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Japan: "We Must Live." CSA: "Let It Go." - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
Japan: "We Must Live." CSA: "Let It Go."
We watched a beautifully animated and performed film last night- The Wind Rises, the final film from Hayao Miyazaki, who also brought us classics such as Spirited Away, Princess Monokoke and Howl's Moving Castle.  The English-language version was distributed here through Disney, and I first became aware of it when the Mouse released it, ever so briefly, during the 2014 Oscar season; word was they didn't want it distracting from the Princess Parade of that year's Frozen winner.  Yet we'd somehow managed to miss seeing it until Netflix sent it.

It's a largely-true tale of a Japanese aeronautical engineer and his struggles in career, life and love as he tries to hold onto beautiful things in all of them without having the spectre of war or disease destroy them.  The hand-drawn animation is gorgeous, the voice cast spot-on, and there's a clear message about the role that the character's aircraft played in World War II without it being the central point of the film.

One striking point about it all, given our recent unpleasantnesses about our own nation's warlike past, was how the depictions of war preparations managed to be described with detail and even beauty, without those visceral symbols of the sides that fought so bravely yet viciously in defeat.  I saw but one Rising Sun flag in the entire film, and although the hero (named Jirô and pronounced with an H) spends several scenes of the film in Nazi Germany surrounded by soldiers, there's not a swastika or SS symbol to be seen anywhere.  Whether these were intentional decisions to avoid controversy or triggering, or the remnants of post-war restrictions in Japan that prohibit their use (as the swastika is banned to this day in Germany), I don't know- but I did find their absence to be refreshing.

It's another way of trying to explain how offensive that "Southern pride" symbol is to so many who are descended either from the victors on those 1860s battlefields or the slaves over which the battles were fought.  Imagine if a "national pride" movement had gained ground in Japan, and Rising Sun flags started appearing in news dispatches from Tokyo surrounding government buildings. The remaining survivors of the Pacific theater, and their children and even great-grandchildren, would likely pitch fits over the guttural sight of that symbol of battle, of sneak attack, of Death March- as well they should.  I don't think they would take kindly to pronouncements of "historical record" and "pride."

Nor should anyone be using those terms in resisting the overdue death of our own half's traitorous flag.  Let it go.
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sturgeonslawyer From: sturgeonslawyer Date: July 16th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, it turns out that this won't be Miyazaki's final film after all - he's returned to animation, but now he's working with 3D. Will probably look very different...
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: July 16th, 2015 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
The IMDB notes mentioned some rumors to that effect, but that they were unfounded. It also said he "retired" several times before this, so it's not surprising.

I saw the Who on their first supposed "farewell tour" in 1982, so I'm used to this sort of thing.
sturgeonslawyer From: sturgeonslawyer Date: July 16th, 2015 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw that tour too (though I was lucky enough to see them in '76 with Moon still alive, though sloppy). I have faith that Miyazaki will return; real artists almost never actually retire.
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