Myōjin Yahiko, known as Yahiko Myojin in the Media Blasters English-language dub and Yoshi Myojin in the English Sony Samurai X dub, is a fictional character from the Rurouni Kenshin manga and anime series authored by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The character of Yahiko is based on the author's childhood experiences practicing kendo. Watsuki liked Yahiko, while writing the manga, he began to develop the character so that readers would enjoy him; the fictional setting takes place during the pre-Meiji period of Japan. Yahiko is an orphan from a samurai family, forced to work as a thief to repay the debt he had owed, as his parents died before they could repay it; when he is rescued by the main character of the story Himura Kenshin, he decides that he will grow up to be just like Kenshin. But because of his strong beliefs, Kenshin will not teach the sword style. Therefore, Kenshin arranges for Yahiko to be trained by Kamiya Kaoru, the teacher of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryū; as the series progresses, Yahiko faces many opponents.
Yahiko appears in the featured movie of the series, as well as other media relating to the franchise, including a wide range of electronic games and an original video animations series. His character has been popular with readers from Rurouni Kenshin, ranking near the top of the series' popularity polls, his character is featured in various types of merchandising developed for the series, such as figurines and key-chains. Several publications have commented on his character. While he was criticized for his lack of action in the plot, his further development in the series has been praised. Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin, says that he used no particular logic when drawing Yahiko except for the "defiant" eyes and "mussed" hair. Watsuki enjoyed practicing kendo "almost as much as drawing manga". To create Yahiko, Watsuki drew on his emotions from junior high school, he has described himself as "weak" and "an embarrassment to my 183 centimeters of height". He says he was a member of the kendo starting squad only because the school suspended another student intended to be a starter.
However, he failed to win in a league tournament, experienced frustration and felt he was "awful" despite his desire to succeed. As an "outlet" for Watsuki's kendo emotions, Yahiko "knows a pain that hero-types like Himura Kenshin and Sagara Sanosuke can never know"; as Watsuki further developed the story, Yahiko becomes a comedic character. Watsuki wanted to draw Yahiko in a way that readers could envision him as being a "great" swordsman five to ten years later. During the last story arc from the manga, the story takes a darker tone than those from other shōnen series published by Shueisha; as the series was aimed at teenagers, Watsuki made Yahiko the main character during the time when Kenshin thought that Kamiya Kaoru was dead. However, the author found this hard to do, as the more time Kenshin was unwilling to continue to live, the worse Yahiko felt, leaving Watsuki a more negative feeling concerning the story. By the end of the series as Yahiko becomes a teenager, Watsuki had redesigned his appearance.
He wanted Yahiko to impress manga readers so that he could be a protagonist for a possible series sequel. He said this goal influenced his design of Yahiko, with Kenshin's physical appearance as well as Sanosuke's personality, he added Sanosuke's kanji of "evil" to the back of his clothes, was pleased that various readers recognized it. Although he suggested he was not going to make a sequel, he said the main characters would be Yahiko, Sanjō Tsubame and Tsukayama Yutarō. Watsuki thought about writing a story in which Yahiko and Tsubame would have a son, Myōjin Shinya, who would become a skilled swordsman. In the 20th volume from the Rurouni Kenshin kanzenban edition, Watsuki again redesigned Yahiko's appearance to show how he would appear at that time, his hair was not as spiky as it was and he had new clothes. He wore a white short-sleeved T-shirt and short trousers, he did not have socks under his sandals and he had bandages on his hands in order hold a swords. He had two swords -- a katana -- with the latter tied on his back.
