Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 41552
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2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2006/1/26-29 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan] UID:41552 Activity:moderate
1/26    Why the heck is a Japanese Geisha played by Chinese women?
        It's obvious she doesn't look Japanese. What are the whities
        insinuating, that all Asians look alike? Fucking racist whities.
                                        -pissed off Asian Man
        \_ http://www.alllooksame.com
        \_ todd solondz recently had a movie with a white girl played
           by a black girl. its called drama. you find an actor to play
           the part.
        \_ Yeah.  All asian characters should be played by Puerto Ricans
           and Russians, like in the King and I.
        \_ Ob. Jonathan Pryce and Miss Saigon.
        \_ Assuming you are not a troll, this is more about business
           than race. There simply are no big name stars from Japan
           who could have carried such a major movie. BTW, where is
           it written that a chinese person can't play a japanese
           role and visa versa?  This is not quite the same stretch
           as, say picking Brad Pit over Denzel Washington for the
           part of Thurgood Marshall.
        \_ What annoyed me more were the liberties taken with the depiction
           of geisha, liberties that are inexcuseable for a movie that
           is supposed to be founded in some approximation of historical
           accuracy.  For as much as they spent on the movie, you'd think
           they could get the geisha part right, since it is a movie about
           a geisha's life.  I could have dealt with the horrible accents,
           the "doesn't look like a typical Japanese woman", and the bits
<<<<<<< Other Changes Below
           related to using non-Japanese actors to portray Japanese.  After
           all, who here can tell the difference between Cockney, London,
           and Received British accents and if they're done right by
           non-British actors?  There is no intrinsic reason why the Chinese
           \_ <raising my hand sheepishly> --scotsman
              \_ Well, you're special.  I bet most don't even know that there
                 is a difference.  --Jon
           actors in the film (or actresses if you prefer) could not have
           filled the roles, but again, for a budget of 85 million, you'd
           think they could have gotten the accents right.
           think they could have gotten the accents right.  --Jon
           \_ Well, how about a Chinese Macbeth?  And if that's ok, how
              about a white one?
              \_ I don't see anything wrong w/ a Chinese MacBeth or
                 Hamlet. Certainly some of the realism is lost w/
                 a non-Scottish or Danish star, but the whole point
                 of theater is wilful suspension of disbelief.
                 \_ How about a white Macbeth then?
                    \_ MacBeth was white (Scottish) correct? That is
                       perfectly acceptable as well.
                       \_ How about a white Othello?
                              \- you know OLIVER was the STANDARD OTHELLO.
                                 DWASHINGTON has been in lots of Shakespeare.
                                 \_ Olivier was--what--40 years ago.  I know
                                    DWashington can be a hmmm Don Pedro.
                                    Can CYFat be hired to play an Othello
                                    today (not some Asian adaptation, but the
                                    Moor himself)?  Can MGibson?   I wonder
                                    if Sir Lawrence would have been allowed to
                                    play Othello today.
                                         \- DWASHINGTON has been in more
                                            Shakespeare than ADONOTHING.
                                    \_ I think that CYFAT could play Othello,
                                       but I doubt that MGIBSON could. It is
                                       one of those roles that, in modern
                                       times, as become associated w/ a non-
                                       white actor even though when it was
                                       original performed a white actor would
                                       have played Othello. We also forget
                                       that original Desdemona would have
                                       been played by a young boy, which is
                                       unimaginable today, except perhaps in
                                       very limited local circumstances.
                          \_ I had a friend who was white who used to use
                             one of Othello's speeches for auditions.  He
                             would never be cast in the role, but he could
                             play the shit out of the soliloquies. --scotsman
                          \_ This is akin to the example re Justice Marshall
                             that I gave above. Some roles are so linked to
                             a particular "race" that it is difficult for
                             others to play that part. Re Othello, iirc
                             he was a "moor" not "black", therefore it is
                             conceivable that someone like BKINGLSEY could
                             play him.
