Tag Archives: samurai

Japan 2014 – 41 Yoshinaka Yakata Museum in Miyanokoshi (2014-10-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 DEC 2015

Stomachs full following our soba noodles at Zcobo, the next stop on our day out with Yuko and the Brown family was a leisurely (more or less, thanks to some wrong turns and narrow town streets) drive through to the town of Miyanokoshi, where Yuko was very keen for us to visit the Yoshinaka Yakata Museum – important because of her ancestral link to the Minamoto clan.

(Ryan and I were just excited that at last we were going to encounter some samurai exhibits!)

IMG_20141009_150054 tomoe gozen with minamoto no yoshinaka at the yoshinaka yakata museum in miyanokoshi

The first thing that greets you as you enter the grounds of the museum is a striking bronze statue of the great Kiso Yoshinaka with the legendary Tomoe Gozen standing guard next to him.

IMG_20141009_151747 view of the grounds of the yoshinaka yakata museum in miyanokoshi, japan

Popularised in the epic Tale of the Heike, Minamoto no Yoshinaka (better known as Kiso Yoshinaka) was a famous shogun and war hero that fought during the Genpei War (1180-1185) which was the culmination of the struggle between the Taira (aka Heike) and Minamoto (aka Genji) clans for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century.

His army defeated the Taira army on numerous occasions and eventually drove them out of Kyoto, only to finally perish at the hands of his own clan in battle, after his plotting to setup a separate government came to light.

IMG_20141009_150734 samurai armour and drum at the yoshinaka yakata museum in miyanokoshi, japan

(Tomoe Gozen also features heavily in the displays, she being Japan’s most famous female samurai, with many legends proclaiming her brilliance in battle.)

The small museum does a great job at telling Kiso Yoshinaka’s tale through murals, reliefs, costumes and dolls – though luckily for us we had Yuko on hand for translation because this certainly isn’t intended as a museum for tourists!

IMG_20141009_151113 kiso yoshinaka story murals at the yoshinaka yakata museum in miyanokoshi, japan

Very much an interesting look into the samurai history of the area, and if you have a Japanese-speaking guide, then worth a recommendation.

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Related Link: Minamoto no Yoshinaka | Tomoe Gozen

Review: Samurai Deeper Kyo (Volume 16) (2002) Manga | My Reviews 02 AUG 2012

Kyo and Hotaru begin a fight to the death at the first of the Five Shining Gates. The two collide in a sizzling-hot flame that burns up both their bodies – and makes the ground tremble! Then Kyo’s ultimate technique, Suzaku, rises up into the sky…

Written and illustrated by Akimine Kamijyo, Samurai Deeper Kyo is a manga series set during the Edo period of Japan’s history, following Demon Eyes Kyo, a feared samurai seeking to regain his body after his soul is sealed inside the body of his rival, Mibu Kyoshiro.

Volume 16 now has us well and truly deep into the story, with Yuya now only having a matter of hours left to live as one by one the star markings on her chest slowly fade away. That said, this particular issue is pretty much completely devoted to the epic and fierce fight between Kyo and Hotaru, as the latter’s hatred towards Kyo is seemingly enough to raise his abilities to an even higher level than what they already are! (Intermixed in the big fight are a lot of flashbacks as well, attempting to explain the relationship between Hotaru and Kyo, as well as the reasons behind why Hotaru acts the way that he does.)

If you are already engrossed by the Samurai Deeper Kyo world then you will undoubtedly enjoy the backstory provided, but as per usual, the fight itself is so overwrought and over the top that it is difficult for it to try and maintain your interest for as long as it does, meaning that you’re probably going to find getting through this volume a lot more tedious than what Akimine would have hoped for.

The drama is depressingly heavy and there aren’t many laughs to be had here, but at the same time the over the top nature of the battle and what is being said leads to a lot of it feeling quite silly at times.

The artwork is okay I guess, standard pretty boy manga fare, with plenty of lines, action and a decent amount of detail. It won’t necessarily blow you away, but it certainly isn’t bad at all.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy this one very much, on top of which I am now a little concerned as to what ludicrous depths Akimine will have to sink to with the next battle at the second gate in the next volume.

(Oh, never mind. He kind of gives us a good idea in the closing pages of this one: Panty-flashing, syringe throwing nurses. Right then…)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samurai_Deeper_Kyo

Review: Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl – The Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch (1999) Anime | My Reviews 21 JUL 2011

A comedic magical girl show that doesn’t quite follow the usual magical girl formula – this time around you get samurai for your money!

1999’s thirteen part Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl – The Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch is the brainchild of director Akitaro Daichi and studio Madhouse, who combined their powers to present us with this action comedy series that takes elements out of the classic magical girl genre and instead applies them to the realm of the samurai, resulting in a modern-day tale that transforms one rather unwilling teenage girl (Jiyu Nanohana) into the embodiment of master swordsman Yagyu Jubei and forces her to defend against a 300 year old feud between the Yagyu and Ryuoji schools of swordsmanship!

What follows is loads of slapstick comedy and wit, which is enough to pull a chuckle or two out of you as you watch some rather animated and quite lively characters have a go at it. But while most of the comedy is resigned to the day to day activities usually revolving around school, when the swords get drawn the anime takes on a far more serious and focused role, making for an entertaining result.

The animation is perfectly acceptable, nothing that stands out too much, but it does capture the silly slapstick nature of the comedy quite well, as well as being able to effortlessly change gear and present the more serious action sequences in a convincing manner.

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Covered: Judge Dredd Megazine 39 (Shimura) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 12 FEB 2011

Once a trusted and respected Hondo-City judge, Inspector Shimura finds himself a victim of devious machinations against him, resulting in him being cast out of the giant mega-city and forced into the life of a ronin warrior, battling to find out the truth and take revenge against those who moved against him.

Robbie Morrison was responsible for penning a truly strong entry in the Shimura ethos which would help firmly cement the Japanese judge as as fan favourite, and needless to say, artist Frank Quitely was hard-pressed to come up with an equally iconic cover to match!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_Shimura

5 RONIN Covers Revealed Comic Book Art | Comic Books 23 DEC 2010

A comic book cover can quite often make or break a sale, simply by controlling the eye of the potential buyer as he scans the shelf of more likely in this day and age, scans the web page shop category.

And thus there is no way I cannot share the recently released David Aja drawn covers for Marvel and Peter Milligan’s upcoming 5 RONIN limited series.


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