Musashi Mix Inq

The Gentle Way

Posted on October 20, 2011

When I'm not being an artist/graphic designer/archivist/social media curator, I am also a judo sensei. I began learning judo at age 6 from my great-uncle Henry "Hank" Okamura. He brought judo from California to Manzanar Internment Camp and then to Chicago. I was a good competitor and was National Champion a few times as a kid, but my favorite part of judo is teaching.

After my shoulder surgery at age 13, I was invited on the mat by my sensei to help instruct with my sling still on. That's when I realized that for me, judo was more than just an activity, it was a lifestyle.

The video below features the head of our club, Brett Wolf, and what we believe judo really is:


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Palliativity 134: Hard Luck

Posted on October 13, 2011

Social Media: the big picture

The only reason I continue to enjoy surfing the big web is that I know that just past the break-wall is something amazing, and I want to bring it back to shore and share it with the world. I want to be that positive ripple in the ocean of shared-consciousness and know that I am doing my part to make life a little better, one smile or big-think at a time.

My inspiration: Amelie and the Glass Man ↓

Won't you join me? Get up and dance.

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Filed under: 5:7:5, Belief, Blog, film, Pain, Pop No Comments

Generation-9.11

Posted on September 1, 2011

I've been trying to tackle this decade retrospective America is going thru for obvious reasons.

For me, 10 years encompasses all of my adult life.

Looking back, War has never been an abstract concept for generation 9.11…

I raise you 10 years and make it 20.

1991: As a kid in first grade, I remember waking up one Saturday morning to find that Ninja Turtles had been replaced by men and women in polyester suits talking to soldiers in dessert camo and black berets waiting for their satellite video-feeds to skip a beat. My toy tanks and planes rolled-out across an empty frame against an invisible enemy. The "bad guys" were long-dead by the time the steal-treads and boots and news-crews had arrived on the scene.

The interrupting kaleidoscope of war would jump out of the radio and television at all hours. Night-vision artillery fights in hues of green. The Six Flags thrill of riding the nose of a smart-bomb kamikaze-ing for freedom, liberty and oil. But just like revisiting a theme-park as an adult, the excitement of knowing that somewhere on earth an American war is being waged has lost its grandness. This is my "Great America".

We've inherited 100 years of a World at War.

Sometimes the Past must be put to rest.

The Future is worth fighting for, but not like this.

It's all been done before.

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Palliativity 133: Nostalgia and the Myth of Memory

Posted on August 11, 2011


Sometimes 4 repeating images can sum-up an entire generation.

The resurgence of the animated gif astounds me…

http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com/

In a world of HD, subtle can still be celebrated.

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Filed under: Blog, Fan Art, Pain, Pop, Tech No Comments

Palliativity 132: Breaking the Third Wall

Posted on July 26, 2011

The transition from digital to analogue is a process that we only appreciate when the fabrication is our responsibility.

Crafting the physical manifestation of an idea is a performance of shadow-tracing the hand that holds the brush; rotoscoping dreams born into reality on canvas.

Like a hallowed hunt, a picture must be captured.

My goal is to keep the image alive and feral.

Beauty is lost when tamed.

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p.s. See you Friday at the Shindig!

 

Filed under: Art, Blog, Event, Pain No Comments

Palliativity 131: Onnagata, the Woman’s Role

Posted on July 14, 2011

The nature of kabuki itself is generally misunderstood by foreign viewers. Kabuki is not "high art". These night-life, 3 hour extravaganzas had more in common with Power Rangers than the stoic Noh dramas of the ruling class. Special effects, audience call-backs, epic battles, raunchy humor and explicit sex-acts were the language of kabuki. Pass the popcorn and hang on to your seat.

Kabuki theaters emerged in the Tokugawa era when the Shogun instituted the law that all provincial lords must make routine trips back to Edo where their families were held captive. The hope was that lords would have less ability to revolt when their loved ones were ransomed and much of their time was lost commuting with their entourage. This nation-wide increased need for mobility built up the roads and many reputable businesses. Others flourished from the wealthy travelers' need to be entertained: gambling, drink, prostitution and theater.

Early kabuki shows had various types of casting: onna-kabuki (all female), wakashū-kabuki (adolescent males) and yarō-kabuki (all male). In 1629, all women were banned from acting because many onna-kabuki "theaters" had devolved to hosting live sex-shows for "directors" to advertise their "actresses" who were then used as prostitutes. That being said, wakashū adolescent boys were allowed to continue to act although the practice of forced prostitution continued as well.

The term oyama (女方) refers to male actors who play female characters. Although the practice of gender liquidity had been a kabuki trope adopted since it's inception, the significance changed when it became the only way to see female characters on the stage. In this way, not only the theater, but the nation experienced a massive cultural change in that women could no longer represent themselves on stage and therefore in the popular culture.

To a liberal Western audience, one might make claims that the Japanese have had a surprisingly progressive perception of gender for quite a while; any romance on a kabuki stage is between two men, separated by a thin layer of make-up and silk. To this, the average Japanese would probably blush and tell you that it's "just a play…"

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