An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Sunekosuri – a Japanese Spirit


Okay, I really thought the sunekosuri was cute in The Great Yokai War, so I had to do a Google search for it. There is not much information about this interesting Japanese spirit creature, but I did manage to find some pictures. Apparently, sunekosuris do exist in Japan or are thought to exist.




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Gym day – running and weight training

Filed under: Cass' training blog - martial arts, weights, running — feyMorgaina @ 19:48

Today, I decided to run to the gym and then do some weight training.

It’s been a good week since I did any running and about 3 days since I had any exercise. The break was good for me, though it was a bit hard running and exercising today.

The run to the gym was a little more than 1 km. I didn’t run straight there but added some more distance hoping to make it a mile, but as it turned out it was a few kilometres shy of a mile. I ran to the gym in 7 minutes 48 seconds.

At the gym, I did a full weight training program. Here’s a list of the weight exercises:

Leg press
Hamstring flexor
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Pull-ups (again military and parallel)
Chest press
Bar pulls (works the muscles next to the scapulae on the back)
Pectoral press
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift
Bicep curl
Back extensor
Tricep extensor
Abdominal curls
Leg lifts

Afterwards I did my standard 100 pushups which were harder today because I felt so bloated and much of doing pushups relies on maintaining a tight stomach. Being bloated definitely does not help. I also did 20 finger pushups while maintaining a horizontal split position, using only half my weight. My fingers are not that strong yet, surprisingly, so I needed to reduce the weight or I wouldn’t be able to do those pushups yet. (Hm… maybe I’ll be able to break a board using the spear finger…)

Next, of course, I did some stretches which always feel good. I hate having a stiff body. Energy just feels so inhibited when the body is stiff. Stretching out the body on a regular basis allows energy to flow easily throughout the body. Think about those Tai Chi grandmasters and you can see the difference.

Finally, after that workout, I decided to run (not walk) back home. I ran straight from the gym back home. It’s 1 km and I manage to do that in 7 minutes 7 seconds after tiring my muscles out at the gym. So, I’m happy. I ran to the gym, did some weights, and ran back. It’s a good way for me to get running in and build up endurance.

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Toronto International Film Festival Review – Part One

Filed under: TV, Movies, and Music - Reviews — feyMorgaina @ 05:12


The Film Festival has now come and gone and I finally have some time to review the movies I saw.

First was the Korean movie, Hyung-sa (The Duelist) directed by Lee Myung-se. The movie is superficially a tale of two detectives who are assigned to investigate a case involving counterfeit money. Underneath the pretense of trying to solve the case, the major story revolves around the female detective, Namsoon, and a mysterious stranger who is somehow connected to the case and to whom Namsoon is unexplicably drawn.

The movie is filmed excellently and in such a way that the viewer is meant to lose track of the story and the case. The movie is described in the Film Festival guide as “A lavish dance of images swaying to the steady beat of an action romance… ” (See above link to the movie.) The two main characters, Namsoon and the mysterious stranger (best referred to as “the Duelist” – yes, the name of the movie), are completely fascinating as is their interaction with each other. Namsoon is loud, forceful, agressive and an excellent “tough cop”, the opposite of everything a young women should be in long-ago Korea and the Duelist is extremely graceful yet solidly strong in his often silent appearances. It is perhaps these opposite personalities that make each encounter between these two characters so intriguing – not to mention the frustration Namsoon feels at the elusiveness of the Duelist.

Throughout all this we are constantly brought back to the reality of the case that Namsoon is investigating and eventually the final conflict and climax of the movie is reached. However, there is still one more twist to the story. Against all the odds, Namsoon and the Duelist share one more encounter together. This time it is a remarkable sparring/dance scene outside in the falling snow under a moonlit sky. The scene is so wonderfully shot, that the only words to come to my mind was “This is what love should feel like…” – playfully sparring all the while expressing passion and love for each other. Then soon enough the scene is finished and we are once again brought back to reality, still not sure what happened to the Duelist. A movie worth watching again and again, especially for the last sparring/dance scene.

Yôkai Daisensô (The Great Yokai War) directed by Takashi Miike brings to the big screen the spirits of Japanese mythology and folklore. It is the stuff of Japanese children’s nightmares.

The main character of the story is Tadashi, a young boy who during a local village festival is picked to be the Kirin Rider of Japanese myth. As the Kirin Rider, Tadashi is supposed to reclaim a legendary sword from the Great Goblin to be found in a local mountain. School lets out for vacation time and out of curiousity, Tadashi heads into the mountains but is frightened away and heads home on a passing bus. On the bus trip, Tadashi meets who is to become the equivalent of Lewis Carroll’s white rabbit, a small cat-like spirit creature (a Yokai) Tadashi finds out is called Sunekosuri. Eventually, Tadashi is led back into the mountains again and becomes involved in the Great Yokai War, a battle against the evil wizard, Kato.

Miike has so far already established himself a cult following for his movies and that alone assures the success of this movie. This was however my first Miike film and even a few days later, I still wasn’t sure what to make of his movie. It has been called by some “Japan’s answer to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings“, though I it didn’t quite have the quest element. It was probably much closer to Harry Potter, though Tadashi flew with a sword and not a broom. Other parallels can be made with Alice in Wonderland. As mentioned, Sunekosuri was like the white rabbit, though admittedly much cuter with its little cat-like squeak noises and teddy bear-like movements (not to mention that for a tiny little thing it was quite courageous). In addition, the plethora of different characters (Yokai) that Tadashi meets on his adventure seem to match (even outdo) the characters in Carroll’s story. There’s just so many of them.

Overall, I think the movie was enjoyable. It was definitely amusing (I still can’t forget Sunekosuri!), but the story was not remarkable. Perhaps the only remarkable thing is that the story is told in a different setting and in a different culture. Perhaps though that is a good thing, it shows us the commonalities we have with other cultures. Every one seems to have fairy tales for children to grow up on.

If you like fairy tales and children’s fantasy stories, I guess this is the movie for you. If not, at the very least, you’ll get a few good laughs if you have some time to watch it.

Some more reviews of this movie can be found at:

I’ll be back later with some more movie reviews.

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