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FAIL - I'm not really Stanley Lieber. — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stanley Lieber

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FAIL [Mar. 16th, 2008|06:19 pm]
Stanley Lieber
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04. FAIL

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[User Picture]From: lenno_cornish
2008-03-19 09:18 am (UTC)
Who is that man? Just an ordinary Japanese samurai?
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[User Picture]From: stanleylieber
2008-03-19 04:28 pm (UTC)
Given that he appears in a photograph, I assume he postdates most of the ones described in Romulus Hillsborough's Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps, but I'm really not sure what his story is. To be honest I don't even remember where I originally found the photo; I think it might have come from vintage_photo.

Samurai by the late 19th century were mostly engaging in live action role-playing. Their political power was greatly diminished and their purpose as defenders of the Emporer had been eclipsed by soldiers drilled in Wester-style armed combat (that is to say, shooting people with modern firearms was a more effective means of ensuring the continuity of government). At the same time, there was a complex social context that as an American I'm not sure I can ever truly understand. To this day, "samurai families" carry cachet as a symbol of the establishment. Which is curious when you consider that throughout Japan's history only a small percentage of samurai were ever officially beholden to the Emporer.
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[User Picture]From: lenno_cornish
2008-03-20 05:40 am (UTC)
There is one more interesting matter about samurais: like European knights they had fierce traditions of various intrigues, duels, murders and suicides (very often - massive suicides). But in contrast to European aristocracy (which almost killed itself, that's why European kings tried to prohibit duels) samurai were very numerous social group till their official end.
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