etc.

The package is clearly designed for the Japanese market and if, like me, you don't understand Japanese, quite a lot of it will escape you. That said, I find that I actually enjoy my incomprehension. If I understood all of the material I might possibly call it an unremarkable selection of everyday Japanese material -- rather than an amazing feast of Japanese weirdness. Apart from the undeniable cuteness of the girls, the weirdness may be the greatest attraction.

The lyrics are all in Japanese with the occasional English word thrown in. This, to my eye, made the printed lyrics especially remarkable. It was only after looking at the printed lyrics that I started to hear the occasional English words.

The DVD menu is in Japanese -- a long list of items, each ending with the English word "selection". Don't the Japanese have their own word for "selection"? -- it's hard to believe, but if it's so, that is very weird indeed. Each of the items comprises a girl talking to camera (in Japanese, naturally) for a while, followed by a live performance of a song. For me, about half a dozen of these at a sitting seemed the right quantity. But I did love them.

My only regret is that we don't see on the DVD the (very cute) outfits from the cover. But you can't have everything.

The music is mostly bubbly female vocal pop. If you enjoy that (as I do) and don't mind (as I don't) failing to understand the lyrics, then you'll agree with my giving this five stars. If you revel in weirdness (as I do) you may think that five stars are not enough.


If I do say it myself, my Amazon reviews are for a curious selection of items:




;)

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Old 03-24-2009   #30
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Re: Japan and Japanese people

"The Strange Visions of Ryunosuke Akutagawa"

"Ryunosuke Akutagawa, best known in the English-speaking world for the short story collection made into the film Rashomon, created dark, fantastical, frightening and funny stories. While the Japanese fascination with tales of the grotesque is nothing new, Akutagawa was among the first, perhaps the best, to take ancient folklore and imbue it with a menace and uncertainty that resonated with a turn-of-the-century Japanese audience and continues to interest readers all over the world."

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=...=blog&id=17417
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