November 05, 2013

47 Ronin

I just watched a trailer for a movie that's coming out for Christmas, "47 Ronin". It's serious vandalism that approaches sacrilege.

It stars Keanu Reeve, for one thing. According to this, he's playing a haafu. Obviously there wasn't any such person in the real event. (This happened during the Shogunate, when only samurai were permitted to have weapons. No half-breed would have been considered samurai, except for the descendants of William Adams. And no samurai would have knowingly accepted a non-samurai as a fighting companion.)

They also loaded it up with magic and mystical beasts like dragons. The special effects look really good, but. But.

The actual genuine legend on which the film is loosely based doesn't need all that junk. And it doesn't include any token gaijin. About 300 years ago, a daimyo assaulted a court official, and was ordered to commit seppuku. That left his retainers as ronin. 47 of them spent 2 years planning revenge, killed the court official, and then they all in turn committed seppuku in front of their master's grave.

The story is romantic because of the dedication of the 47 to their duty and to their master, and it's been adapted to all kinds of entertainment countless times. Plus the fact that this was a real event.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 06:07 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 OTOH the Japanese whom I asked liked The Last Samurai with Tom Cruze.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at November 05, 2013 06:23 PM (RqRa5)

2 Somehow, that seems less egregious than the Master of Tai-Chi I've seen advertised.

Posted by: sqa at November 05, 2013 07:01 PM (rdcLU)

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