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About Burainoan

  • Rank
  • Birthday 20/07/1969

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  • Location
    previously Chiba, Japan; now Southern California
  • Interests
    Sumo, reading, HamaSho, The Boom, Asian movies, social/environmental issues, pool (not terribly good, though), comics


  • Heya Affiliation
    Oitekaze, Sadogatake, Tamanoi
  • Favourite Rikishi
    Hayateumi, Shogiku, Kokkai, Takami, Kaio, Chiyo...

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  1. Burainoan

    Cartoons Roho Vs Hoko

    Bennyloh, I cannot tell you how strongly i disagree with your "only cartoonists can criticize cartoonists" viewpoint. as Kaikitsune Makoto noted, that line of logic means that only directors can be movie critics, only authors can be book critics, and only politicians can criticize governments, just to give a few quick examples of this preposterous logic. and it is primarily harmful to yourself. for by depriving yourself of a valuable source of criticism - your *audience*, the people you are ostensibly trying to communicate with through your art - you are inhibiting your own ability to improve. do you not listen to your editors either, on the grounds that they themselves are not artists? a true artist aspiring to improve listens to any and all criticism, weighs it on its own merits - *not* on the status of the person who says it - and applies what is useful to his/her own work. as for your "extenuating circumstances" comment - off days, and so forth - it may be valid if you are a professional with a daily deadline, but that is not the case here. if you feel it's not that good, then don't post it. of course on the other hand, if you're, say, working on a caricature of Asashoryu but don't feel you have it right yet, feel free to post it and ask for feedback. maybe one of us will see something in it that you don't and give you the key to getting it right. just for example....
  2. In the Kokugikan, yes. it goes down under the floor. the ones for the other three basho are not, though. they're just built and then removed after the basho is over.
  3. Burainoan

    Cartoons Roho Vs Hoko

    My gut instinct says i should probably stay out of this, but... Bennyloh, I have to say that your work has improved from when i first started seeing them after joining the forum. not all of them "work" for me, but more do now than before, and i make a point of checking your cartoons when i see the new threads. i do agree that some of the problem in the humor may be in the language problem; verbal humor is very difficult, even for native speakers. as for the art, i think you have a pretty good style down, but i do think you need to work a little harder to develop unique caricatures (face and body type) for the particular rikishi you use. a really good caricature can make a slightly funny cartoon into a very funny cartoon. please don't take people's comments too seriously; most of us on here are not malicious. sometimes we don't get the jokes, but i think we're pretty much all glad you're here and want you to keep getting better. ganbare!
  4. not quite true - the top 'layer' is removed and the dohyo is rebuilt. The soil is provided by a company contracted to do the job - in an area just north of Tokyo and is now Arakawa River soil although this is becoming harder to secure. The religious aspect is the reason you see the ISF world (adult) ama games held outside Tokyo - or at least outside the Kokugikan while the kids version is male only and was held this year in the building. As a minor addendum, it's my understanding that the one in Kokugikan is completely rebuilt from the bottom up once a year, before the Hatsu Basho. the others are all rebuilt annually, as the ones in Nagoya and Fukuoka are torn up pretty good by the fans on Senshuraku, though the one in Osaka is generally left alone.
  5. Burainoan

