Tag Archives: Japanese movie

Japanese Unforgiven

22 Aug

Do you know the 1992 movie “The Unforgiven ” with Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freedman and Gene Hackman?


It’s about a man who was a ruthless killer in the American “old west” (played by Clint Eastwood) who, after having a wife and kids, changes his ways and becomes a farmer.

But his wife dies of smallpox and he finds himself financially struggling to provide for his children..so he takes “one last job” as a hired killer / bounty hunter.

One of my favorite scenes from the movie is when Clint’s character sees his friend’s murdered body displayed in front of a bar as a “message” to all potential bounty hunters…he walks into the bar and shoots the bar’s owner.
At which, the sheriff says “Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a b***h! You just shot an unarmed man!
And Clint’s character replies “He should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate his saloon with my friend.

Well, I just learned that a Japanese remake of “The Unforgiven ” is being filmed.

It is due to hit theaters in Japan in the autumn of next year (2013) and will be titled 「許されざる者」 which means “The Unforgiven” in Japanese.

It will star the internationally famous Japanese actor 渡辺謙 (Ken Watanabe) who worked with Clint Eastwood when he starred in the movie “Letters From Iwo-jima “.

Dragonball coffee

25 Jul

Do you like the Japanese anime titled 「ドラゴンボール」 (“Dragonball“)?

(I wrote a post in late 2008 about some Hollywood remakes of Japanese movies…including a remake of “Dragonball” (which I haven’t seen but it doesn’t look good)).

Well, if you’re a Dragonball fan, you may be interested to know that the Japanese canned coffee / soft drink company “Pokka” is currently selling their “Power Squash” soft drink in twelve different designed cans with various Dragonball characters on them.

From the Pokka company website, here are the twelve different cans…each with a different Dragonball character:

Available until 2011 September 30

And they’re also offering three types of canned coffee, each available designed with ten different Dragonball characters. So, if you really want to, between the “Squash” soft drink and the three different coffee blends, you can collect a total of 42 different Dragonball drink cans!

Three of the "Pokka" / "Dragonball" coffee cans

I like coffee and I buy canned coffee sometimes…so if I got one of these “Dragonball” cans, it would one of the coffees.

Yamato and Gundam

3 Dec

A live-action movie version of the Japanese anime 「宇宙戦艦ヤマト」 (“Space Battleship Yamato“) has recently hit the movie theaters in Japan.

It stars Japanese sex-symbols Takuya Kimura and Meisa Kuroki (whom I wrote about in this post).

Japanese movies usually have theme songs by Japanese artists but this movie’s theme song is titled “Love Lives” and is performed by Steven Tyler (lead vocalist of the American rock band “Aerosmith“).

Here’s the official trailer which features a bit of the song:

And here’s the entire song:


Last year I wrote a post about “Cup Noodle” in Japan giving away miniature Gundam figures with purchase of their instant ramen.

Well, Nissin Cup Noodle has teamed up with Gundam again.
In Japan you can buy a special, limited-time-only Cup Noodle that comes with a plastic reusable “Gundam” ramen cup.

The package of the Cup Noodle with the Gundam cup

The Gundam cup and the package of ramen noodles

New Ghibli movie

18 Aug

Do you know the Japanese animation studio 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios)?

It is the movie studio of master animator 宮崎駿 (Hayao Miyazaki).

This is the studio that released classic Japanese cartoon movies such as 「崖の上のポニョ」 (Ponyo On The Cliff), 「となりのトトロ」 (My Neighbor Totoro), 「もののけ姫」 (Princess Mononoke), 「千と千尋の神隠し」 (Spirited Away), and 「ハウルの動く城」 (Howl’s Moving Castle).

「千と千尋の神隠し」 ("Spirited Away")

Well, 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) has released a new movie in Japan last month.
It’s called 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“).

「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 ("Arietti The Borrower")

The movie is based on the children’s story “The Borrowers” about a family of tiny people that live in a house of a “normal sized” family…and they “borrow” small things from the house, such as a wrist watch to use as a clock. And they’re discovered by the boy that lives in the house.

The original story took place in England, I believe. But the Ghibli movie version takes place in Tokyo.

Here’s a trailer for 「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」 (“Arietti The Borrower“):

Have you ever watched a 「スタジオジブリ」 (Ghibli Studios) movie?
Which one is your favorite?

Godzilla in Tokyo and Godzilla in Hollywood

2 Apr

The Japanese baseball player Hideki Matsui used to play for the New York Yankees major league team until he began playing for the Los Angeles Angels last December.

(Click here to read the post I wrote last December about him moving from the Yankees to the Angels.)

His nickname is “Godzilla“.