                             \_ Othello was indeed Moorish, and not all Moors
                                have dark skin.  However, Iago refers to him
                                as "black Othello" (II.iii); and Othello says
                                himself, "Haply, for I am black" (III.iii).
                                There is quite some debate over what this
                                means, along with the many other "black"
                                references throughout the play.  During the
                                Renaissance, unlike now, being "black" meant
                                that any of your features (such as hair or
                                eyes) were dark, not just skin.
                                -- dlong (!= pp)
                             \_ Do you think there are black Hamlets?  Do
                                you think there are white Othellos?  Today?
                                \_ Do you think there aren't?
                                \_ I have not recently seen a black Hamlet,
                                   but I don't really have a problem w/ a
                                   Black or Asian Hamlet as long as the
                                   character is well played. I think that
                                   the "race" of the actor has to match
                                   the "race" of the character in very few
                                   cases (ex. a white guy could never
                                   portray Ben Sisko, just like a black
                                   guy couldn't portray Robert E. Lee)
                                   \_ Well, how about the white Othello?  Do
                                      you think one could be casted today?
                                      \_ In a major motion picture, a white
                                         Othello probably would not work,
                                         unless they made Desedmona and Iago
                                         black or asian or something, in
                                         order to keep the tension up.
                                         I think that in a theater produc-
                                         tion a white Othello could work.
                                         \_ Patrick Stewart played Othello
                                            a few years back in a mostly Af-Am
                                            cast.
                                            \_ Really? Must have missed it.
                                               Is it any good (ie worth
                                               Netflixing?)
                                               \_ It was a stage production.
                                                  Don't know if there's a film
                                                  release.
              \_ Michael Clarke Duncan played the Kingpin in Daredevil.  Sure
                 he's a big black man instead of a big white guy, but he did
                 fill the role and kept true to the comic book character.  If
                 you can fill the role, great.  If not, you (or your director
                 or producer/etc) are not doing a good job.  It says something
                 when I feel Tom Cruise's Meiji era movie did a better job
                 depicting Japanese life than this one.  --Jon
           \_ Japanese TV and movie used to dominate East Asia with big stars
              like Yamaguchi Momoe and Tanaka Yuuko.  Don't know what caused
              the decline.
=======
           related to using non-Japanese actors to portray Japanese if they
           had only gotten done an otherwise accurate depiction of a geisha's
           life.  After all, who here can tell the difference between
           Cockney, London, and Received British accents and if they're
           done right by non-British actors?  There is no intrinsic reason
           why the Chinese actors in the film (or actresses if you prefer)
           could not have filled the roles, but again, for a budget of 85
           million, you'd think they could have gotten the accents right.
           \_ Well, how about a Chinese Macbeth?  And if that's ok, how
              about a white one?  \_ I don't see anything wrong w/ a Chinese
              MacBeth or
                 Hamlet. Certainly some of the realism is lost w/ a
                 non-Scottish or Danish star, but the whole point of theater
                 is wilful suspension of disbelief.  \_ How about a white
                 Macbeth then?
                    \_ MacBeth was white (Scottish) correct? That is
                       perfectly acceptable as well.  \_ How about a white
                       Othello?
           \_ Japanese TV and movie used to dominate Asia with big stars
           like
              Yamaguchi Momoe and Tanaka Yuko.  Don't know what caused the
              decline.
>>>>>>> Your Changes Above
              \_ Anime. Seriously.
