Pop Culture and Japan

The Way Of The Warrior: Samurai And Comics

Japanese culture has been popular in the west for years, with anime being woven into the fabric of pop culture. Westerners also visit Japan to learn about the country’s history and the samurai are an important part of it.

The traditional view of samurai are noble, honourable warriors who dedicated their lives to a singular cause. It’s no surprise that samurai have been featured in comics.

But how are they portrayed? Do mainstream comics like Marvel and DC remain faithful to what samurai stood for? Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading “The Way Of The Warrior: Samurai And Comics”

Pop Culture and Japan

Appreciating The Intricacies Of Shinto Funerals With Daken And Wolverine

Everyone has their own way of coping with death, whether through carrying out their own personal rituals or spending time with loved ones. The passing of my grandad has made me think about the burial ceremonies from different cultures, with comics offering an insight into the various practices. After all, death is never constant in comics. But we still mourn characters if we’ve read about them for years.

Japanese funerals are some of the most elaborate, so it seemed appropriate that Wolverine’s death would be honoured through a culture that shaped his life.

During the Death of Wolverine arc, Logan’s son, Daken, carried out a traditional Shinto funeral for his father. Shinto funerals have twenty steps and I’m looking into each one as a way of seeing how grief is processed.

Continue reading “Appreciating The Intricacies Of Shinto Funerals With Daken And Wolverine”

Pop Culture and Japan

A Nihonshu Pop Culture Lexicon From A Sake Nerd

 

Drinking sake is a sure-fire way of feeling better connected to Japanese culture. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or first-time drinker, every sip is another step towards understanding the heritage and traditions that make Japan so multi-faceted.

When entering the world of sake, there’s loads of terms thrown around that might seem intimidating and I think it’s interesting how people find their own way of relating to different topics. 

From my perspective, I find popular culture helps. With that said, here’s a pop culture lexicon from a sake nerd that’s filled with random comic, wrestling and musical references. 

Continue reading “A Nihonshu Pop Culture Lexicon From A Sake Nerd”

Pop Culture and Japan

Pop Culture Pub Crawl: Katana

Being a superhero is a tough gig. There are innocent lives to save, bad guys to stop and ideals to live up to. So, when a character like Katana finds a moment to herself, she’ll want to make the most of it. The Pop Culture Pub Crawl investigates the drinking habits of different superheroes.

With her dedication to Japanese tradition, I’d see Katana carrying out a personal drinking ritual that would bring her closer to her ancestors.

Continue reading “Pop Culture Pub Crawl: Katana”

Pop Culture and Japan

The Pop Culture Pub Crawl: Wolverine (Part 2)

The Pop Culture Pub Crawl highlights the drinking habits of different superheroes and Wolverine has a reputation for being one of the booziest members of the X-Men. Wolverine’s love of Japanese culture is one of his defining traits, so let’s take a look at the type of hooch that he’d drink when out on the town in Japan.

Continue reading “The Pop Culture Pub Crawl: Wolverine (Part 2)”

Pop Culture and Japan

What Kind Of Legacy With Lady Deathstrike Leave Behind?

Controlling how you’re remembered is part of the human condition, even when it’s impossible to do. Everyone will be remembered differently, but it doesn’t stop some people from wanting to define their legacy. When a person is gone, what do they leave behind? That is the essence of legacy.

A character that’s battled to define herself is Lady Deathstrike. An enemy of Wolverine, Deathstrike has fought against the X-Men for years. When her motivations are pulled apart, an intriguing character is revealed. Deathstrike’s upbringing and nature have shaped the way she wants to be remembered. Continue reading “What Kind Of Legacy With Lady Deathstrike Leave Behind?”

Pop Culture and Japan

What Makes Doctor Light An Empowering Female Superhero?

When thinking of real-life superheroes, it could be argued that you’d find them in the scientific and medical fields. Scientists have invented revolutionary products like the telephone and cured diseases such as smallpox. The ingenuity of science has been reflected in comics through the creation of characters who are experts in their fields of study. One of the most underrated science-based superheroes is Doctor Light. An astronomer and expert in light technology, Kimiyo Hoshi is a character who deserves more recognition. Continue reading “What Makes Doctor Light An Empowering Female Superhero?”

Pop Culture and Japan

Achieving Milestones, Enjoying New Japanese Food And Broadening My Horizons At Doki Doki 2019

Outside of Japan, there are many festivals that celebrate the Land of the Rising Sun. One of my favourites is the annual Doki Doki Festival that takes place in Manchester. I’ve been attending for a couple of years, and it’s been great to see the audience grow every time. Doki Doki 2019 proved to be even bigger than previous years, with the festival taking place over two days in November.

It stands out to me even more because it’s the first time that I delivered a public presentation and took part in live panels. Continue reading “Achieving Milestones, Enjoying New Japanese Food And Broadening My Horizons At Doki Doki 2019”

Oubaitori Life

Oubaitori Life: Wolverine

Japanese culture has a reputation for being deeply spiritual and fluid. There’s plenty of inspiration to be found in concepts such as ikigai/the act of finding one’s purpose. There’s also the opportunity to find inspiration in the principle of oubaitori (oh-buy-toe-ree). This is the idea of not comparing yourself to someone else.

Everyone has their own unique traits, which is why Yamato Magazine is proud to feature a new series called Oubaitori Life. The segment will investigate the lives of fictional characters and see how Japanese concepts are applied to their stories. Let’s start things off with everyone’s favourite Canucklehead, Wolverine. Continue reading “Oubaitori Life: Wolverine”