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January 03, 2005



The TV in my room was broken, and there are several TVs in my house. So I used the one in my parents' bed room and watched a samurai drama for 10 hours without a break. The title was "Kunitori Monogatari" meaning "The story of dominating countries." It is a story of fighting between samurai about 500 years ago. Around that time Japan was in a state of anarchy and tens of daimyo were fighting each other seeking for the domination of the whole of Japan. There are a lot of stories about this age and they are told in various styles such as novels, films, plays, and TV dramas. Most Japanese know the outlines of the story and they watch or read them again and again. One of the reasons for the repetition is that the story is closely related to our modern life. The world of samurai resembles those of "salaryman" in Japan. All the samurai were bound tightly to the master and servant relationship which is just like the relationship between corporate employees in Japan. They both work very hard for the sake of their master or company, sometimes throwing their lives or families away. It is incredible I think, but it was one aspect of Japanese society at least until several years ago. I can't agree with this kind of idea because my most important thing is myself.

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