Takashi Miike arrived in San Francisco for the first time in 16 years on October 31st, Halloween, to attend the premiere of his new film, Blade of the Immortal (adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s manga Mugen no jûnin). .
The last time he was in San Francisco was immediately after 9/11 back in 2001. He was on his way back home a convention in Canada when the New York atrocity occurred, and was stuck in San Francisco in the aftermath.
At that time we were working on TokyoScope, our Japanese cult movie book (which later became the source of inspiration for this website). We interviewed Miiki at the hotel where he was staying, along with Patrick Macias, the author of the book and a huge fan of Miike’s 1996 direct-to-video movie, Fudoh: The New Generation.
Miike looks exactly the same as the last time we saw him. You wouldn’t believe that it has been 16 years since that meeting. And he still works just as hard as he did before. In this respect, he reminds us of Manji himself, the ageless protagonist in "Blade of the Immortal” who cannot die.
The movie stars one of Japan’s leading entertainment artists, Takuya Kimura, as Manji. Kimura was a former star member of the boy band, SMAP, which rocked the entertainment industry in Japan when it disbanded amidst a swirl of rumors and regret last year. His lead role in "Blade of the Immortal” is Kimura’s first major work since the group disbanded. It has been a challenging period in his life, so he identifies with this role on a number of levels.
As for Miike himself, he sees many similarities between Manji’s solitude and Kimura’s. To his mind, there is always a hidden meaning behind people’s apparently chance meetings and encounters in life. These are the kind of thoughts and themes that he spoke about when we interviewed him this time round.
Continue reading the interview from here.