Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

Jul 30, 2016

Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

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In September 1912, Gen. Maresuke Nogi — a hero of the Russo-Japanese War — committed ritual suicide. His sensational death took place on the day of Emperor Meiji’s funeral, making it an act of junshi (following one’s lord in death) and a high-water mark ...

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

Feb 3, 2016

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

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Japanese can roughly be split into two camps: those equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and those who have only a vague idea of who the samurai were or that a Shogun once lived in what is now the Imperial Palace. The history ...

Sawamura Award winner Kaneko to start Game 2

Nov 13, 2014

Sawamura Award winner Kaneko to start Game 2

Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo hopes that right-hander Chihiro Kaneko will continue in Friday’s Game 2 of the Japan-Major League All-Star Series what teammate Kenta Maeda started in a 2-0 win in Game 1. Kokubo called Kaneko, who won this year’s Sawamura Award as ...

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

Aug 16, 2014

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

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You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of ...

Mar 22, 2014

The sloughing of Japan's corporate skin goes on

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“Man is born free and is everywhere in chains.” No 18th-century Japanese thinker could have written that. It is amusing to imagine one even reading it. What emotion would it have called forth? Outrage? Blank incomprehension? Born free? A revolutionary notion! “The Social Contract” ...