Birthday of Man

Today in the Chinese New Year tradition is the Birthday of Man – humans. Us. Whatever.

It is also the birthday of this hunky man.

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He is Odagiri Joe, Japanese actor and singer, and the star of this gorgeous movie with Yukie Nakama:

odagiri joe shinobi

A perfectly good reason to celebrate with lots of longevity noodles. Shinobi tells the tale of a Japanese Romeo and Juliet, a girl and a boy from opposing ninja tribes, the Mandijani Koga and Tsubagakure Iga. The tribes have been at war for hundreds of years, but now they are ordered to live in peace, otherwise they are too dangerous to exist. Oboro, the beautiful Iga girl, and Gennosuke, the handsome Koga boy, meet and fall in love. But ancient hatreds are not so easily overcome.

The fine performances of the two leads,and the breathlessly beautiful scenery does not mask the fact that this is a terribly sad, brutal story. But it carries a message of hope. Love never dies.

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