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A Realization About Japanese and American Superheroes

I finished Robert Ringer's "Winning Through Intimidation" and started reading Yukio Mishima's "The Samurai Ethic of Modern Japan." It's an introduction to and analysis of Hagakure. Hagakure's a 17th Century work on bushido and Japanese samurai ethics and living - I've got some excerpts of it here - "Excerpts from Hagakure, Chapter 1."

Reading Mishima, I realize something about the difference between Japanese and American superheroes and fictional characters.

At the most desperate moments, American fictional heroes tend to win by discarding their training and going with instinct and feelings. You see the hero who was beaten down and whose plans failed, who now "lets go" and thus wins.

At the most desperate moments, Japanese fictional characters win by unleashing and realizing the effects of their training.

A hallmark of Japanese fiction is the hero going through a long training period, but then not quite mastering his skill. Then, at his most desperate moment, the training kicks in to the full extent, and he wins.

Three Strategies For More Writing In Less Minutes

Three Strategies For More Writing In Less Minutes

We had some wonderful sweeping discussions after the GiveGetWin Tour event in New York. Stepping out of the secluded wine bar we held the after-event in (and thus narrowly avoiding St. Patrick’s revelry), Zach Obront, Janet Lai Chang, Jason Shen, and I got some chicken.

The topic turned to writing. Everyone at the table writes more or less, and it’s at least a somewhat important part of all of our lives. All of my compatriots-in-chicken at the table are good writers and disseminate important thought and pull the world ahead with their pen or keyboard.

The topic turned to my recent wager, where I’m now firmly committed to writing daily for the next two years. I offered around to see if anyone else was interested in getting in on the bet — no? — but then, broadly, how much time does it take everyone to write?

And it comes that everyone at the table takes considerably longer than me to write.

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