In the anime adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin, Watsuki's designs were combined with the voice talents of Miina Tominaga, a voice actress. In producing the English dub version of the series, Media Blasters chose Wendee Lee to voice Yahiko, but she was credited as Elyse Floyd. Yahiko starts off as bad-mannered; because Yahiko respected his parents, he becomes a thief before the start of the series, to pay back their debt. Yahiko first appears trying to rob Kenshin, who lets him go; as his yakuza bosses are about to beat him to death for his desire to quit, Kenshin arrives to save him and take him to Kaoru's dojo to learn swordsmanship. Yahiko's dream is to be as strong as Kenshin so he will be able to protect himself and the people he loves. Despite his young age and his short time of training, as the series continues Kenshin allows Yahiko to fight with him, noting that he is too mature for his age, he becomes a witness to many of Kenshin's battles to the point which Yahiko becomes adept at imitating som
SNK Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company, successor to the Shin Nihon Kikaku and current owner of the SNK video game brand and Neo Geo video game platform. The Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation was founded on July 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki. Called Shin Nihon Kikaku, the name was informally shortened to SNK Corporation in 1981 before becoming the company's official name in April 1986. SNK is most notable as creator of the Neo Geo family of arcade and handheld game consoles, beginning in 1990; the Neo Geo line was halted in 2001, when financial troubles forced SNK Corporation to close on October 22, 2001. Anticipating the end of the company, Kawasaki founded Playmore Corporation on August 1, 2001. By October, Playmore had acquired all of the intellectual property of the former SNK Corporation. On July 7, 2003, Playmore Corporation was renamed to SNK Playmore Corporation, to more establish itself as the successor to the SNK brand and legacy. Traditionally, SNK operated as a video game developer and hardware manufacturer, focusing on arcade games but working on console and PC games.
In 2004, the company started manufacturing pachislot machines, which the company leaned into before withdrawing from the market in 2015. In 2009, the company entered an active wave of mobile game development. Classic SNK franchises like Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters feature in its recent offerings. On April 25, 2016, SNK dropped the "Playmore" name from its logo and reintroduced its old slogan, "The Future Is Now", as a means to signify "a return to SNK's rich gaming history". On December 1, 2016, SNK Playmore changed its corporate name back to SNK. SNK was founded in 1973 as "Shin Nihon Kikaku" and reorganized in 1978 as a stock company under the name of "Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation"; when Eikichi Kawasaki noticed the rapid growth, occurring in the coin-operated video game market, he expanded Shin Nihon Kikaku to include the development and marketing of stand-alone coin-op games. The first two known titles released were Ozma Wars, a vertically scrolling space shooter and Safari Rally, a maze game.
Game quality improved over time, most notably with Vanguard, a side-scrolling space shooter that many consider the precursor to modern classics such as Gradius and R-Type. SNK licensed the game to Centuri for distribution in North America, who started manufacturing and distributing the game itself when profits exceeded expectations. SNK begins to make itself known, and know well thanks to Vanguard. The latter is a great success, so an American branch opened on October 20, 1981, its name is "SNK Electronics Corporation". Around 1980, it took the initial letters from Shin Nihon Kikaku' as the company's nickname, "SNK"; the copyright notation of the alphabet was "SNK CORP.". It established itself in Sunnyvale, with the intent of delivering its own brand of coin-operated games to arcades in North America; the man chosen to run the American operation was John Rowe, one of the eventual founders of Tradewest and current president and CEO of High Moon Studios. In April 1986, Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation became SNK Corporation.
In November 1986, SNK Electronics Corporation, the US branch, became SNK Corporation of America and moved to Sunnyvale, still in California. SNK staff moved in March 1988 to the building, it is located in Suita City, always in Osaka. SNK Corporation in Japan had at this point shifted its focus toward developing and licensing video games for arcade use and for early consoles. Between 1979 and 1986 it produced 23 stand-alone arcade games. Highlights from this period include Mad Crasher, Alpha Mission, Athena, a game that gained a large following when it was ported to the NES in 1987, its most successful game from this time frame was Ikari Warriors, released in 1986. Ikari Warriors was so popular that it was licensed and ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, ZX Spectrum and NES, it followed up the game with Victory Road and Ikari III: The Rescue. At this point, the home market was still suffering from the fallout caused by the North American video game crash of 1983.
