Sunday, January 17, 2010

Samurai Umbrellas and CSI: Miami

I was out shopping with my best friend today when she pointed out a stack of possibly the funniest umbrellas I've ever seen: katana-handle umbrellas. Best gag gift ever!

In other (cheesy) pop culture news, from the TV commercials it looks like CSI: Miami's show tomorrow night at 10pm EST, Die By the Sword, will deal with yakuza, the Japanese equivalent of the mafia. If the clip showing a guy on a motorcycle killing someone with a katana is any indication, it won't exactly be a factual documentary. ;) If any of y'all watch the show, let me know how it turns out!

An interesting fact about the yakuza: their tradition of elaborate tattoos began centuries ago, when criminals were often tattooed to warn others of the crimes they'd committed. Some in the criminal class decided to start flaunting the system, embellishing and adding on to the tattoos in a big middle finger to society, and it grew from there.

Today, tattoos in Japan still largely carry this association with criminals and your average normal person or college kid or even "punk" isn't likely to get one. Miyavi, a Japanese rock star covered in tattoos, is one of the very rare exceptions.

1 comment:

Kelly Maple said...

That wasn't CSI's last brush with all things Japanese. The New York branch recently aired an episode in South Africa about two top bussinessmen killed in a samurai-esque manner by their CEO, who liked to train his top execs in Aikido and Kendo. It was really cool. :-D