So, I was watching the James Bond flick You Only Live Twice last night, for no other reason than that I'll watch anything that has something about Japan in it. An actor named Teru Shimada was playing one of the villians, Mr. Osato. After the film was over I flipped channels over to I Spy and there was Teru Shimada again, playing Mr. Okura in the episode Tigers of Heaven. So I got two shows in which Japanese culture is horribly mangled by Western productions. But I'll get back to that later.

Teru ShimadaI went over to IMDB to check out the story on Teru Shimada. Not because Teru Shimada was a particularly engaging actor or anything but just because I had seen him in two productions on the same day. Sometimes the statistical nature of IMDB can leave one with the most tantalizing gaps in information. Teru Shimada was born in Japan in 1905. He died, in Encino, California, in 1988. I'm assuming he must have been living in the States, or at least in the West, since at least 1932 based on his acting credits. Some of the parts he played leave me aching to know more about him. For instance, in the 1934 film Charlie Chan's Courage he's billed only as Jiu Jitsu Man! Wouldn't you love to know if he really practiced jiu jitsu? In the 1939 film Mr. Moto's Last Warning he plays Mr. Moto's partner and is killed by the villians while impersonating Mr. Moto. I found it ironic that a Japanese man would play the fake Mr. Moto while Peter Lorre played the real one. Shimada is also in a 1936 film called Revolt of the Zombies. Great title but, apparently, a poor film, done by the Halperin Brothers, notable only for the superimposition of Bela Lugosi's eye's in parts. Bela Lugosi's eye footage was actually taken from a better film also by the Halperin Brothers, called White Zombie, but I digress. Getting back to Teru Shimada, his acting career seems to have evaporated shortly after being in You Only Live Twice (I misread the article, he actually continued acting for another 8 years) and I guess all I'm saying about him is that, seeing his distinguished white hair and mustache, and listening to his sibilant soft voice, I wanted to know him better. Because I am a fag.

I never realized, before, what a godawful film You Only Live Twice is. So many cliches. Japan is full of nothing but geishas, ninjas, and sumo wrestlers. All the male villian extras wear jumpsuits, all the good guys wear tailored suits and clothes, but all the women wear either kimonos, bathing suits, or their underwear. The ninja spy good guys use makeup to try and make James Bond look Japanese but, if anything, he looks more Western than before, towering over everyone else. Even as a kid I only watched James Bond films for the location shots. All those exotic locales. When I moved out on my own, at 18, I went in order to see the world. Perversely, I wanted then, and often still do now, to see the world as it was in those old films. The first time I visited Las Vegas I was devastated when I discovered that Fremont St. had been turned into a pedestrian walkway and covered with an animated ceiling. I so wanted to drive up and down, looking at the neon cowboys and illuminated buffet signs, like James Bond did in Diamonds are Forever. Anyway. Gay. Nevermind.

I was going to say something about Japanese culture being mangled in Western film and television productions but I've totally lost my train of thought. A terrible public school education, mediocre intelligence, and a propensity to watch television more than to read will fucking kill, people. Last warning.

*Later edit* I just realized I titled this entry Resolute because I had originally intended to talk about New Years resolutions. I am such a scatter brain.
  • Current Mood: baka
Japan is full of nothing but geishas, ninjas, and sumo wrestlers

now THAT sounds like a place I'd like to visit!

I'm on IMDB, by the way! Because I'M SPECIAL!
I'm on IMDB, by the way! Because I'M SPECIAL!
Naturally I know this because I'm an emo stalker. I'm sure there's a short bus just for your special self.

Big AOL wink-- ;)
it's set as my home page, but soon enough i'm relocating to i just figured, yanno, i should CREATE something to display there first (rather than just make an alter to myself!) Right now alls I have to show for myself is a doll made out of gym socks:

Well, having the doll is great and all because, you know, like, you can store your soul in her and stuff to prevent attacks by evil wizards. Or so I've heard.