One console manufacturer, seemed to weather the crash unscathed. SNK signed up to become a third-party licensee for Nintendo's Famicom system in 1985 and opened a second branch in the United States, based in Torrance, California. Named SNK Home Entertainment, it handled the North American distribution and marketing of the company's products for home consoles. By this time, John Rowe had left the company to form Tradewest, which went on to market SNK's Ikari Warriors series in North America. Subsequently, both halves of SNK America were now being presided over by Paul Jacobs, known for having helped launch the company's Neo-Geo system outside of Asia. In response to strong sales of the company's NES ports, SNK began to dabble in the development of original software designed for the NES console. Two games came out of this effort: Baseball Stars and Crystalis. 1989 marked the release of two new home video game consoles in North America: the Sega Genesis and NEC's joint project with Hudson Soft, the TurboGrafx-16.
Nintendo followed suit with a new system in 1991, the Super NES. Rather than become involved in the early 90s system wars, SNK Corporation in Japan, along with SNK Corporation of America, chose to refocus its efforts on the arcade market, leaving other third parties, such
Media Blasters is an American entertainment corporation founded by John Sirabella and Sam Liebowitz, based in New York City. It is in the business of licensing and releasing to the North American market manga and anime compilations, Asian films and television series, adult anime, monster movies, concert films, independent films, horror films and exploitation flms; the company has been releasing translated anime and concert films since May 1997. The company first released adult anime. In 2004, Media Blasters began publishing manga; the company first published shōnen manga titles for older readers, so it increased its yaoi manga line. In early 2012, not long after Bandai Entertainment announced its restructuring plans, Media Blasters' John Sirabella announced the laying off of ten employees, which reduced its workforce by about sixty percent. Sirabella has said. Digital distribution for Media Blasters' titles are available on PlayStation Network, Netflix and Amazon Video, some titles through the add-on subscription of Toku, Comic-Con HQ or other channels.
Founded in 1997, Media Blasters is a New York-based-company that has several divisions that target different aspects of the video market. Media Blasters licenses works for release and is involved in the production and distribution of works; the Animeworks division was created in 1997, focuses on localization and distribution of anime titles, but has licensed non-anime works such as Invader Zim. The adult label Kitty Media was started in 1997 and features explicit hentai works. Created in 1998, Tokyo Shock is Media Blaster's Asian cinema division, responsible for American localization of works such as Zatoichi:The Blind Swordsman of the Zatoichi franchise. Another division, Shriek Show, was founded in 2001 to focus on re-mastering horror titles for DVD release. At the height of its success, Media Blasters released around five titles a month and had about 50 employees, but as the market decreased so did the company; as of April 2012, the company was listed. In January 2016, the television network TOKU was launched, premiering for the first time on television many anime and live action titles from the Media Blasters catalog broadcasting 16 anime titles of the company, including Kite and Ladies versus Butlers!, it is the main anime provider of the network.
The most recent anime of Media Blasters premiered in the network has been Queen's Blade: Wandering Warrior, on June 5, 2017. Anime Works is the label used for the bulk of anime titles, it released the informative show Cosplay Encyclopedia in 1999, which showcased the world of cosplay for North American audiences. The Anime Works label is best known for licensing the Kite film series for home video release. Kitty Media specializes in pornographic films. Kitty Media specializes in films and anime series that contain scenes of rape and graphic sexuality as well as licensing the director's cut versions of Kite and Mezzo Forte, its first release, the first release by Media Blasters as a whole, was Rei-Lan: Orchid Emblem. The division began releasing some H-anime titles licensed by NuTech Digital, which lost the licenses because of royalty litigation as well as the Lady Ninja Kasumi series. Media Blasters publishes both hentai and yaoi manga under the Kitty Media imprint. Kitty will continue to distribute releases online.
