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Thread: Showing the great side of Japan!3164 days old

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    Default Showing the great side of Japan!

    Konnichiwa!

    Ok this is a topic for people to understand and spread a little bit of Japanese traditional culture, and how it looks really, as well as it's revival in the pop culture of Japan (which is definitely needed). Nothing about anime, or just original Japanese horror movies, I mean I will show some examples and I hope this can be a great debate and a great idea for this forum!

    Here we go:

    From videogames the closest thing to a real retelling of a true ancient Japanese style of storytelling that is educated and almost philosophical, you have to look REALLY hard... and I think I found the best example possible, in Otogi: Myth Of Demons. Now this game might scare you with the name: after all, Otogi is an old Japanese word meaning "Fantasy" or "Storytelling", and basically yes it is about the Japanese idea of demons, however as someone who have grew up and studied Japanese culture in depth I can tell you that their conceptions of demons, of Hell and anything like that, is of course very different from even the Korean or Chinese ones! So here we go, this is a review of the game:

    Otogi:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCcR8QOFNck

    It received a sequel, and the company that did it, is called From Software, it is a Japanese developer that is under the wing of Sega, or at least was, before getting brought by Microsoft.

    Here is the sequel:

    Otogi 2:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbbXTbBc5Gg&NR=1

    Now if you want to know more about the storyline of this game and where it comes from, I am still trying to find a good place to find a storyline for it with pictures and all that, however the myth which it is based might be familiar to you: it is this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamoto_no_Yorimitsu

    Ok, let's move in to music. When talking about music in Japan, of course we have to consider that there is a long LONG history and it is relatively easy to find some touches of Japanese society and culture in ALL it's music... however it is particularly hard to find really good and interesting albums that really have this Japanese touch, that sounds ancient. However I have compiled my own little personal Japanese library of songs and albums in my HD, I have a lot of stuff about the country as well, so this is what I find to be some of the best possible music you can find in the country, from varying genres:

    Metal = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPUPAkP12QM
    Gagaku/Japanese Court Music/Religious Music = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc2YUd2O2RM
    New Age = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1pLmcVKH6o (this particular album by him is very well-known for it's deep sound so... enjoy )
    J-Pop = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN1IRpHDIV0
    Post-Punk/Rock = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjubiEzUCbc

    Ok, I think you get the idea... there is also some really good Classical composers in Japan, but the tradition of mixing the style with Japanese instruments is a bit dead I suppose... for example, if you do want a style like this, you can try for example Toru Takemitsu, who made two very big songs that had at moments, Classical feelings, and then Japanese styles, which became overall, the soundtrack for Akira Kurosawa's "Ran" (his last jidaigeki movie).

    In theater I recommend everybody to check, this:

    Butoh:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ms7MGs2Nh8

    This is a style of theatrical, and very cultural dancing that supposedly as ties to spirituality, and the whole idea is to make your body move like if you where one between this world and the world of the dead. The imagery is very influenced by the atrocities and evils that Japan faced in it's past after World War 2, and takes a bit from German Expressionism as well. If anyone is interested in knowing more about it, just send me a pm or something I can post more about this style and it's origins.

    Anime! Well Anime as we all know, is Japan biggest thing nowadays, it even replaced their cinema, everybody knows about it and everybody loves it so... here we go, this is one of the newest animes that I personally feel that in it's first season, was being the closest to a really interesting ideal of a Japan from many years ago:

    http://www.zomganime.com/anime/otogizoushi

    Oh and if you are insecure about simply just watching it straight away, here are some pictures:

    http://www.tokyoq.com/weekly_updates...ogizoushi2.jpg
    http://www.animeclick.it/prove/serie...ogizoushi2.jpg

    And a version like what I believe it is a manga:

    http://www.animecharactersdatabase.c...mages/1805.jpg

    So as you can see, this is very educated, very well-done in animation and it's story was very good and truthful to Japan's ancestral spirit, you do not see any of these absurd typical Anime hairstyles and the likes in it, and that is what I believe can save Anime in the future from becoming a mockery in Japanese society.

    Ok that is about it, I will keep searching and if you guys liked all this stuff, I can try looking for more stuff to stimulate the topic! Bye!

    Thanks,
    - Erick

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