        \_ What annoyed me more were the liberties taken with the depiction
           of geisha, liberties that are inexcuseable for a movie that
           is supposed to be founded in some approximation of historical
           accuracy.  For as much as they spent on the movie, you'd think
           they could get the geisha part right, since it is a movie about
           a geisha's life.  I could have dealt with the horrible accents,
           the "doesn't look like a typical Japanese woman", and the bits
           related to using non-Japanese actors to portray Japanese.  After
           all, who here can tell the difference between Cockney, London,
           and Received British accents and if they're done right by
           non-British actors?  There is no intrinsic reason why the Chinese
           \_ <raising my hand sheepishly> --scotsman
              \_ Well, you're special.  I bet most don't even know that there
                 is a difference.  --Jon
           actors in the film (or actresses if you prefer) could not have
           filled the roles, but again, for a budget of 85 million, you'd
           think they could have gotten the accents right.  --Jon
           \_ Arthur Golden had never visited Japan before writing the book.
              If you're looking to it as an authoritative depiction of what
              Japanese culture or Geishas are like, I suggest googling for
              "Karl May".  -John
              \_ Mineko Iwasaki
                 \_ Touche.  Nonetheless, random gaijin, a couple of interview
                    sessions with a representative of a centuries-old culture
                    and tradition = good basis for authoritative portrayal?
                    Hint:  No.  -John
           \_ Examples, Jon?  (of stuff they got wrong)
           \_ Actually I read about the accents, and the director supposedly
              wanted all of the major actresses to sound the same and the
              only way to do that was to get them to speak in the same bad
              accent.
           \_ My friend wrote a book on Geisha which I found much more
              accurate and well-researched than the silly and sensational
              book this movie was based on:
              http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1856486974
2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/3    

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This is obviously done solely to take advantage of the bigger profit margin associated with Japanese cuisine. And, I respect their cuisines just as much as I respect Japanese cuisine. I'm also aware of the frustration Koreans have about the Japanese people making Kimchi that does not meet the Korean standard. My problem is that I just don't like people who disrespect the cultures of others, and do nothing but to exploit them. In all the photos, everyone should stick up their middle finger. If you look at the Asian models sprucing up the click2asia site, I have one thought: do these people ever laugh and act kooky? Some may wander through the Zen garden and rake sand to find inner tranquility and others may meditate under the weeping willow by the creek full of cavorting fat carp fish. For the discerning popular culturalist, s/he would correctly identify Lisa Ling, ex-co-host of The View on ABC as the one on the left; Wu has sleep in her eyes, but for a great while, I was under the impression that these two women were the same person. They both seem to be popular with American mainstream culture and with mens magazines. A rather curious coincidence indeed that recalls an old Chinese folklore called aping a beauty. Folklore notes a famous beauty named Xi Shi whose beauty was unrivaled in all of old China. Unluckily for Xi Shi, she also suffered horribly from an ailment of the heart and was often seen clutching her chest and wincing in pain with pinched brows. A neighborhood girl who did not know Xi Shis health condition misconstrued her wincing face and clutching bosoms for gestures worthy of imitating. So she began to walk about the village aping the beauty to ridicule and unfortunate results. I for one always answer Shanghai followed with China for the rare few who are so smitten with my beauty that I must further reinforce a world geography lesson for the dirty and naughty schoolboy in all men. However I have as of late observed that this question, harmless enough in a multicultural grab bag like this fine city, can create great duress and offense to certain people of the Asian appearance and persuasion. When a NALP (Non-Asian Looking Person) asks where I am from, I presume that the question is in fact an implicit inquiry of my ethnicity. The subtle stress on the words are and you in the question suggest that they are by no means interested in a domestic locale such as Brooklyn, and they certainly would be enormously disappointed should this pair of rose petal lips answer with a ghastly, Ohio. For the life of me, I couldnt conjure another way of inquiring anothers