The unfulfilled Ambition of an Edo Police Chief Inspector

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「待っていたぞっ、火付盗賊改メ、長谷川平蔵じゃ!」・’I have been waiting for you! This is chief inspector of the arson and robbery department, Hasegawa Heizou – freeze!’, he proclaims in typical manner as he catches criminals red-handed on the crime scene. He wears his signature soldier helmet of authorized rank, the Jingasa (陣笠・じんがさ) and in his hand he thrusts out a short, metallic truncheon, called a Jitte (十手・じって, usually of metal with a hook on the side to ward off sword attacks). Nothing escapes his sharp sight and what he aimed for, he will not let of the hook again – watch out you villains out there!

After my first stint into Japanese history with the article about the Shimabara Rebellion, this article I like to devote to Hasegawa Nobutame (長谷川宣以・はせがわのぶため; 1745-1795), a historic figure of the same era, the Edo Period (江戸・えど; 1603-1868). The name Hasegawa Nobutame might not ring many bells because in Japan he is more commonly known by the name of Hasegawa Heizou (長谷川平蔵・はせがわへいぞう), or his alias Onihei (鬼平・おにへい).

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‘Silence’ the Movie

If I had posted this about a week ago, it would have been the turkey, but now it’s just a rest of gravy. Nonetheless, I like to write an article about it, as it represents a part of Japanese history that is very fascinating to me. The talk is – as the above trailer gives away – Martin Scorsese‘s (マーティン・スコセッシ; The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Gangs of New York) latest work and pet project with the adaption of ‘Silence’. A movie based on the best-seller novel of Endou Shuusaku (Shūsaku Endō; 遠藤 周作・えんどう しゅうさく; Japanese author from March 27, 1923 – September 29, 1996) by the same name, published in 1966, revolving around Christianity in Japan.

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