Shōgun (1980 miniseries)
Shōgun is an American television miniseries based on the 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell, the executive producer of the miniseries. It was first broadcast in the United States on NBC over five nights between September 15 and September 19, 1980. To date, it is the only American television production to be filmed on location in Japan, with additional sound stage filming taking place in Japan at the Toho studio; the miniseries is loosely based on the adventures of English navigator William Adams, who journeyed to Japan in 1600 and rose to high rank in the service of the shōgun. The miniseries follows fictional Englishman John Blackthorne's transforming experiences and political intrigues in feudal Japan in the early 17th century. After his Dutch trading ship Erasmus and its surviving crew is blown ashore by a violent storm at Anjiro on the east coast of Japan, Pilot-Major John Blackthorne, the ship's English navigator, is taken prisoner by samurai warriors; when he is temporarily released, he must juggle his self-identity as an Englishman associated with other Europeans in Japan, namely Portuguese traders and Jesuit priests, with the alien Japanese culture into which he has been thrust and now must adapt to in order to survive.
Being an Englishman, Blackthorne is at both religious and political odds with his enemy, the Portuguese, the Catholic Church's Jesuit order. The Catholic foothold in Japan puts Blackthorne, a Protestant and therefore a heretic, at a political disadvantage, but this same situation brings him to the attention of the influential Lord Toranaga, who mistrusts this foreign religion now spreading in Japan. He is competing with other samurai warlords of similar high-born rank, among them Catholic converts, for the powerful position of Shōgun, the military governor of Japan. Through an interpreter, Blackthorne reveals certain surprising details about the Portuguese traders and their Jesuit overlords which forces Toranaga to trust him. To help the Englishman learn their language and to assimilate to Japanese culture, Toranaga assigns a teacher and interpreter to him, the beautiful Lady Mariko, a Catholic convert, one of Toranaga's most trusted retainers. Blackthorne soon becomes infatuated with her, but Mariko is married, their budding romance is doomed by future circumstances.
Blackthorn ends up saving the life of a Portugese counterpart, Pilot Vasco Rodrigues, who becomes his friend despite being on opposite sides. Blackthorne saves Toranaga's life by audaciously helping him escape from Osaka Castle and the clutches of his longtime enemy, Lord Ishido. To reward the Englishman for saving his life, to forever bind him to the warlord, Toranaga makes Blackthorne hatamoto, a personal retainer, gifts him with a European flintlock pistol. Blackthorne again saves Toranaga's life during an earthquake by pulling him from a fissure that opened and swallowed the warlord, nearly killing him. Having proved his worth and loyalty to the warlord, during a night ceremony held before a host of his assembled vassals and samurai, Lord Toranaga makes Blackthorne a samurai. Blackthorne's repaired ship Erasmus, under guard by Toranaga's samurai and anchored near Kyoto, is lost to fire, which spread when the ships' night lamps are knocked over by a storm tidal surge. During a attack on Osaka Castle by the secretive Amida Tong, secretly paid for by Lord Ishido, Mariko is killed while saving Blackthorne's life, temporarily blinded by the black powder explosion that kills his lover.
Lord Yabu is forced to commit seppuku for his involvement with the ninja attack and murdering Captain Yoshinaka. Right before he dies, Yabu gives Blackthorne his katana, Yabu's nephew, becomes the daimyō of Izu. Blackthorne supervises the construction of a new ship, The Lady, with funds Mariko left to him in her will for this purpose. Blackthorne is observed at a distance by Lord Toranaga, he discloses Mariko's secret but vital role in the grand deception of his enemies, and, as a result, how she was destined to die, helping to assure his coming final victory. The warlord knows that Blackthorne's karma brought him to Japan and that the Englishman, now his trusted retainer and samurai, is destined never to leave. Toranaga knows it is his karma to become Shōgun. In an epilogue it is revealed that his army are triumphant at the Battle of Sekigahara. A different voice-over narrates that when the Emperor of Japan offered Toranaga the title of Shogun, he'reluctantly agreed'. In Japan, Shōgun was cut to a 159-minute version and released theatrically in Japan on November 9, 1980.
Stuart Galbraith IV described this version of the film as "fatally cut to ribbons". It was restored to its full length for a home video release in Japan. A truncated 125-minute edit of the miniseries was released in 1980 to European theatrical film markets; this was the first version of Shōgun to be released to the North American home video market (a release of the full mini
Strange Circus is a 2005 Japanese horror drama film written and directed by Sion Sono. School principal Ozawa Gozo rapes his daughter, after she sees her parents having sex, her mother Sayuri witnesses the rape. Gozo now rapes both of them as he pleases, while his family is undermined by incest and murder; this is the erotic novel. She is assisted by Yuji, a young man, on a mission to uncover the reality of this story of Taeko's past, of the locked room in her apartment, but the reality and truth beneath the Grand Guignol nightmares Taeko creates might be too much to bear. Masumi Miyazaki – Sayuri / Taeko Issei Ishida – Yuji Rie Kuwana – Young Mitsuko Mai Takahashi – Young Mitsuko Fujiko Madame Regine Tomorowo Taguchi – Taeko's Editor Hiroshi Ohguchi – Gozo Russell Edwards of Variety.com wrote that the film "shocks, provokes but bores with its tasteless indulgences" and that it "will be most at home at midnight fest sidebars, or anywhere else where a trash aesthetic is embraced." Strange Circus on IMDb
Vodka Collins is a Tokyo-based Japanese-American rock band, formed in 1971. The core band members are drummer Hiroshi Oguchi, singer-guitarist Alan Merrill, singer-guitarist Hiroshi "Monsieur" Kamayatsu and bassist Take Yokouchi. In reunion recordings in the 1990s, Yokouchi was replaced by Masayoshi "Mabo" Kabe on bass guitar. All of the band's released works are original compositions by the lead singer Alan Merrill; the band has made 5 albums, the most well known being the glam rock album "Tokyo - New York" released in 1973 on EMI records. Other album titles are Chemical Reaction, Pink Soup', Boy's Life and Boys In The Band; the band's most valuable contribution territorially was recording and releasing the first single in the glam rock genre in Japanese, 1973's double a-sided single "Sands Of Time"' and'"Automatic Pilot"' on Toshiba Express records. Vodka Collins were the opening act on the Jackson 5's first show in Japan on April 27, 1973 at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo; the show was broadcast live on Fuji Television.
The band's founding member and drummer Hiroshi Oguchi died January 25, 2009. There was a memorial concert for him with all the original band members performing on stage January 25 of 2010 at the Duo Exchange venue in Tokyo with Grico Tomioka taking Oguchi's place on drums; the band's rhythm guitarist, Monsieur Kamayatsu, died on March 1, 2017. Lead singer Alan Merrill did a memorial concert for Kamayatsu with star guests in Tokyo April 2017 at the Duo Music Exchange. Tokyo – New York ( Chemical Reaction Pink Soup Boy's Life Boys In The Band Vodka Collins website Vodka Collins fansite Vodka Collins site Author Julian Cope's Vodka Collins research Keith Cahoon's Nippop webpages