The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0653  Friday, 31 March 2000.

From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 31 Mar 2000 11:08:40 +1000
Subject: 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die

I didn't read my email for a couple of days and so missed these
responses to my (rather hysterical) posting on this thread.  Sorry for
being out of sequence.

>My apologies if I offended in my haste to respond.  Please be assured
>that no harm was intended, certainly not against our dearly beloved
>Moshiwake arimasen

No apologies necessary...I was being overly prissy about terms.  For the
non-Japanese speakers on the list, "moshiwake arimasen" is an extremely
formal apology, meaning something like "there is no way I can
sufficiently apologize for the magnitude of what I have done."  Usually
it is reserved for occasions such as airline presidents apologizing to
the families of passengers killed in crashes...and even I, nitpicking
obsessive-compulsive that I am, realize that overlaps in film genre
definitions hardly require such graciousness (actually, if you say this
to a Japanese person with whom you have an intimate relationship, they
will think you're being sarcastic!).

Ah, how far afield one can travel from Shakespeare.  Allow me one more
digression, however.  Peter Hyland wrote:

>While Karen Peterson-Kranz is right to say that Kurosawa's Ran and
>Throne of Blood are not simply part of the "martial arts" genre, in
>suggesting that Tanya Gough is oversimplifying, she oversimplifies
>herself. Karen objected to Tanya's description of these films as "superb
>examples of Samurai translations", implying that samurai films are
>basically the same as martial arts films.  It might well be that that is
>what they have become, but the historical samurai culture contains a
>very complex mix of social, ethical, political and military
>relationships. Kurosawa knew this even if simple-minded martial artists
>don't, so Tanya's description is not so far off the mark.

Peter is, of course, correct in that I, too, was guilty of
oversimplification.  My undergraduate degree was a double major in
CompLit and Japanese; I subsequently studied in Japan, and later
returned to teach in a university there for a number of years.  I have
encountered so few people in the Shakespeare-early modern culture
community with any interest, let alone knowledge, of Japanese culture,
that I do tend to oversimplify in the mistaken belief that it is
necessary.  Peter is entirely accurate in his description of the
complexity of that aspect of Japanese culture which is sometimes
designated as "samurai."  (A better term, I think, is "bushido"- the way
of the warrior.)  In many ways, I have come to think that understanding
what we refer to as the "early modern period" in Europe may be enriched
by a more detailed understanding of the corresponding period in
Japan-not to mention Korea, China, and elsewhere in Asia.

Sorry, Hardy, for straying so far away from the list's constellation of

Karen Peterson-Kranz
University of Guam

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