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

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.

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The Otaku Armoury

The Otaku Armoury: Wolverine’s Muramasa Blade

The Otaku Armoury showcases intriguing Japan-inspired weapons that are found throughout popular culture. Many weapons can trace their roots back to legends and mythical figures, such as Sengo Muramasa. An infamous Japanese sword maker, Muramasa’s blades were said to be cursed and caused their wielders to go mad with blood lust. It’s the kind of reputation that makes an engrossing story.

 So, it’s no wonder that Muramasa swords have found their way into mediums like comics. For example, the Marvel superhero Wolverine has wielded a sword that Muramasa created especially for him. Continue reading “The Otaku Armoury: Wolverine’s Muramasa Blade”

The Otaku Armoury

The Otaku Armoury: Samurai Jack’s Katana

The Otaku Armoury focuses on pop culture weapons that have been inspired by Japanese culture. Perhaps the most famous Japanese weapon is the katana, and it’s been used in various films, comics, cartoons and games. One of the most powerful Japanese swords in the history of pop culture is Samurai Jack’s katana. Continue reading “The Otaku Armoury: Samurai Jack’s Katana”

The Otaku Armoury

The Otaku Armoury: Yamato

For centuries, Japan has been associated with a warrior culture, due to the influence of the samurai and their code of bushido. Japanese weaponry is known all over the world, and weapons like the katana and shuriken have been immortalised in popular culture.

The Otaku Armoury is a segment that puts the spotlight on pop culture weapons inspired by Japanese culture. For the first edition of the Otaku Armoury, I’m investigating Vergil’s Yamato from the Devil May Cry franchise. Sleek, deadly and elegant, Vergil’s signature blade is one of the most powerful weapons in the gaming universe. Continue reading “The Otaku Armoury: Yamato”

Japanese Mythology

Dispelling The Curse Of Muramasa Swords

Ancient Japanese sword makers were known as artists who dedicated everything to their craft. They spent countless hours forging steel into weapons that went on to be wielded by famous samurai like Miyamoto Musashi. Some Japanese swordsmiths became as well-known as the people they made weapons for. One of the most infamous names in the swordsmith world is Muramasa Sengo.

Continue reading “Dispelling The Curse Of Muramasa Swords”