Akira Kurosawa drawings

Akira Kurosawa is one of the best directors in history. What I didn’t know is that when he was young he wanted to become a painter, but he ended up being a film director. He didn’t stop dedicating time to his passion, he draw every scene of his films by hand; he made colored/artistic storyboards. For example, in order to start filming the movie Ran he was 10 years drawing!

I went to an exposition where I could see some of the art he made for the films Ran and Dreams.

Some pictures from so you can grasp the essence of Kurosawa’s unique style.






If you’ve never seen a Kurosawa film you can start watching Rashomon for free using Google Video


Hiro Nakamura's katana

Hiro Nakamura is Heroes main character (If you are not watching Heroes, what are you waiting for!), he has a sword that belonged to someone called “Takezo Kensei”. The cool thing is “Takezo Kensei” is not a fiction character, he was a real samurai, in fact he is probably the most “famous” samurai ever. If I tell you that “Miyamoto Musashi” is his usual name you will probably know him, but “Takezo Kensei” is how he is called in Heroes. “Takezo” is an alternative reading of Musashi 武蔵, and “Kensei” is the highest rank a samurai can hold, only legendary samurais are considered “Kensei”. “Kensei” could be translated as “Heroe”.

He is the historical Miyamoto Musashi, known in Heroes fiction TV series as Takezo Kensei.

Miyamoto Musashi/Takezo Kensei fought at Sekigahara, one of the most important battles in Japanese history, he survived more than 60 duels “one vs one” during his 61 years of life, he created many fighting styles and he finished his days writing books. He is considered the best swordsman ever.

Spoilers warning! Spoilers warning!
Miyamoto Musashi appears many times in Heroes, in the museum when they are trying to steal a katana, when Hiro talks about Takezo Kensei, and we can even see the “real” Takezo Kensei at the second season’s beginning when Hiro travels back in time to 1671. Another interesting detail that future Hiro Nakamura has the same air style as Miyamoto Musashi .
Spoilers finished!

Miyamoto Musashi air style is very similar to future Hiro Nakamura.

The katana in the TV series is an invention, in the real history Miyamoto Musashi never had a favorite sword. In the katana from Heroes TV series there is a symbol (This symbol can be seen many times in many places). As Ando explains in one episode, the symbol can be created combining two Japanese characters: sai 才 (Great talent, genius), and yo 与(One of the meanings of this kanjis is “godsend”). If you put together these two kanji characters you obtain the symbol from Hiro’s katana that belonged to “Takezo Kensei”:

Are Hiro Nakamura and his father descendants from Miyamoto Musashi/Takezo Kensei? Are Heroes main characters Gods? Is Heroes a battle between Gods?

If you wanna learn more about the real Miyamoto Musashi, I recommend you: Musashi Miyamoto by Eiji Yoshikawa; which is the best book around there. Is huge but I’m sure you will enjoy every line if you are a fan of Japanese culture.

Images from: Akinokai y Heroes Wiki .


Nihon Chinbotsu – 日本沈没

This weekend I watched “Nihon Chinbotsu” (Japan Sinks), that was one of the films in the top-box office in Japan last year.

It’s a Japanese super production that mixes a horrible love history with Hollywood style special effects showing how earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis destroy Japan. The film starts showing a scientist that discovers how a “Megalith” is growing down Japan and explains to the Japanese Prime Minister how it will explode destroying all the country. The rest of the film is uninteresting and is just a succession of special effects destruction and love talks.

How the “Megalith thing” works.

I liked how they show millions of people dying without remorse, I guess I’m used to American productions like Day After Tomorrow where you have to induce that people die. Nihon Chinbotsu shows masses of people being absorbed my huge tsunamis, earthquakes and volcano lava. Maybe Japanese are more used to disasters 🙂 . Another interesting point is that the Prime Minister dies in the first 10 minutes of the movie in an uninteresting accident without any dramatism, the Prime Minister dies just like a “normal” Japanese, Can you imagine that in an Hollywood movie?

A boring film, that is only interesting because of the destruction sequences, but you can see almost all of those cool special effects in the trailer and in some youtube videos.

The trailer.

First two minutes of the movie that shows a beautiful country before the destruction.

Tsunami that destroys Hokkaido.

Tokyo disappears. Hey!!! That’s my home!!