Review: Films Set In Japan – ‘The Karate Kid Part II’ (1986)

This sequel starts exactly where the original one finishes including an overly long re-cap of the first film. There is debate around whether the first part of this movie was made at the same time as the original or if it was newly made. After that we see Miyagi’s amazingly beautiful garden and after receiving a letter from his family about his father being seriously ill he and Daniel-san are off to the main island of Okinawa in the south-west of Japan. However, it wasn’t really Okinawa but Oahu in Hawaii which filled in more cheaply. These reviews are categorized as being ‘set’ in Japan to allow for the inclusion of films like this!

I mentioned years ago in a pre-Okinawa trip post that this film gave me my first glimpse into Japanese life. One memorable feature of watching this at my mates house as a kid was the den-den daiko (hand-drum) which I had to wait nearly 20 years to get my hands on! On top of that there’s also tea ceremony and toro nagashi (floating lanterns) and we really get an insight into the charcters we fell in love with in the first film. Daniel’s love interest comes in the form of Kumiko; a Japanese dancer hanging around the place. I’d like to be able to say something profound about her being the first asian girl to tickle my fancy but the reality is that at that age I showed very little interest in any females!

Inevitably the story isn’t as good as the first and its premise is basically that this time Daniel-san is now fighting for his life rather than just for a Championship. As often happens with Hollywood productions we have the ridiculous scenario where two Japanese people, in this case Miyagi and his brother, speak to each other in English. As far as I know this only happens in an English classroom…..if you’re lucky!

 

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