    Mainoumi in Film

    And a local review.... Welcome to Kyoto, California By KAORI SHOJI Memoirs of a Geisha Rating: * * (out of 5) Japanese title: Sayuri Director: Rob Marshall Running time: 145 minutes Language: English Currently showing It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it. It all strikes me as a bit perverse, though, having me -- a Japanese woman who spent part of her childhood in a hanamachi (geisha district) -- write a review of "Memoirs of a Geisha" (released in Japan as "Sayuri"). There are just so many things wrong with the whole package, which is plastered with kitschy oriental cliches. We're talking about a Chinese actress speaking in that stilted Hollywood Asian-English (immortalized by Mr. Yuniyoshi in "Breakfast at Tiffany's") in the role of a Japanese geisha during the Sino-Japanese conflict of the 1930s. It's hard to know how to handle this: go ballistic, start apologizing, giggle nervously or what? Late into the movie, when American G.I.'s are in control of Kyoto, seasoned geisha Mameha (Michelle Yeoh) wonders out loud to her protege Sayuri (Zhang Ziyi): "What do we know about entertaining Americans?" This pretty much sums it all up. From start to finish, "Memoirs" is hot in pursuit of entertaining a U.S. audience, certain in the conviction that if it can wow the folks in America, it can wow the world. And who better to helm such a project than Oscar-winning director Rob Marshall ("Chicago")? Marshall can slap show-biz extravaganza onto the screen like no other; he probably shouts "Give 'em the old razzle dazzle!" in his sleep. And to that end, most of what made Arthur Golden's original novel compelling has been trashed -- stuff like subtlety, historical context and detail. But most jarring of all is the plain-as-day, glaring disrespect for a foreign (as in non-U.S., and as such, incomprehensible) culture. Really, is super-entertainment so important as to justify the trampling of what made the story so fascinating in the first place? Well, according to "Memoirs" that's a resounding "Yeah!" Marshall and his crew (and let's not forget that Steven Spielberg is the executive producer) never pause for breath as they bombard us with pathos, intrigue, fury, sex and passion. The capper is a geisha dance scene that's straight out of Broadway. Never mind that no young geisha in the prewar period would wear glitter eye-shadow and dance solo, on a stage with artsy blue lighting, her hair flowing hip and loose and her limbs contorting to snazzy, modern ballet movements. In the same way, Marshall turns a renowned Kyoto hanamachi of the 1930s into a cacophonous, chaotic confusion that's more Chinatown, L.A. (or the Hollywood rendition thereof). According to the production notes, Marshall felt that the present-day Kyoto was too "modern," and so he created an impressively colossal geisha-district set in Southern California, complete with tile-roofed houses, wooden bridges and cobblestone streets. Unfortunately, the whole thing reeks of a souvenir shop extravaganza, like they upended the shelves of Oriental Bazaar right onto the streets. There's just no regard here for hanamachi aesthetics that disdained all that was obvious, conspicuous or abundant; the atmosphere depended on how much was hidden and how much was subtly suggested. But apparently, that's no way to razzle-dazzle 'em. All is not lost, though, for some of Asia's best actresses pull off top-notch performances. Zhang Ziyi is superb as the passive/aggressive Sayuri who was sold by her impoverished parents into an okiya (geisha house) at the age of 9 and, against all odds, flowered into the most celebrated geisha in Kyoto. Zhang adds a cold steeliness to her fragile, demure demeanor, which, of course, is the prerequisite trait of a true geisha. The way she can go from casting down her eyes, saying, "Do I please you?" to a wealthy client, to exchanging sarcasm gunfire with older rival Hatsumomo (Gong Li) is excellent. But it's Gong who steals every scene she's in, decked out in punkish hairdos and fantastic avant-garde kimono garb that have no connection to historical reality, but look sizzling and, with Marshall-san at the helm, that's all that matters. Sayuri is likened to water ("You have eyes like the rain"), but Hatsumomo is all burning flames. She unleashes her fury against anyone who dares to cross her and is fearless about the consequences. Michelle Yeoh is also wonderful as ex-geisha queen Mameha, who takes Sayuri under her wing and coaches her on all aspects of the geisha aesthetics ("For us, pain and beauty always come side by side"). Mameha is, perhaps, the most thankless and difficult character to play, for she must mute her beauty and femininity in order to enhance Sayuri's. Yeoh is brave enough to go for camp. The night Mameha auctions off Sayuri's virginity to the highest bidder (a sleazy old doctor), she tells her despairing young disciple in a deeply profound tone, "Celebrate this moment, Sayuri. Tonight, all the lights of the hanamachi burn for you." On occasion, "Memoirs" dips into the spirit of the original novel, which stressed, above all, that geisha were not prostitutes but "moving works of art in the floating world." In an age when very few women could find employment, becoming a geisha was practically the only "profession" available, and the okiya the only place where women could live and exist, independent of their families. An okiya functioned like any company, and a good geisha was the one who knew how to promote herself, worked hard at pleasing her clients and brought back the earnings (and connections) that would keep her colleagues and the mother-boss, "Okaasan" (played by a stunning Kaori Momoi), fed and clothed. Being a geisha was a business, and a ruthless one at that. There was simply no room for concepts like equality, rights and ethics -- either a geisha was good at what she did, in which case she brought success and prosperity to the okiya, or she didn't, and ran the risk of starving. Momoi's Okaasan portrays this excellently -- forever balancing the books and worrying about funds, she makes it extremely clear that nothing with her is ever personal, but strictly business. Still, "Memoirs" has too much that's hard on the eye (and mind), not least of all the love scenes between Sayuri and her protector, who goes by the name of Chairman (played by Ken Watanabe at his most insipid). It's one thing to see the city of Kyoto misrepresented, but when we're asked to believe that a much older Japanese businessman and a young geisha during the 1940s would engage in physical contact in broad daylight, standing under a willow tree in a Japanese garden . . . surely that was when the theater should have released some emergency oxygen masks from the ceiling to save us all from hyperventilating. I looked around to see if everyone else felt the same, but no. This being Japan, the audience was restrained, respectful, polite. If only the movie had some of the same qualities. The Japan Times: Dec. 15, 2005 © All rights reserved
  6. Burainoan

    Kotooshu Resumes Training

    This is just slightly (Whistling...) , but i was wondering if anyone's spoken to any of the other ozeki to get comments, congratulatory messages, etc....
  7. Burainoan

