井の中の蛙

10/7/2008

St Sebastian Redux

Filed under: — C. W. Hayford @ 1:30 pm Print

At Danwei, a blog you must follow to keep up with China, “Donnie Yen Meditates on Violence” shows the Hong Kong movie star posed as the martyred Saint, looking like a pin cushion. This is an homage to the classic Esquire cover showing Mohamed Ali in the same pose.

But of course, Yukio Mishima earlier made a link. In his 1948 novel Confessions of a Mask, the presumably autobiographical character views a painting of St. Sebastian as an inspiration. Mishima struck this pose in a publicity photo for his film

St. Sebastian has a vast iconography, but this painting by Guido Reni was Mishima’s model:

Galleria di Palazzo Rosso (Genova, Italy).

St. Sebastian has become a gay icon, but I’m not sure that either Mohamed Ali or Donnie Yen mean to get involved.

7/17/2007

Oh Tempura, Oh Mores!

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 4:06 am Print

The New York Times has been on a Japanese culture kick this week which I just couldn’t let pass without note. There have been not one, but two articles in praise of Sushi, and an appreciation for a Roots Kabuki troupe on tour in the US.
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5/16/2005

It’s final’s week: Discuss

Via HNN’s Breaking News, a New York Times quickie:

JAPAN: HOLIDAY FOR HIROHITO Japanese lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to honor Emperor Hirohito by renaming a national holiday to be celebrated in his honor starting in 2007. Showa Day, as it will be called, will be held on Hirohito’s birthday, April 29, which is now a holiday called Green Day. Hirohito, whose rule lasted from 1926 until his death in 1989, is regarded by most Asians and some Japanese as a symbol of Japanese militarism and aggression in Asia, and he is still a revered figure for Japanese nationalists. But most Japanese now associate him with the postwar years of the Showa era, during which Japan rebuilt itself and became the world’s No. 2 economy. Two previous attempts to rename the holiday, in 2000 and 2002, were shelved in consideration of Asian sensitivities, but growing nationalism allowed the law’s enactment this time. The holiday had been known as Emperor’s Day before Hirohito’s death, but was changed to Green Day to avoid an Asian reaction and to honor the emperor’s interest in nature. Norimitsu Onishi (NYT)

Is this like renaming “President’s Day” something like “19th Century America Day?” “Progressive Era Day?” Or just “Carpetbaggers’ Day”? It’s already a celebration in honor of the Showa Emperor: it was his birthday, and it became an environmental holiday after his death in honor of his scholarly interests. Why didn’t they rename the other ones “Meiji Day” and “Taisho Day” while they’re at it?

Also at the New York Times, a discussion of early 20th century dramatists including Kishida Kunio.

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