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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.

Want to Learn Japanese History? Start with Sengoku

On The Best of Sett

Hi Sebastian

Happy new year!

I am hoping you would share your resources for your reading on Japanese history. Book titles and/or urls would be very helpful.

K

I got that a week ago, and I kind of sat there staring at the email. Japanese history is some of the most confusing to start to learn, because different elements of Japanese history and culture all play on and influence each other. I could run you through the military history of Japan from The Battle of Okehazama to Sekigahara to the Boshin War, from there into Dai Nippon Tekoku Era, from there into defeat and the Occupation under McArthur, and then we could do a little post-war history.

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