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31 October 2014

Film "Grace of Monaco" Monaco is like the imperial palace in Tokyo

A biographic story of Grace Kelly who left Hollywood when she was a top star and got married to the Monaco Prince.

I remember TV documentary on her life a long time ago. It was her family's philosophy that leaving the business when he or she is on the top ranking. Not letting anyone see you downgrading.

Indeed, she did.

The film was criticized for historical inaccuracies, so it was noted as fiction based on facts.

But I enjoyed the film because Nicole Kidman who played Grace Kelly was really beautiful.

I first learnt that Monaco's official language was French. The kingdom always had struggles with its fearful neighbor, France.

Maybe getting Grace Kelly married to the royal family was one of biggest strategy to secure their kingdom's soverignty.

Monaco never had military but such a big weapon, the world's most famous celebrity so that no one wanted to destroy the kingdom including her.

A country image is a big thing. Japan has monarchy, emperor Akihito and his family.

history

history

Their residence is size of Monaco. One family occupied huge area in the capital but they contribute a lot to the nation. Former emperor, late Hirohito was about to be accused of war criminal but the U.S. force did not indite him because of fear of rebellion from his people that might make occupation difficult.   

The film made me think about Monaco whenever I go to the imperial palace in my city. Actually I am a guide who escorts foreign travelors to the imperial palace. If you want to know more about the tour, please visit this site.

history

31 August 2014

Disney's film "Frozen" American culture is replicas of European ones.

The film was released last February. Recently DVD was released so I rented and watched that.

Animated film of famous Andersen story "The Snow Queen." The queen who had magical power which can freeze anything around her and cover her country with snow and then escaped to the top of a mountain. Her sister tried to save her.   

It was as good as expected. Great thing is music because it is a musical film. "Let it go" was really great and aspiring.

 

However, I personally do not like such film. It is just an ordinary story of fairly tale except the prince being evil. I do not like computer graphic animation. It is OK to watch it on TV screen but not in theatre.

Computer graphic animation is very shallow image. Not very substantial.

Furthermore, this film just made me sure that American culture is after all, plastic replicas of European ones.

When we image American scenes of towns, people. Typical ones are very replicas of European ones. Not exactly Europeans but looks newer, modern and cleaner. But replicas are replicas.

Just plastic things with no souls.

When I visited European countries such as England, France, Switzerland and Germany from the U.S. during my college study years in US, 1990's. I felt that very strongly by comparing the two.

Maybe that is good things about America. Not being bound by tradition, and easy to join.

I really like such things in my younger days but not any more, I am over 40.

I want more substantial and traditional things in life.   

In fact, America seems not giving good influence on our country like US military bases and global free market economy policies. We should make a distance from the U.S. Not too much being brainwashed by American things.

I do not enjoy replicas any longer but more substantial, real things.

Not easy to find that but I will find ones in order to make my life better.

12:20 Posted in Film, Society, USA issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: movies, music

29 June 2014

Great words from a Canadian principal

I have recently become a big fan of TV drama "Hanako and Anne" aired daily on NHK, Japan's public broadcasting station.

It is a story on a real woman who lived between end of 19th century and 1960's. The woman's name was MURAOKA Hanako. She was a translator who translated famous English books including "Anne of Green Gables" and "The Prince and the pauper."

She was born in a poor family but she could attend most prestigious girls' school established by a Canadian Christian missionaries in Tokyo because of charity. She learned hi-society manner and English there.

After she graduated from the school, she became a teacher, publisher, translator and radio announcer. She was also a sufferagist.

Surprised to know there was a life like hers. She met great people in life. Her life was far from average women at that period.

She lived through the second world war. During the air raid on her town she translated Canada's famous children's book "Anne of Green Gables", which she was given from her Canadian friend who left Japan because hostility erupted. In the war time, she could never expose herself to be English speaker in public. English was treated as the enemy's language. But she kept on translating the book although she never knew who would publish it.  

Why could she hold on hopes in such severe time?

Maybe because she remembered words from her school's principal, Ms. Blackmore.

"If some decades later, when you look back on your time with us, you feel these were the happiest days in your life. Then I must say your education will have been a failure.

Life must improve as it takes its course. Your youth, you spend in preparation because the best things are never in the past but in the future. "

That was very impressive words.

In fact, her translation of the book was published 7 years after the war ended and became a best-selling novel, giving hopes to Japanese in the post-war era.

Yes, we should not give up hopes and look to the future, never look back the past.

Then we will make things better than the present.

 

04 May 2014

Film: "The Railway Man" We are all humans

The story based on autobiography of former British military personnel in charge of radio communication, Eric Lomax, who became POW of Imperial Japanese Army in occupied Singapore during the second world war.

Even after the war he suffered from trauma caused by his experience as POW in Thailand where he and his comrades were transported to. Later he found that the interpreter, Nagase in the Japanese army, whom he met at that period was still alive in Thailand and decided to return there.

It was really shocking to see the film and know the facts. British soldiers were used as labour for construction of the railway and tortured by the Japanese army.

The film, itself was well-done however, reaction from Japanese audience seemed not so positive maybe because of portrayal of Japanese army in the film. It was indeed British perspective.

I was impressed by some words in the film.

"Japanese soldiers choose to die rather than being humiliated alive but Britons live to fight. "

"I have lived for this day. If the war did not end, end this (with your sword)."

Those were paraphrasing of what Nagase said when he re-encounter with Lomax and told him how guilty he had felt for what he did.

In the end, both men reconciled and kept good friendship until they both died recently.

We are all humans. We make mistakes. We hate each other but can understand each other. We hurt each other but can help each other.

We can learn from past mistakes and improve ourselves for better future and our decendants.

I think, that's the message from the two men.  

22:28 Posted in Britain, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: war, history, military