Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home Schooling - Morals and Values: Duty / Courage / Love / Honor - Books and Movies



One of the most effective ways of learning...
is by direct observation of correct actions...
and of the ramifications of those actions.

Through, books...
(which is actually direct observation...
as the text manifests itself in the mind as a movie)
and movies...
it becomes possible to realize great lessons in life...
by direct observation...
without having to have been there.

Life is a collection of memories...
borne of experience.

The richer...
and more beautiful...
those experiences...
the richer and more beautiful...
is life.

Alex is now of sufficient maturity to read and see...
examples of great...

Duty / Courage / Love / Honor

I shall be getting Alex his own copies of the following...
so he may re-read and re-see...
and so, reinforce, these desirable traits.

This book is almost 1000 pages of small print...
with not a word wasted.

My favorite book of all time. 

It is the most famous version of Musashi 
(Japanese author Eiji Yoshikawa) 

A book and story on a grand scale. 
A piece of fiction based on the real life of Miyamoto Musashi 
(not enough was known about the real Musashi 
to account for all the details used in the book to illustrate his life...
but many of the battles were documented in Japanese History).

I first read this book 30 years ago. 
Every page held me entranced. 
Many a night I vowed to read but one section...
only to find myself hours behind my normal sleep time...
still hungry for more.

It is the story of a man's journey to maturity...
and mastery over himself, through his sword. 
After many setbacks and sidetracks...
he embarks on a difficult mission of...
complete mastery of swordfighting by traveling...
and challenging the best weapons fighters...
throughout Japan. 

Musashi becomes the greatest swordsman of his era...
while a close friend falls behind by giving in to a hedonistic lifestyle. 

Of course, no great book is complete without a great love being central to the story. 
A young woman who grows to love Musashi after seeing him mature...
ends up following him, no matter how far he traveled.
For her...this is her mission. 
Her love for him stands as an example of true love and loyalty.

The story ends with a final battle between Musashi and his nemesis...
another Samurai on a similar mission. 

An epic tale - one of the most famous in all of Japan.



Musa 
Get the Korean DVD version with English subtitles.

An Epic Saga like none Hollywood has put out in years
(exception - The Last Samurai). 
It had won International Awards in 2001...I believe.

Synopsis:  The story is fiction, but has its basis in history. Hundreds of years ago in China, the Ming Dynasty was established and they (the newly established Dynasty) were in the process of pushing the Mongols out of China. Korea was attempting to establish diplomatic ties with the Ming Dynasty and had dispatched a total of four emissary groups to China. Only three ever returned. This is the story of that fourth group - the one that was never heard from again. 

It features acting from a top cast of Chinese and Korean actors, including Ziyi Zhang - the gem of China. 
She will steal your heart in the end. 

It has some of the best choreography, cinematography, story and acting of any film. 
While it is filled with many battle scenes - they were all central to the story and very well done. 

The movie involves Heroism, Love, Loyalty, Honor, Friendship and ultimately heart wrenching sacrifice...
all supplemented with beautiful music and scenery...
themes that Hollywood seems to have forgotten except for the excellent movie: The Last Samurai.

Basic Story:   It starts with the last Emissary group arriving in China only to be accused of being spies and exiled to the Gobi desert. While in transist, their captors are killed by a roving troup of Mongols and they are left to fend for themselves. They later come across a seperate Mongol group that had captured a Chinese princess. The Koreans battle the Mongols, free the princess and attempt to return her to saftey in China. 

The rest of the movie involves their hasty retreat across the desert with the Mongols close behind and climaxes in a final epic battle at a deserted fortress. 

The many well played characters are brought to life and have you identifying with each - at times despising some, but ultimately loving them all.

The battle scenes are especially well done as the excellent musical score stirs your heart to heroic levels. 

This movie sets itself apart from the often times clownish Kung Fu films that have the actors flying through the air while performing meaningless acrobatics - the fight choreography in Musa is very realistic, and the actors... highly skilled.

Many have seen this wonder of a movie. If you don't have the DVD 2 disk version, then you are missing out on so much more. 

The first disc has the movie and right after that they have the full movie again but this time with the directors commentary on every aspect of the film as it plays. 

The second disk has special features including interviews with the actors and what I think is worth the price of the DVD by itself: 

The code of the Samurai. 

The meaning and essential core of Bushido...
what has guided generations of Japanese...
is exemplified in these writings. 

We, in America, living in an age of twisted values and dishonor...
the Code of the Samurai is a necessary template for our youth.

Ken Watanabe, along with the many Japanese actors, are supurb. 
The woman who plays Taka displays the epitomy of feminine beauty and grace.

Another especially notable scene is when Tom Cruise holds the 8 year old boy as he grieves for what he believes to be the last time he shall see the paternal figure that Tom Cruise had come to be for him - tears shall flow. It is very touchingly done - you cannot help but feel the pain - for parents - your paternal and maternal instincts will emerge and highten. 

This movie - more than any I have seen - incorporates the Japanese spirit and what we in America must instill in our children if they are to have a chance against the selfish and hedonistic "values" and examples that inundate our media.

Love, Courage, Loyalty and above all - Honor....
 this movie is a shinning example. 

Buy it for the values that this movie so beautifully demonstrates.  

One of many in a large series of DVDs.

The one that started it all. 

Zatoichi (1962) is introduced. 

The tremendous series that followed endeared the blind swordsman to the Japanese hearts. 

He is a wandering former Yakuza who had become a champion of the common man...
through his sense of justice and his deadly cane sword. 

His hightened senses allowed him to prevail with sword and dice alike. 

Classic Japanese Chambara - one against many - good against evil. 

Highly enjoyable and a very refreshing moral theme. 

Each experience in life...
changes us.

By giving examples of great...

Duty / Courage / Love / Honor

your child will strive to incorporate these...
highly positive attributes...
into his life.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...