ethnicity. Would the incensed Asian Looking Person (pun intended) be less indignant if the NALP had explicitly asked, What country are you from? One particular encounter I will recount demonstrates the complexity and subtle political play involved in our innocuous question. An Asian looking man and I were having a lovely conversation and sharing typical immigrant stories of growing up as one of the few Asian families living in our town. You gentle, sophisticated Readers may find nothing remarkable or worth noting about this, but I must remind you, in the olden days before feng shui and Pearl River Imports became popular, wearing a Chinese-styled dress to school did not elicit compliments and positive attention. Since I could not tell whether my companion was of the Chinese, Korean, or Japanese descendent, I asked him the question. National versus ethnic identity has created the ideology of being a dash-American. No one else in other countries identify himself as an Chinese-English, Chinese-French, or a Chinese-Kiwi. A Chinese-American, Japanese-American, or the all-encompassing Asian-American exists only in America where it suggests: A) I am not FOB (fresh off the boat), B) Dont ask me questions about feng shui or what my Chinese name is, or C) Watch what you say around me. Although I do think that having a strong sense of ones national identity is important, I do not think that this sense can be defined through nomenclature nor through employing a language of denial. Belonging, entitlement, and the right-to-be-here are ideologies that can not be shaped by attaching a dash after ones ethnic root. Then again, these are probably the people who think Amy Tan is the best thing to happen to Chinese-Americans. I must apologize again for my tardiness in showering you with my words. I know I send shivers down your spine and ripples of wanton desire through your rippled loins. 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Books Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly Gallagher's contribution to the geisha book niche rises above many of its competitors, thanks to its ambitious scope. The author, an Englishman who works as a translator in Japan, closely examines a tradition and way of life alien to most outside Japan and seems to leave nothing out, covering such topics as the perception of geishas by both Japanese and foreigners, geishas' artistic and musical talents, and the organizational structure of an okiya (geisha house). Of course, there's also much about the clothes and makeup. Geishas are constructed layer by layer, both figuratively and literally. Various levels of schooling teach them to be complex, articulate and unaffectedly sophisticated while they learn to put on their clothing and makeup in equally painstaking stages. Gallagher illustrates the latter with multiple see-through vellum sections detailing each stratum of ornament, clothing article and makeup, allowing readers to grasp the inordinate amount of attention that geishas must put into their appearance. The rest of the book's photos and illustrations are frequently stunning, combining historical images and artwork with vibrantly hued, more recent photos. Because of its heft and very visual style, Gallagher's work will likely find itself classified as a coffee-table book, but anyone who merely flips through will be missing out. Gallagher's writing style is straightforward and articulate, with so much intelligence and grace, it's difficult not to be charmed. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. "--Publishers Weekly Take a fascinating peek into the geisha's world of tradition and ritual with the help of a most unique book. Four see-through vellum sections, of four layers each, begin with a "naked" geisha; they show, stage by stage, how her distinctive costume and make-up are assembled. You'll view the subtle changes of appearance through the round of seasonal events, and the elaborate array of equipment in the geisha's wardrobe, as well as everything she needs to do her demanding jobs. Equally revealing is the incredibly detailed information about the women's training, lives, and history. Gallagher is a professional translator living in Tokyo and his obvious knowledge both of Japanese political and social history and of the geisha tradition itself make him an excellent go-between in explaining it all to western readers. He goes to considerable lengths to disabuse the ignorant of the assumption that geisha are courtesans, or that there is any serious comparison between the entertainments of bar hostesses and of geisha. The geisha themselves and their clients are two halves of the same culture, and very few modern Japanese have any knowledge or even any interest in the old ways. In the mid-1950s, some 40,000 geisha were active in Japan; At the turn of the new century, there are fewer than 5,000 in the whole country, and fewer than 200 in Kyoto itself, where the whole thing began. It's a shame to think the whole geisha world will probably, inevitably, soon be extinct. This is a beautiful