From Kung Fu to Hip Hop: Globalization, Revolution, and by M. T. Kato

By M. T. Kato

Explores the progressive power of Bruce Lee and hip hop tradition within the context of antiglobalization struggles and transnational capitalism.

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Yoshida states with conviction, “In the ‘settlement,’ Japanese power is paramount. ” Having been convinced by Yoshida, Suzuki finally issues a command in the definitive tone of a tyrant sweeping away all the traces of ambiguities he had harbored: “Good! ” Meanwhile, the school’s search for Chen Zhen at the grandmaster’s graveyard is turning out to be a futile effort. The search group returns to the school. During their absence the entire school has been turned into a crucible of carnage. They find one survivor still trying to save his female colleague in spite of his own impending death.

The latter has a particular relevance to the film in our discussion. 83 What was particularly remarkable in the context of our discussion is the manner in which the May Fourth movement delegitimated the authority of the imperialist missive. ”84 The imperialist missive, or a symbolic embodiment of its legitimacy, is hereby completely removed of authority, leaving behind its crude materiality: a sheet of paper. Such symbolic overturning of the legitimacy of imperialist power was already existent, in the aforementioned Yi Ho Tuan folklore, in which the leader Chang destroys all the symbols vested with the colonial authority in the hands of Yan Mao Tsu.

In other words, the more active he was in his role as Kato the more Lee de-realized his own identity. Lee’s refusal to play any Asian stereotypes further impeded his career in Hollywood. With the help of his Hollywood pupils (Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Stirling Silliphant, an Academy Award–winning script writer), he made special appearances on TV shows and in a film. Lee was thus confronted both by the samurai myth of the Japanese film industry and by the American “cowboy” myth of Hollywood.

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