It has released several titles released by Central Park Media's Anime 18 imprint. In 2011, Kitty Media entered a licensing partnership with Fakku to stream select titles, starting with Immoral Sisters. In 2017, Kitty Media was acquired by Fakku for digital distribution while physical distribution will still be maintained by Media Blasters; the Tokyo Shock label covers live action movies and television series from Japan and other Asian markets, such as several notable films from Toho Co. Ltd and the renowned Shaw Brothers Ltd including but not limited to the following: The Shriek Show label handles obscure horror and exploitation films such as Ultimo mondo cannibale, Cannibal Holocaust, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Day of the Animals, Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, The Anthropophagus Beast, La notte del terrore, 1981's Scream, Just Before Dawn, Zombi 2. Fever Dreams specializes in original films such as: Official website
Hokkaido known as Ezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is the second largest island of Japan, the largest and northernmost prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu; the two islands are connected by the undersea railway Seikan Tunnel. The largest city on Hokkaido is its capital, its only ordinance-designated city. About 43 km north of Hokkaido lies Russia. To its east and north-east are the disputed Kuril Islands; the Nihon Shoki, finished in 720 AD, is said to be the first mention of Hokkaido in recorded history. According to the text, Abe no Hirafu led a large navy and army to northern areas from 658 to 660 and came into contact with the Mishihase and Emishi. One of the places Hirafu went to was called Watarishima, believed to be present-day Hokkaido. However, many theories exist in relation to the details of this event, including the location of Watarishima and the common belief that the Emishi in Watarishima were the ancestors of the present-day Ainu people. During the Nara and Heian periods, people in Hokkaido conducted trade with Dewa Province, an outpost of the Japanese central government.
From the Middle Ages, the people in Hokkaido began to be called Ezo. Hokkaido subsequently became known as Ezogashima; the Ezo relied upon hunting and fishing and obtained rice and iron through trade with the Japanese. During the Muromachi period, the Japanese created a settlement at the south of the Oshima Peninsula; as more people moved to the settlement to avoid battles, disputes arose between the Japanese and the Ainu. The disputes developed into a war. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader and defeated the opposition in 1457. Nobuhiro's descendants became the rulers of the Matsumae-han, granted exclusive trading rights with the Ainu in the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo periods; the Matsumae family's economy relied upon trade with the Ainu. They held authority over the south of Ezochi until the end of the Edo period in 1868; the Matsumae clan rule over the Ainu must be understood in the context of the expansion of the Japanese feudal state. Medieval military leaders in northern Honshū maintained only tenuous political and cultural ties to the imperial court and its proxies, the Kamakura Shogunate and Ashikaga Shogunate.
Feudal strongmen sometimes located themselves within medieval institutional order, taking shogunal titles, while in other times they assumed titles that seemed to give them a non-Japanese identity. In fact, many of the feudal strongmen were descended from Emishi military leaders, assimilated into Japanese society; the Matsumae clan were of Yamato descent like other ethnic Japanese people, whereas the Emishi of northern Honshu were a distinctive group related to the Ainu. The Emishi were conquered and integrated into the Japanese state dating back as far as the 8th century, as result began to lose their distinctive culture and ethnicity as they became minorities. By the time the Matsumae clan ruled over the Ainu most of the Emishi were ethnically mixed and physically closer to Japanese than they were to Ainu; this dovetails nicely with the "transformation" theory that native Jōmon peoples changed with the infusion of Yayoi immigrants into the Tōhoku rather than the "replacement" theory which posits that one population was replaced by another.
There were numerous revolts by the Ainu against the feudal rule. The last large-scale resistance was Shakushain's Revolt in 1669–1672. In 1789, a smaller movement, the Menashi–Kunashir rebellion, was crushed. After that rebellion, the terms "Japanese" and "Ainu" referred to distinguished groups, the Matsumae were unequivocally Japanese. In 1799–1821 and 1855–1858, the Edo Shogunate took direct control over Hokkaido in response to a perceived threat from Russia. Leading up to the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa Shogunate realized there was a need to prepare northern defenses against a possible Russian invasion and took over control of most of Ezochi; the Shogunate made the plight of the Ainu easier, but did not change the overall form of rule. Hokkaido was known as Ezochi until the Meiji Restoration. Shortly after the Boshin War in 1868, a group of Tokugawa loyalists led by Enomoto Takeaki temporarily occupied the island, but the rebellion was crushed in May 1869. Ezochi was subsequently put under control of Hakodate Prefectural Government.
