Even in the modern era, you’ll find plenty of occasions in Japan to dress up in kimono, such as for festivals, fireworks exhibitions, or other special events (and considering how relatively easy it is to do, it’s something you really should try at least once). But as much as Japan may love its traditions and history, there aren’t too many occasions when you get to strap on a set of samurai armor, so when life gives you the opportunity to do so, like at this new photo studio in Tokyo, you won’t want to let it pass you by.
Devoted readers will remember that we spoke with Japan’s first full-time foreign stuntman Chuck Johnson earlier this summer, visiting his stunt class and learning about the industry in Japan. At the time, we mentioned that Chuck was working a short film called Fists of Absinthe, which ended up being a collaboration between YouTube and Toei Studios.
We are happy to say that Fists of Absinthe is now available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure! We just sat down and watched it, and it was equal parts comedy and action—definitely a must-see for anyone who likes martial arts, samurai, ninja, or laughing their butts off. Check it out below!
Have you ever visited a museum in Japan and found it hard to tear yourself away from the samurai exhibits, wanting desperately to reach past the “don’t touch” sign to prod the delicate folds of metal armour and the faded material with stains from a bloody war?
Well now there’s a range of samurai armour you can take home with you, and despite their petite size, they’re actually faithful recreations of suits worn by famous warriors in Japanese history.
Certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a “Wonder 500” product, awarded to 500 of Japan’s finest goods, foods and travel experiences, this unique range of warrior suits can either dress up your figurines or safeguard your favourite bottle of sake, wine or shochu.
Ever since we heard about the upcoming release of the new Samurai Darth Vader figurine, we’ve been eager to check out the Movie Realisation Series in person. The series includes Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and the Imperial Royal Guard, all dressed as Japanese feudal warriors and brandishing a mix of Japanese, western, and Star Wars-styled weapons.
We’d seen the photos and read the rave reviews but nothing could prepare us for meeting the unique cast of collectibles in person. Come with us as we take you through all the details and close-up photos from our visit!
Recently, we brought you news of the amazing Star Wars Movie Realisation Series of figurines, which have perfectly transformed Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Stormtroopers into awesome-looking samurai warriors.
But if you’re itching for a Japanese-styled Star Wars character of your own, you might want to do what this clever artist did and simply make one yourself. All you’ll need is a plain figure, some coloured pens and a little—make that a lot—of talent and patience.
With just under four months to go until we finally get Episode 7 of Star Wars, many people have a galaxy far, far away on their minds. Some people are clamoring for any and all kinds of movie tidbits, while other fans are desperately trying to avoid all spoilers. Which means it’s the perfect time to release some “alternate reality” Star Wars toys to the public.
Although, when your toy is this cool looking, any time is the perfect time.
We’ve all been there, waking up late after the alarm didn’t go off or just hitting the snooze button a few hundred times too many. Sometimes the excuses are legitimate and sometimes everyone knows you didn’t actually get food poisoning while rescuing a Girl Scout troop from a box of bad cookies. Still, calling in sick has a timed-honored tradition of hard (and lazy) workers for decades — and, in fact, for centuries!
A recently discovered document on display at the Tochigi Prefectural Museum reveals the reason why one daimyo (samurai warlord) was late to an important meeting with his boss, the famous Toyotomi Hideyoshi. We’re guessing “Sorry, boss, I have a sore throat!” probably didn’t cut it with one of Japan’s great unifiers…
There’s a growing fitness trend in Tokyo, but it’s nothing new really, being based on age-old traditions: Katana Exercise.
Not only will you be taught to swing a sword like a samurai by a handsome teacher, but you’ll cut out stress and extra fat. Check out our hands-on experience of the class after the jump!
Over the years here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you news of cats in kimonos, kittens in coffees and sushi cats that fly through the air. So as soon as we stumbled upon a collection of mighty samurai cats being awesome, we knew it was our duty to bring them to everyone’s attention.
These warrior felines wrestle with giant fish and ride on tigers but they also teach us a thing or two about history and pop culture in Japan. Can you guess what famous Japanese movie inspired the group of cats in the image above?
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent some of your daydream time contemplating awesome collaborations like Colossal Titans morphing into toy cars, Crayolas whittled into Star Wars character heads or even cats flying through space on pieces of sushi.
While we may not have the graphic design skills to visually realise half of our crazy awesome ideas, there’s one lucky man who can. Jack Lee, an artist from Hong Kong, has successfully melded Iron Man with a Japanese samurai warrior and the image he came up with is simply amazing. We take a look at his time-lapse video to see just how much effort went in to creating the perfect Iron man samurai.
