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Visiting Japan III - See Two Movies

Thursday, June 18, 2009 / Posted by Zackary /

Japan is a wild mix of the traditional and the ultra new always at odds with each other. I recommend "The Last Samurai," for the traditional view and "Lost in Translation," for the modern view.

As they were both major blockbusters I won't summarize them here. The transformation Tom Cruise goes through in "Samurai," from an arrogant Westerner coming to understand Japan and its mindset is fascinating. "Samurai," was shot in Sho-sha-zan Engyo-ji Temple in Himeji-city, Chion-in temple in Kyoto, and the general Kyoto area.

Bill Murray is arrogant as well but befuddled by his life and culture shock. "Lost" catches the decadence and sadness of a wealthy foreigner trying to find his way. I like the scene where he is on set for a commercial and the Japanese director speaks for several minutes. Murray says, "What was all that?" The translator says something like, "More focus." Murray stayed at The Park Hyatt Tokyo which has great views of Tokyo and beautiful rooms. I am saving up to buy a drink at this exquisite hotel bar.

Your Japanese Travel Guide,

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