When establishing the Development Commission, the Meiji Government introduced a new name. After 1869, the northern Japanese island was known as Hokkaido; the primary purpose of the development commission was to secure Hokkaido before the Russians extended their control of the Far East beyond Vladivostok. Kuroda Kiyotaka was put in charge of the venture, his first step was to journey to the United States and recruit Horace Capron, President Grant's Commissioner of Agriculture. From 1871 to 1873 Capron bent his efforts to expounding Western agriculture and mining with mixed results. Capron, frustrated with obstacles to his efforts returned home in 1875. In 1876, William S. Clark arrived to found an agricultural college in Sapporo. Although he only remained a year, Clark left a lasting impression on Hokkaido, inspiring the Japanese with his teachings on agriculture as well as Christianity
A kunai is a Japanese tool meant for farming in the Tensho Era of Japan. The two recognized variations of the kunai are the hand shovel used for turning up crops short kunai and the big kunai. Although a basic tool, in the hands of a martial arts expert, the kunai could be used as a multi-functional weapon, popular before the wide spread of firearms; the kunai is associated with the ninja, who used it to gouge holes in walls. By attaching a rope to the ring, the user could climb walls or trees, which required great accuracy when thrown; the kunai blade was unsharpened, soft iron and was used for digging and smashing wood and the like—which would have destroyed a tool, sharpened or heat-treated. Many popular manga and ninjutsu characters use kunai as both their secondary weapons; the kunai that were used by farmers were a fair bit smaller than the developed kunai that the ninja used. The farming kunai was smaller and there was a small handle with a hole on top; the farmers inserted the index finger into the hole and grabbed the small handle with the other fingers.
The kunai that were used by ninjas had a bigger handle to allow them to hold the kunai more efficiently. The hole on the kunai was used for putting a string or a rope so that the ninja could hang it on their belt; the kunai was conventionally wrought in lengths ranging from 20 cm to 30 cm. It was used by workers of stone and masonry; the kunai is akin to a crowbar. The blade is made of soft iron, is left unsharpened because the edges are used to smash soft materials such as plaster and wood, for digging holes and for prying. Only the tip is sharpened. Kunai had a leaf-shaped blade and a handle with a ring on the pommel for attaching a rope; the attached rope allows the kunai's handle to be wrapped to function as a grip, or to be strapped to a stick as a makeshift spear. Contrary to popular belief, kunai were not designed to be used as throwing weapons. Instead, kunai were tools and, when used as weapons, were stabbing and thrusting implements. Varieties of kunai include short, narrow-bladed, saw-toothed, wide-bladed.
In some cases, the kunai and the shikoro, a wide-bladed saw with a dagger-type handle, are difficult to distinguish. Many ninja weapons were adapted from farming tools, not unlike those used by Shaolin monks in China. Since kunai were cheaply produced farming tools of a useful size and weight and could be sharpened, they were available to be converted into simple weapons; as a weapon, the kunai is larger and heavier than a shuriken and with the grip could be used in hand to hand combat more than a shuriken. In addition, it could be used for climbing, either as a piton; as with ninjutsu, the exaggeration persistent in ninja myths played a large role in creating the popular culture image of kunai. In fictional depictions of ninjas, the kunai is portrayed as a steel knife, used for stabbing or throwing, sometimes confusing it with the shuriken. Dart Entrenching tool Flechette Knife throwing Tent peg Hatsumi, Masaaki; the Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training. McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 978-0-8092-4629-8.
Mol, Serge. Classical Weaponry of Japan: Special Weapons and Tactics of the Martial Arts. Kodansha International. ISBN 978-4-7700-2941-6. Turnbull, Stephen. Ninja AD 1460–1650. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-525-9
Melodee M. Spevack is an American actress who has voiced English-language adaptations of Japanese anime shows. Interview with Melodee Spevack at Digipedia Interview with Michael McConnohie and Melodee Spevack Melodee M. Spevack convention appearances on AnimeCons.com Melodee Spevack at Anime News Network's encyclopedia Melodee Spevack on IMDb