Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

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    Native inhabitants of Arrakis, descendants of the Zensunni Wanderers

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Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 12 Nov 2010 14:47

Since the religion of the Fremen is a combination of the Sunni Islam and Zen Buddhism, do you think that for artistic interpretation, the Fremen could be portrayed as a cultural combination of nomadic Arab and medieval Japanese culture? It's a weird idea, but I recall the artistic depictions of the Fremen in David Lynch's Dune as being pretty Japanese-like (with probably some Arabic aspects). I'm considering this as one of many probable interpretations of the Fremen. Can others see this, or should my water be taken by the tribe for making a loose interpretation?
Last edited by Jodorowsky's Acolyte on 31 Dec 2010 20:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby SandChigger » 12 Nov 2010 20:40

The Fremen religion originated in a syncretism of future versions of Sunni and Zen:

ZENSUNNI: followers of a schismatic sect that broke away from the teachings of Maometh (the so-called "Third Muhammed") about 1381 B.G. The Zensunni religion is noted chiefly for its emphasis on the mystical and a reversion to "the ways of the fathers." Most scholars name Ali Ben Ohashi as leader of the original schism but there is some evidence that Ohashi may have been merely the male spokesman for his second wife, Nisai.

Because 1381 B.G. is still something like 10,000 years in OUR future, the religion wasn't a "combination" of the Sunni and Zen we know. And then there was over 10,000 more years of development.

The Fremen-to-be were probably living on Poritrin at the time or soon migrated there. They were neither nomads nor samurai.

While the Fremen obviously have Arab and some Japanese ancestry ("Ali ben Ohashi" certainly sounds like the product of a bicultural couple), it would be silly to presume some retention of cultural elements from Terra to wherever through the Zensunni Wanderings and all the way to Arrakis.

While it's possible (probable?) that the Fremen RMs retrieved valuable information from their Other Memory that smoothed the adaptation to life on Arrakis, a lot of the Fremen lifestyle could just be a type of convergent cultural evolution that would occur when any human population is forced to live in a desert.

I don't get the feudal/medieval Japanese aspect at all. There's more to Zen than that.

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Shaitan
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby Shaitan » 13 Nov 2010 19:24

Yeah, even by the time FH was writing Dune, Zen/Buddhism/Taoism had spread far beyond Japan and was heavily influencing many of the most forward-looking elements of Western culture.

Islam was also on the rise, as it has been for some time. The first of the modern "muslim revivals" occurred right about the time that FH was overseas being exposed to his original inspiration, IIRC.

I always saw the "dual generic-man-figure" symbols of the Zensunni as implying that it isn't just a fusion of the two into one....it's a respect for both roots. For their duality and their contradictions as much as for their parallels.
Last edited by Shaitan on 13 Nov 2010 19:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby Freakzilla » 13 Nov 2010 19:33

Who's side are you on, son?
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby SandRider » 14 Nov 2010 01:42

Our side, sir!
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby merkin muffley » 16 Nov 2010 14:53

We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.
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Re: Japanese-Arab Cultural Combination

Postby Freakzilla » 16 Nov 2010 16:32

They'd rather be alive than free... poor dumb bastards.
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