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Growing up as a kid, I wanted to be a ninja. In martial arts, even though I did Chinese kung fu, I always wanted to be this secret samurai or a ninja. There's something about ninjas that was very appealing to me as a kid. So of course, I was climbing a lot of trees and other things and getting up to mischief - good mischief.
I always had a sense that I would fall in love with Tokyo. In retrospect I guess it's not that surprising. I was of the generation that had grown up in the '80s when Japan was ascendant (born aloft by a bubble whose burst crippled its economy for decades), and I'd fed on a steady diet of anime and samurai films.
You re-watch 'Napoleon Dynamite', and there's a lot of thrift shopping that goes on in that movie; there's a lot of funny stuff. It's definitely amusing, and paying 99 cents for a samurai sword is amazing.
I look at the Samurai because they were the artists of their time. What I think struck me when I read Bushido is compassion. 'If there's no one there to help, go out and find someone to help.' That hit me, because I try to lead my life like that.
One of the amazing things about 'Seven Samurai' is that there are a lot of characters. And considering you have so many, and they all have shaved heads, and you've got good guys and bad guys and peasants, you get to understand a lot of them without too much being said.