007は二度死ぬ You Only Live Twice
007 ボンドガール Vol.５ 007は二度死ぬ (1967) 再編集版
My name is Bond. James Bond.
007は二度死ぬ You Only Live Twice. Definitely a cult movie.
Not only because of its nostalgic atmosphere and weird, monstrous “Japanophilia”, but the “Japanese-looking” (?) female characters (HAMA Mie 浜美枝, WAKABAYASHI Akiko 若林映子) who had to be exchanged, should have been substituted, – in vain!!-, means, we have two Japanese Bond Girls in one film! Let’s remember, no Japanese actress in those times spoke English.
I tried to find some typical “Bond-girl-images” of the two actresses, which had been used in the Japanese print media of the 60’s/70’s. The direct perception of the truth is of course misleading. But hey, it’s all entertainment.
I do actually get into a sentimental, heart-moving mood. The film music sang by Nancy Sinatra is such a catchy tune, that I might sing it tomorrow the whole day… (smile)
The more often you watch this film, the more you are getting into an “otaku” オタクfeeling, in which you wonder, why on earth did the crew choose those sceneries, that situation, or this kind of dialogue?! Sometimes I just laugh.
All the clichés, all the stereotypes about the imagination of Japan had to be put into this movie. Which means, some wrong interactions/sequences have been created, obviously necessary to appeal to a “Western”/global audience.
The questionable visualization of Japan.
The problem starts afterwards. The viewer gets a wrong image of Japan. As an oxymoron, “Japan” tries “in vain” to satisfy this “projected imagination/delusion“.
Next starts the discussion with “native” Japanese people about “identity politics”, because Japan is a mixed culture. You wonder, where you should draw the starting line. Especially from my point of view with my cultural background: Europe.
And now. The Japanese Experience.
Having lived, loved, worked, paid taxes, created culture, created art works, – all in my “home-country” Japan for almost 40 years. From which angle should we start a discourse about contemporary Japanese culture?
As I live in Japan, I enjoy this film in a completely different way, in comparison to “native” Japanese or the “rest” of the world (in abstract terms). The same happens with “Lost in Translation”. The initial position of both movies can be analysed as identical adventurous, “funny” projects by the film-directors. The yearning towards oriental exoticism, fusioned with some futuristic, cool modernism puts the story into a tour-de-force (once in a-life-time-chance), as the block-buster success is not guaranteed, the “Western”/global/Asian audience can be quite picky.
Rightly, we only live twice, Mr. Bond.
And twice is the only way to live.
Warm greetings from Tokyo, thank you very much, indeed. Your entertaining performances defined an era and a style. Your charisma had been very much appreciated, enjoyed, Sir Sean Connery. It was really a lot of fun. You will forever stay in our actual life’s memory.
Tokyo, 31 October 2020
You Only Live Twice • Theme Song • Nancy Sinatra
Recapping 007 #5 – You Only Live Twice (1967) (Review)
Inside You Only Live Twice
WAKABAYASHI-Akiko 若林映子 Toyota 2000GT from You Only Live Twice (1967)
Sean Connery was a friend, more than a star: Japanese assistant director to Bond film
November 2, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)
Shooting with the British crew, who came from a very different cultural background from the Japanese crew, was not easy, Kawabe remembers. For example, in a scene in which Connery wore a yukata, or lightweight kimono, the British costume staff had tied his obi belt around his belly. Saying, “This is undignified. This should be tied at the hips,” Kawabe re-tied the belt, as the costume staff watched, looking dissatisfied. “They probably thought of it in the same way as a western gown,” Kawabe said.
In another instance, British prop staff had laid out futons across the threshold of a sliding door. The late Japanese actor Tetsuro Tanba who was also in the film pointed out, “We would never do this,” and had the staff rearrange the futon on the floor.