    Mainoumi in Film

    Actually, Li Gong was the (now very ex-)girlfriend in question; so far as i know Zhang Ziyi has never been connected romantically with Zhang Yimou. would be interested to hear if you have evidence to support that. though i will agree that i have not been especially impressed with her acting chops; Li is (or at least was) better. from what i heard, Chow's and Yeoh's less-than-stellar Mandarin were a big part of CTHD's decidedly lukewarm reception in Asia, and i'm not gonna argue with a native speaker's judgement on that point anyway. (Blushing...) will debate on the GF point; Hollywood doesn't give a crap about any foreign movie producers unless they're looking to buy a movie or remake rights. i think it has more to do with the fact that she is one of about three marketable (in the U.S. and Europe) Asian actresses. guess who the other two are? i've seen Nakatani in "Chaos [Kaosu]" and "Mibugishiden," and while i don't remember her *that* well, i think she did a pretty good job in what was otherwise a pretty crappy movie ("Chaos"), so i'll second that. actually, i think much of the female cast beyond the main three is (thankfully) Japanese, so it's possible she is, though IMDB doesn't list her.
  8. Burainoan

    What's up with Tottori?

    (Blushing...) :-O crap.
  9. Burainoan

    Mainoumi in Film

    Well, that list was off the top of my head, so i guess i missed a few. i wouldn't include Fujiwara though, because whatever her English level, she is a lousy actress from what i've seen (including CSF). Suzuki Kyoka especially i should've remembered; she likely could've been very good in the Li Gong role. Matsuyuki Yasuko i'm not so familiar with, at least by name, so i really can't say for sure. Fukurou, did you also happen to read Iwasaki Mineko's book? she was very upset with Golden for revealing her identity - confidentiality was a condition of her agreeing to be interviewed for it, and she was planning to sue him at one point (not sure if she did) - and by his inaccuracies and supposedly playing up and exaggerating (and in some cases, creating) salacious details, so she wrote her own as a kind of rebuttal.
  10. Burainoan

    Mainoumi in Film

    nobody who could speak half decent english or act is what i heard Actually, all three of the lead female roles are Chinese - Zhang Ziyi, Li Gong and Michelle Yeoh. as for Japanese possibilities, let's see...there's Koyuki ("Last Samurai"), Amami Yuki (ex-Takarazuka, so definitely can dance, sing, etc.), Nakama Yukie, Terajima Shinobu, Muroi Shigeru, Kiki Kirin...just to name a few. and while none are anywhere near Yeoh's level of English - native, if i'm not mistaken - all could have been trained to at least the level that Zhang, Li, and oh, say, the Japanese actors speak. they didn't find because they didn't look. the simple fact is that while, say, Amami could almost certainly have played Sayuri at least as well as Zhang, neither she nor anyone else on that list (except maybe Koyuki) has any sort of significant name recognition with U.S. and European audiences, while the Chinese actresses are all major international stars. it was an economic decision, pure and simple. funny thing is, i like Zhang, Li, Yeoh, Yakusho Koji, 29th Kimura Shonosuke and Mainoumi, but i'm not seeing this movie. though i have to admit i wouldn't mind seeing a clip of the sumo segment someday....
  11. Burainoan

    Sumo fan appreciation day

    ;-) (Blushing...)
  12. Burainoan

    What's up with Tottori?

    Yeah, yeah...you got me. did catch the "karada," shoulda caught the "chibi" but didn't. well-written and, unfortunately with that whole Chisso/Minamata business, all too plausable. many thanks also to Jonosuke and Asashosakari for the info. interesting how maegashira pretty much stopped cold once the 20th century began. could somebody with Rikishi Meikan dating back before H12 (2000) see when the last rikishi trickle stopped? this is really an odd thing to me. hopefully Tottori Johoku can get a few native-born types into sumo. ;-) anybody they can get in, i'll support just for the novelty. ganbare Tottori! (Blushing...)
  13. Burainoan

    Shikonas and Rikishi

    I'd have to dig up some old sumo magazines to find the others, but just off the top, Tochiazuma is "Daisuke," Asa is "Dorj" (maybe also "Shoryu"), and i *think* Chiyotaikai is just "Taikai" if i'm not mistaken. EDIT: should probably add that it depends very much on how familiar/friendly the rikishi in question are; some may simply call Asa "Yokozuna"
  14. Burainoan

    Article about Baruto

    (In a state of confusion...) Very interesting; thanks for this. little skeptical about the passport business, though.... looking forward to seeing that kesho-mawashi.
  15. Burainoan

    What's up with Tottori?

    (In a state of confusion...) I guess that pretty well shows that except for the biggest areas, population doesn't necessarily connect to rikishi numbers. tradition in an area/prefecture could play a role, as in tiny powerhouse Aomori. was there ever a period with a lot of Tottori rikishi? it seems strange that other prefectures in the same general area, with similar geographical - and presumably, demographic - features would have some, but Tottori does not.