Shinto tori gates find their way onto the front walls in some American dojo, but that placement is culturally incorrect.
It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19 th -century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
I said most Japanese and Japanese-Americans probably view the opera as so ridiculously fictional that no one could take it as a serious historical commentary. In fact, I’d already heard from some traditional Japanese dance groups whose members hoped to audition for nonspeaking roles in the opera. I pointed out, however, that the promotional illustrations the company had come up with for the opera were “wrong.” The director was confused. One illustration showed a woman in a kimono, holding her infant. She was clearly meant to depict Madame Butterfly.
“You have her hair in a long and straight ponytail,” I said. “That style had gone out of fashion in Japan hundreds of years before the period of the opera.”
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“Made In Chinatown” Finding Love, Culture And Heritage
Question: What’s crazier than sending your horse to audition for The Godfather, wackier than two parrots saying, “Are you talking to me?” and wilder than the Scarecrow introducing Toto to the Wizard of Oz by stating, “Say hello to my little friend,” and thereafter referring to himself as the Scar-crow?
MISTAKES CAN BE EMBARRASSING
THAT A DIRECTOR OF MY CITY’S OPERA COMPANY WOULD CALL ME SEEMED A LITTLE ODD. THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME MONKEYS WHO KNOW MORE ABOUT OPERA THAN I DO. BUT THE DIRECTOR WAS INVITING ME TO LUNCH, SO OF COURSE, I WENT.
THERE'S A NEW “SHERO” IN TOWN, AND HER NAME IS GILLIAN WHITE!
GILLIAN WHITE HAS WORKED IN FILM AND TELEVISION FOR 25 YEARS — FAR LONGER THAN SHE’S BEEN MARRIED TO MICHAEL JAI WHITE, WHOM SHE WED IN 2015. RECENTLY, SHE’S CREATED A BUZZ IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY BECAUSE OF HER ROLE AS ZARA INTAKE BACK, A MOVIE THAT ALSO STARS HER HUSBAND AND TEACHER, AS WELL AS MICKEY ROURKE. AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF HYBRID TRAINING THAT INCLUDES KYOKUSHIN KARATE AND AN ARRAY OF EFFECTIVE FIGHTING STYLES, GILLIAN WILL STEP INTO HISTORY AS THE FIRST BLACK FEMALE MARTIAL ARTIST TO PLAY THE LEAD IN AN ACTION FILM WHEN TAKE BACK IS RELEASED THIS YEAR.
PURPOSE, FEAR AND MINDSET
WHEN THE SUBJECT OF SELF-DEFENSE COMES UP, THE AVERAGE PERSON GENERALLY THINKS OF THE PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS THAT ARE INVOLVED. WHEN I COME ACROSS SUCH A PERSON AND GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE SOME KNOWLEDGE ABOUT REAL SELF-DEFENSE, I USUALLY START BY INFORMING HIM OR HER THAT SOME IMPORTANT PREREQUISITES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE DELVING INTO THE PHYSICAL ARENA.
DEAR HOLLYWOOD: REBOOT “WMAC MASTERS”
IT’S TIME TO REBOOT WMAC MASTERS. YEAH, I SAID IT, AND I MEANT IT. IF YOU WEREN’T A KID IN THE 1990S, YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF THE FICTIONAL WORLD MARTIAL ARTS COUNCIL AND THE TV SHOW BASED ON IT. IN THAT CASE, YOU’RE IN LUCK BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO GIVE YOU THE LOWDOWN.
FINAL DESTINATION? NO WAY — WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED!
IF YOU’RE UP ON YOUR MARTIAL ARTS HISTORY — OR YOU FREQUENT OUR WEBSITE OR FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA — YOU KNOW THAT BLACK BELT WAS FOUNDED IN 1961. IF YOU’RE EVEN MARGINALLY PROFICIENT AT MATH, YOU KNOW THAT MAKES THE MAG 60 YEARS OLD THIS YEAR.
Return of the king
COVID Might Have Won Last Year, But THE U.S. OPEN — the World’s Biggest Martial Arts Tournament — Is Back in Action!
CREATING UNBEATABLE PARENT-INSTRUCTOR TEAMS
“IN A TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL, PARENTS AND INSTRUCTORS BECOME AN UNBEATABLE TEAM HELPING SHAPE CHILDREN FOR THE PATH TO SUCCESS.”
JAW TRAINING FOR STRIKERS
NEWS FLASH: FIGHTERS GET PUNCHED IN THE JAW! THE JAW AND ITS HINGES, ALONG WITH THE CHIN, ARE COMMON TARGETS FOR KNOCKOUT ARTISTS. A WELL-PLACED PUNCH TO THE JAW CAN RENDER AN OTHERWISE TREMENDOUSLY CONDITIONED ATHLETE UNCONSCIOUS IN A HEARTBEAT.
2021 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS & CONTENDERS
Ones to Watch at the World’s Most Prestigious Martial Arts Competition
ON JAPAN'S FRONT LINES
Dispatches from Asia's new Cold War
Fusing the mediative Zen school with the vibrant pulse of Africa.
How Uniqlo Became A Favorite in China
In addition to making popular styles, it's kept quiet about the country's human-rights record
Water Features for Small Gardens
Water features and garden fountains add charm and personality, so you can stylise your home outside as well as in.
TAKE FIVE:Chandler Massey (Will, DAYS)
SOUTH PARK - Guilty pleasure TV show
COLONIZED FROM WITHIN
THE WORLD'S ELITE WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO HAVE WHITE TEACHERS AND WESTERN OUTLOOKS, AND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS AIM TO PLEASE
Revisiting a shmup that rivals the genre’s best.
JAPAN'S MITSUBISHI, ENERGY BODY JOIN GATES' NUCLEAR PROJECT
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency have signed an agreement to participate in a next-generation nuclear energy project with TerraPower, a company started by Bill Gates.
Greet spring with pretty plants that shine all season.
SPEAKS ON HIS TIME IN A JAPANESE PRISON AND LIFE AS A WANTED FUGITIVE