as well as very informative volume, with detailed color photos depicting the differences between the gorgeously colorful maiko (trainees) and the more sedate senior geisha, and with numerous historical paintings and engravings showing the development of geisha costume and relating geisha to a number of key events in the past several centuries of Japanese history. Anyone with an interest in Japanese life and culture definitely should find a copy. See all my reviews History of male Taikomochi and female Geisha artists, Kabuki actors of the Japanese Pleasure Quarters or Flower and Willow World explain why Geisha speak, dress, live a 16th century existence in Hanamachi districts , their secretive sheltered world financially sustained for 3 centuries by Danna patron Buddhist monks, Yakusa gangsters, politicians and expense account businessmen. Geisha Minedo Iwasaki's life informed the popular fiction Memoirs of a Geisha which debuts as a movie December 2005 but Gallagher's book Geisha provides colorful (though inaccurate) photos and paintings to augment a historical perspective of these living works of art. An excellent literary companion to Gallagher is the 18 month journal also named Geisha by anthropologist, writer and first American Geisha Liza Dalby (consultant on the movie Memoirs of Geisha). Young Maiko historically began training at 6 years 6 months and 6 days to be avid readers of current events, politics, business as intellectually stimulating conversationalists with charisma as intelligent well informed listeners who never repeat what they hear. Gei means art, sha means person, geisha arts are lifelong studies: dance, singing, 3 stringed shamisen, conversation which provides the patron with relaxation and laughter. The goal is harmony consistency in dress, makeup, performance and comportment which can only be sustained by constant practice. Geisha entertainment is costly, commensurate with the effort required to maintain the art. Very few aficionados, like ballet or opera devotees, have the education, wit and artistic bent to appreciate geisha allure. Geisha numbers are declining, and these icons may not survive into the next century. Geisha require support of traditional occupations such as tea ceremony servers, kimono silk painters, wig makers, otokosu (dressers), ikebana flower arranging, dance, singing, shamisen professions which also may disappear if the geisha cease to exist. Fascinating look at what may be extinct cultural artifacts within a few decades. See all my reviews A Unique World Of Tradition, Elegance and Art by John Gallagher Book review Photo Caption Mistakes 1 Intro 11 Photo of plain clothed Maiko described as just normal Japanese women 2 Intro 19 "Finely dressed Maiko" is wrong! Next page: There is no separate embroidered color put on above the Naga-Jyuban. Third page: Usually the Hada-Jyuban top is red and white, not plain white. The collar is embroiled but should be plain white silk and the comment above going bald on the crown because of the wig. However sometimes Maiko develop a bold spot because of her hair style. Page 93 Geisha in garden' is not a geisha but a just a Japanese woman. And the word Hikizuke' in the caption should be Hikizuri'. Page 149 Caption Maiko in full regalia' is just a tourist dressed up: Look at the wig. Photos on Page 152 & 153 These are not labeled Maiko or Geiko but we are led to believe that they are. Transparent Picture after page 160 1st image: The geisha, when wearing her white make-up should be wearing Susohiki kimono with either the hem of Kimono down or tied up. Page 180 Dignitaries' are just a regular visitors to the cherry blossom dance performance. Page 183 A tea house in Gion' This is just a normal Japanese restaurant named Yata', not a Tea house. Transparent pictures after page 184 The kimono in the image Not right Kimono for three lines left unpainted (sanbon ashi) on the back of the neck 24. Page 198 Ochaya-Tea House' This too, is Yagenbori (see error #4 and #24) 26. Page 212 A Maiko in full attire' This is just a tourist dressed up. Page 213, Top photo This is just a tourist dressed up, not a Maiko. Page 216 These Maiko' are just three women dressed up as Maiko, not a real Maiko. Page 221 Geisha wearing a formal hair dress' This is just a tourist dressed up. Page 227 The reason the Maiko is wearing a Yukata is because she is being photographed. Page 229 Maiko taking a photo' This is not a Maiko, she is wearing a wig. Page 234 Two Maikos' The two are just tourists dressed as Maiko. I think this book was a good effort to put out an abundance information about geisha and traditional Japanese culture. However, with 35 plus caption error, it shows us that the author was early researcher translating Japanese information into English and rewriting English information already out there in his easy to read and fluent writing style. Unfortunately, because of the amount of the errors in the captions, we find out or must come to the conclusion that the author is either very careless or really wasn't writing from...