In any situation, it’s important to dress appropriately. It can be tough to get all the little details just right, though, especially when dealing with articles of clothing you don’t have occasion to use very often. If you’re still a student, for example, you might have trouble tying a nice, crisp knot in your necktie, and even if you’re an adult working in a suit-and-tie business environment, you might not know all the finer points for more formal accessorizing, such as where to position a tie bar or the proper way to fold a pocket square.
Or, if you’re going to meet up with your fellow samurai, should your sword point upwards or downwards?
If you watch a lot of samurai movies or TV shows, you might have noticed that a toothpick is about as common a costume accessory as a set of paired swords. The reason isn’t because samurai were particularly fastidious about dental hygiene, though. Many fictional samurai stories re set in the Edo period, when the end of Japan’s centuries of civil war caused the warrior class’ power and prestige to begin slowly but surely eroding.
The samurai were a prideful bunch, though, and were loath to admit the new societal reality that swordsman had suddenly become a far less lucrative profession. So even if they couldn’t afford to regularly fill their stomachs, many would still lodge a toothpick between their teeth to give the impression that they’d just polished off a lavish meal fit for a man of high rank.
Of course, it takes more than just a toothpick to transform yourself into a samurai. You’ll also need to talk the talk, which is why these traditionally made Japanese toothpicks come individually wrapped with period-correct samurai phrases, and even helpful English translations and pronunciation guides.
Fictional depictions of Japanese medieval warfare tend inevitably to focus on samurai, the military nobility. Whether the medium is cult movies or collectible models, Japan’s common foot-soldiers barely get a look-in compared to their samurai masters.
Ukrainian company Redbox, however, aims to buck this trend by producing plastic figurine sets of the Japanese peasant infantry.
We recently took a look at the latest iteration of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which showed us how far scientists have come in building sophisticated robots, and yet how far those machines have left to go before they can get from point A to point B without falling down hilariously. But little did we know that while we were snickering at those clumsy creations, another group of engineers were building their own robot that can perfectly perform a severing strike with a samurai sword.
Some people in Japan have no more than a passing interest in the country’s long and fascinating history, which is at least partly the fault of how the subject is taught in schools. Many history classes place a heavy emphasis on memorization of the exact dates and years of important events, leaving less time for studying the people and motivations behind them.
There’s been a recent surge in history buffs, though, especially in regards to the Sengoku, or Warring States, period which lasted from the mid 15th century until the very start of the 17th century. But it’s not crusty old historians leading this charge, as a recent samurai battle reenactment had women making up some 40 percent of the volunteers, whose ranks were also bolstered by video gamers and foreign residents of Japan.
They don’t come much more badass than Isao Machii. Dubbed the “Heisei Samurai” or “Modern Samurai” he’s a five-time Guiness World Record holder for feats such as slicing a BB pellet in half mid-flight with a sword. He is also the creator of the Shushin-ryu style of Iaijutsu which is a martial art centered on sudden sword strikes.
Needless to say, this guy has the skills to pay the bills. And pay bills he does by occasionally appearing in commercials. Last year, we saw him promote Toaster Strudel by playing a live version of Fruit Ninja. Now, he’s back to take on more food with his mighty sword, this time at speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (93 mph).
Every ski season in Japan brings with it an army of skiers and snowboarders keen to make tracks in fresh, world-class powder snow. But how can you make your mark when you’re surrounded by hundreds of people decked out in ordinary ski jackets and snow goggles?
One keen warrior-loving skier found a solution to this problem by donning some heavy samurai armour on the slopes. And just to make sure he had everyone’s attention, he decided to forgo the ski poles for a long, single-edged sword known as a katana.
Kentucky Fried Chicken – American fast food chain and purveyor of greasy, finger-lickin’ goodness – has firmly established itself in the Japanese landscape ever since the first store opened in the 1970s, and has been a Christmas-dinner staple in Japanese homes since. At pretty much any location you stop by, Colonel Sanders will be there to greet you in his signature white suit, his plastic-y smile welcoming you inside.
In the past few days, however, Colonels across the nation have been spotted in full samurai garb. What is the meaning of all this? Is KFC about ready to wage a Last Samurai-esque battle of the fast foodies? Unfortunately the truth is not that epic, but all these Samurai Sanders still look pretty cool as they get ready to celebrate the upcoming Japanese holiday Boys’ Day.
For centuries, Japan has taken pride in the talents of its craftsmen, carpenters and woodworkers included. Because of that, you might be surprised to find that some Japanese castles have extremely creaky wooden floors that screech and groan with each step.
How could such slipshod construction have been considered acceptable for some of the most powerful figures in Japanese history? The answer is that the sounds weren’t just tolerated, but desired, as the noise-producing floors functioned as Japan’s earliest automated intruder alarm.