Tag Archives: anime

Cat Samurai Mystery Solved!

Just in time for AnimeCon 2018, I have finally found out the origin of the samurai-walking-a-cat artwork, and what it’s all about!

You know, this amazing picture:

old scroll style artwork of a samurai taking a cat for a walk. Love the put out expression.

A samurai walking a cat. Thank goodness I figured out where it was from.

Anyway, it turns out it’s an artwork from an exhibit by contemporary artist Tetsuya Noguchi, who specializes in insanely well executed renditions of samurai in comical and surreal situations. Here’s a blurb about the exhibit, with more examples of the art, including a samurai on a penny-farthing bicycle!

Absolute respect for getting all the details dead-on accurate. There was a lot of research that went into this, in addition to the artistic skill. My favorite part is the multiple layers of humor, and the farther you look into it the funnier it is.

Modern parody artwork of samurai doing something incongruous, which quotes from historical sources, some of which are themselves parody artworks of samurai doing incongruous things, or which seem incongruous out of context. Nice.

A quick bit of said context so you can appreciate it all the more!

About “Samurai”:

  1. “Samurai” means, basically, “servant” so no high-class warrior would consider themselves a samurai, like some sort of ashigaru (footsoldier) prole. As for what to call a pre-modern Japanese warrior in general, I’m going to go with bushi (warrior), from here.
  2. During the eras of actual warfare, and not the long relative peace of the Edo period, where they were channeled into less destructive tendencies like loyalty and honor, bushi were all about one thing, and one thing only: cutting off heads and getting rewarded for it. (Acceptable hobbies include playing the flute or biwa, appreciating noh theater, flower arranging, and poetry.) This leads to a few developments:
    • Looking distinctive – Make sure your armor is unique, and instantly identifiable, so that you get properly witnessed by others on the battlefield if you do cut someone important’s head off, so you can get rewarded for it. This also serves to make sure that people know that YOU are important enough to try to cut your head off if you get killed, because it would be miserable, pointless, and horribly humiliating if you died, and nobody even bothered to harvest your noggin. This is also why you should also wear makeup and grow facial hair (high class gentleman!) if at all possible.
    • LOTS of paperwork. This whole system of Eternal War for Fun and Profit ran on bureaucratic red tape like an old timey steam engine ran on coal. Historians love this fact. How do we know who took what heads and got which rewards? We have the hearing transcripts and the severed head receipts.
  3. Awesome. Let’s look at some historical examples!

Probably late Sengoku Era, or in the style of that time, armor. Wearing a face guard so people can’t see your mustache? Just put a mustache on the face guard. Problem resolved! Probably lots of people are wearing a helmet that looks like a gentleman’s hat. Cover the hat with fur to match the mustache, and add some gilt bronze horns, for bonus distinctiveness points!

Closeup of the helmet and faceguard of a suit of Japanese armor.

By https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiseb/with/6454720709/ tiseb [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Honestly, at this pace, kitty ear helmets aren’t out of the question. Here’s a rather worn example, of somewhat less fancy armor, with rabbit(?) ears.

Rabbit ears or maybe deer ears tacked onto a helmet.

By https://www.flickr.com/photos/oxborrow/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/oxborrow/49836706/) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Oh, Minamoto no Yoshistune, you were thirty when you died (1159 – 1189), yet the first thing people do to you in the future (by which I mean 1500-something) is make you prettier for extra romantic pathos:

Shizuka Gozen (Yoshitsune's girlfriend), Minamoto no Yoshitsune (on the horse), and a couple of scruffy ashigaru, in a 1500s painting. Note that they've apparently scrambled out of the house without shoes, but not before putting on makeup. It's all about priorities.

Shizuka Gozen (Yoshitsune’s girlfriend), Minamoto no Yoshitsune (on the horse), and a couple of scruffy ashigaru for contrast, in a 1500s painting. Note that they’ve apparently scrambled out of the house without shoes, but not before putting on armor and makeup. It’s all about priorities.

See you guys at Anime Con, where you can Ask Me Anything!

Animecon 2018 Is Coming!

Animecon is Friday, August 10th at the Main Library from 9:30am – 4pm at the Main Library. Join your fellow fans for anime viewing and discussion, cosplay, our annual Ramen noodle eating competition, and much more!

Teens (12-19) can sign up online in advance by visiting  http://www.lfpl.org/tickets/animecon-registration.asp. And don’t forget to look for the full schedule (coming soon) on the LFPL website!

STRONGLY Recommended: Children of Blood and Bone

When I first got my library copy of Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel Children of Blood and Bone, I groaned a little. I had been excited about it because I had seen the hype surrounding its release – Adeyemi had publishers fighting for the chance to print it, the title has been *heavily* advertised in the book world, and there’s already a movie deal! – but I had missed that it was over 500 pages long! Usually that’s not too much of an issue for me, as I am a bookworm (heck, I work at the library!), but for whatever reason I just wasn’t feeling a long book. But I knew if I didn’t read it when I got it the first time, I probably wouldn’t be able to get my hands on it again anytime soon (as of my writing this, there are 20 people waiting on LFPL’s 5 copies). So I forced myself to check it out. And immediately got sucked in. I am so glad I read this book, and now I’m going to gush about it because no one else has had the chance to read it yet and I need to talk about it!

So, to start off, know that the author, Tomi Adeyemi is a 24 year old (!!!) Nigerian-American who LOVES anime, especially Avatar: The Last Airbender, and has said that her main inspiration for this series (that’s right, it’s the first book in a series) comes from that love of anime, the beauty of Yoruba culture, and the constant feelings of fear and hopelessness she has due to the reality of police brutality that’s so prevalent in the United States. So. That’s definitely a REAL and interesting combination of things, but it honestly does all come together in an amazing way.

Here’s the blurb that’s on the back of the book, and it does a much better job at summarizing it than I did when I tried (I tend to get distracted and go on tangents, which can be fun sometimes but not the best for summaries).Cover for Children of Blood and Bone

THEY KILLED MY MOTHER.

THEY TOOK OUR MAGIC.

THEY TRIED TO BURY US.

NOW WE RISE.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.

If you can’t wait to get started reading it, here are the first 6 chapters of the book, made available in a Sneak Peek by the publisher! And, once you finish it, please come talk with me about it at Bon Air Library!

LFPL Anime Clubs

Just a friendly reminder, anime fans!

Hello Kitty Cafe

By Laika ac from UK (Hello Kitty Cafe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fandom Obsession Level: Hello Kitty Café.

The Louisville Free Public Library system has a few regular anime clubs! Come prepared to talk, snack, and watch your shows.

 

Teen Anime Club

Shawnee Branch

Thursdays, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

 

Anime Club

Middletown Branch

Second Monday of every Month, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

 

Pokemon train

All aboard the Pokétrain!