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what would make u cut ur hair?


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i just watched seven samurai... quite possibly the greatest film i've ever seen. akira kurosawa's directing is amazing, & it's full of memorable characters, gripping tension, comedy & amazing action scenes. the musical score compliments the film perfectly.

anyways... something that happened in the film got me thinking. towards the beginning of the film... the main samurai, kambei, is introduced. he is having his hair shaved at the horror of the onlookers. for a samurai, their topknot is a sign of their warrior status, & having it removed is the greatest disgrace. in another of kurosawa's films, a single samurai defeats a band of opponents, but instead of killing them he cuts their topknots off in the knowledge that they will now commit suicide by performing harakiri because of their disgrace. yet kambei voluntarily disgraces himself in the most extreme way by willingly having his head shaved. he does this because a thief has taken a peasant's baby hostage inside a house... & the only way kambei can get close enough to rescue the baby is by dressing up as a priest (including a shaved head) under the pretence of delivering food to the thief. he does manage to save the baby & slay the thief... at the cost of his own honour.

now my question is... would any of u cut off ur hair to save the life of a baby (or anyone else)?

if yes, what else would u be willing to cut ur hair for?

if no, why not?

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well seeing as others are unwilling to answer until i do... i'll give it a go...

as with most things in life, it all depends on the circumstances... so i cannot give a hard & fast answer... but generally, if someone was trying to force me to cut my hair, my answer would most likely be no. if on the other hand i was in a similar situation to kambei, my answer would most likely be yes.

in certain circumstances it may be better to cut ur hair to save someone else's life (unless the reason their life is in danger is to make u cut ur hair)... if that makes sense.

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i think that is the view which most of us would take - or do we value kesh more than we value the lives of others?

Obviously kesh are a priceless jewel yet could we take the lives of others to preserve our kesh?

I suppose its all cicumstancial...

may waheguru never put us in an awkward situation like that

'aukhee gharee na dekhan dee'

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i thought of a better way of putting what i'd written in my previous post...

i wouldn't cut my kesh out of fear... but i might out of compassion.

may waheguru never put us in an awkward situation like that

amen

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Shimada Kanbei had his head shaved because he was ready to retire to a monastery (he later admits he is tired of fighting).

Retiring to Zen Buddhist monasteries was a common practice for older Samurai. To be a monk you had to have a shaved head.

No dishonor.

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Don't pay attention to the commentary by BFI.

The film is heavily concerned with the distinction between the upper class and the commoner, and the main thrust is that the distinction is artificial and that in reality their roles are interchangeable (note the "7th samurai" with the fake lineage, and the costumes worn by the samurai youth and Manzo's daughter at the end).

There is a deliberate element of humour and melodrama in the head-shaving scene. Note the comic expression of the actor who passes the razor over to the priest. You can't tell me you missed that! Priceless!

Also, look at how the no-dachi-wielding fake samurai stands over the body of the thief and claims the glory.

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point taken about the humour in the scene... but where did u get the fact that kanbei shaved his head to retire to a monastery? other than saying he is tired of fighting, he makes no mention of a monastery. whereas shaving his head to look like a priest to save the child makes sense as he also borrows the priest's clothes to complete the transformation.

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Kanbei did'nt say at any time that he planned to retire to become a Buddhist monk, but in the cultural context I believe that that's what his head-shaving would have signified to the common people as well as to the samurai. He's supposed to be a really world-weary old veteran. I noted these incidents from the film:

1) When he tries to dissuade the youth from becoming his follower;

2) When after accepting the mission he bemoans the futility of his own career as a fighting man in front of other samurai (something that in itself would in that cultural context have been seen as almost shameful);

3) When he tries to stop the youth from joining the campaign.

Generally, he's like a point of order in the midst of chaos. All around him, people are going crazy at various times, and he "borrows the priest's robes" metaphorically at many points in the film. For instance, when Manzo goes crazy following his daughter's deflowering, Kanbei locks his eyes on him in a centred, meditative Zen Buddhist state. Also, during the battle scenes when really calmly he draws his bow and shoots the bandit.

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very thoughtful insight into the film bl... thanks for that!! it'll give me something to mull over... i think i'm gonna have to watch the film again...

tru say ce... we should get back on topic... anyone have any other thoughts about when they might be willing to cut their hair? the one situation that always seems to be suggested is having an operation that requires the surgeons to shave kesh/dhari off.

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it doesnt. Guesssing or Assuming the outcome of the situation leads nowhere. The child could become anyone or nething. Making a decision to refuse to help the child simply based on the assumption that the child could grow up to be a murderer is also neglecting the possibility that he child could become a great sage of his/her time. No one knows what the futuer of the child holds. Only Assumptions, guessing the possibilities of the future.

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I would never cut my hair out of fear for my own life...but I would cut it in a heartbeat to save anyone else's life (especially family and friends).. It is important, but it is just hair, can always grow it back...

And I do agree with other posts about it being circumstantial.

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I would not cut my hair. I would do Ardass and ask Akal Purakh for help. If someone is to be saved. Akal will save the person. If Akaal wants someone to die, the person will. Nothing can save or kill.

when u cross the road, do u look both ways before crossing... or do u do an ardas to akal purakh & cross without looking? if akal wants u to cross safely u will, if akal wants u to have an accident u will.

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it doesnt. Guesssing or Assuming the outcome of the situation leads nowhere. The child could become anyone or nething. Making a decision to refuse to help the child simply based on the assumption that the child could grow up to be a murderer is also neglecting the possibility that he child could become a great sage of his/her time. No one knows what the futuer of the child holds. Only Assumptions, guessing the possibilities of the future.

Indeed, these are assumptions; this thread is full of assumptions, though. I'm just thinking out loud...

Thousands of people, including babies and children, die each day because of starvation, disease or at the hands of criminals and thugs. I don't see most of us doing anything to stop these needless deaths even though our direct action could help save many of these lives. Yet, in this scenario, people are willing to go to great lengths, even sacrificing their own precious lives, to attempt to save a baby's life. Why do we not act in the former situations?

I also hope that those who'd be willing to part with their kesh, and those who wouldn't, are not being influenced by humai.

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