Rising Sun

Of the many fine films by Kinji Fukasaku to be released on DVD throughout 2004-05, Under the Flag of the Rising Sun is arguably the most unforgettable. As Japanese film scholar Tom Mes observes in an accompanying essay, it is also an important milestone in Fukasaku's prolific career, since i…






John Connor:
Have you negotiated with the Japanese?

Web Smith:
Negotiated?

John Connor:
Mm. Perhaps I can suggest the strategy.

Web Smith:
Well, this is hardly a negotiation.

John Connor:
Oh? What is it, then?

Web Smith:
What is it? It's a homicide.

John Connor:
When we arrive, you take charge of the negotiations. Don't introduce me or refer to me. Don't even look in my direction. Keep your jacket buttoned at all times. If they bow, you bow back.

Web Smith:
Believe it or not, I have done this before. You know, I do know these things.

John Connor:
Do keep your hands at your sides. The Japanese find big arm movements threatening. Keep your voice calm and even. You'll probably find them irritating tonight. But whatever happens, don't lose your temper.

Web Smith:
I don't lose my temper.

John Connor:
That's good to know. When you start to get into trouble...

Web Smith:
I won't get into trouble.

John Connor:
When you start to get into trouble, I will say, "Perhaps I can be of assistance?" From then on, I do the talking. You stand behind me. And don't appear distracted. We may come from a fragmented, MTV rap-video culture, but they do not. Every aspect of your appearance and behavior will reflect on you, the Department, and me as your sempai.

Web Smith:
My sempai?

John Connor:
Mm.

Web Smith:
That wouldn't be massa, would it?

John Connor:
No. The sempai is the senior man who guides the junior man, the kohai. In Japan, the sempai-kohai relationship is presumed to exist when the younger man and the older man work together. Hopefully, they will presume that of us.

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