He is currently the spokesman in Japan for the Kirin “Fire” canned coffee and in 新宿 (Shinjuku, Tokyo) there is a huge balloon in his likeness wearing a baseball uniform similar to his L.A. Angels uniform that has “Fire” emblazoned on the front.
The balloon statue is leaning on a giant can of “Fire” coffee.

The campaign is called 「ビッグマツイ」 (“Big Matsui“).

My daughter had to go to Shinjuku today, so she took a couple photos of this giant display with her cell-phone camera when she passed by it.

Here are her photos of the giant Hideki Matsui balloon in Shinjuku (you can see how big it is in proportion to the people standing near it):

"Godzilla" has hit Tokyo again!

Speaking of Godzilla…this time the iconic Japanese monster called 「ゴジラ」 (“Gojira“) in Japan and “Godzilla” in other countries that continually destroys Tokyo in his countless movies from Japan’s Toho Studios.

I wrote a post last summer (click here to read it) about the numerous Hollywood remakes of Japanese movies…including a 1998 remake of Godzilla that was poorly received by both critics and fans.

Hollywood's "Godzilla", circa 1998

I also wrote a post last April (click here to read this one) about both America’s “King Kong” and Japan’s “Godzilla“…and the classic film in which they battled each other.

Well, America’s “Legendary Pictures” has just announced their intention to film another “Godzilla” movie.

The movie is scheduled to be released sometime in 2012.

A major complaint that many people had about the 1998 American remake of “Godzilla” was that both the storyline as well as the appearance of the monster were too different from the Japanese movies.

Legendary Studios has implied that their version of Godzilla will stay true to the Japanese original.

According to their press release:

“…Legendary intends to approach the (Godzilla) film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible….”

That would probably be a good strategy if they want their movie to be successful…especially here in Japan.
Because in Japan many of the characters from Japanese classic movies, such as Ultraman and Godzilla, are still very popular.
Their movies are still made nowadays.

2009 Dec "Ultraman" movie poster

"Godzilla: Final Wars" movie poster; circa 2004

March 23 and 31

24 Mar

If the world famous Japanese movie director Akira Kurosawa were still alive, yesterday would’ve been his 100th birthday.

Akira Kurosawa (1910 March 23 - 1998 Sept 6), R.I.P.

I wrote a post last summer about Hollywood remakes of Japanese movies…and of course it includes some of Kurosawa’s classics (such as “Yojinbou” and “The Seven Samurai“).
(Click here to read that post.)


It has been announced that all homes in Japan must have a 煙感知器 (smoke detector) in every room by 2010 March 31.

A smoke alarm needs to be in every room.

If you live in Japan, and your house doesn’t have smoke alarms, you can buy them at department stores or electronics stores for about ¥2,500 – ¥3,000 each.
(Even if you don’t live in Japan you should have smoke detectors and a 消火器 (fire extinguisher) in your house.)


What size beer cans are commonly sold in stores in your country?
What types of places sell beer where you live?
In Japan, beer can be purchased 24 hours a day from convenience stores. It’s also sold in most restaurants (including some fast-food places), supermarkets, etc.

There are even beer vending machines in Japan.

Restaurants usually sell beer in mugs or glasses. Or else they’ll give a 瓶ビール (bottled beer), which is usually 633ml.

Canned beer is usually sold in 350ml or 500ml cans. But other sizes are available too.
Japan has very small 135 ml and 250ml cans, the “regular” 350ml can, the “tall boy” 500ml, and a very big 1,000ml can.

135ml, 250ml, 350ml and 500ml cans of Kirin Beer.


12 Feb

Yesterday was a holiday here in Japan. Called 「建国記念日」 (“National Foundation Day“).
(Click here to see my short FAQ about it.)

My wife, kids and I went to a カラオケボックス (Karaoke Box) and had lunch there.
After that we stopped by the DVD rental shop and picked up a couple more episodes of the American TV series “Prison Break“.
We’ve been watching a few episodes every month since last November.
We’re enjoying it.
We’re up to episode eight of season two….don’t tell me how it ends. ;)

We also rented a DVD that I wanted to watch…「毎日どっきりvs出川」.
It a show in which a celebrity here in Japan is chosen and the cast of the show play elaborate practical jokes on that celebrity every day for a month.
It was a funny DVD…but not as good as I expected.

Also, this post is titled 「アキラ」 (“Akira“) because I heard that America plans to make a live action movie remake of the Japanese anime titled 「アキラ」 (“Akira“).

The anime is about a motorcycle gang in Tokyo in the future.

Hollywood doesn’t really have a good track record of remaking Japanese anime into movies.
So, I wonder how this one will turn out.
(Click here to see the post about Japanese movies remade by Hollywood…some done well and others not.)

By the way, if you’re in Tokyo now, it’s forecast to snow tonight and tomorrow. So be careful if you go out tomorrow. (If it snows, it’ll probably only be a little bit though).


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