The movie Star Wars was based on the Kurosawa Akira flick, the Hidden Fortress, and the scene change “wipes” were a device used by the samurai movie’s director. The clothes Luke first wore on Tattooine were based on karate wear, the Jedi fashions matched those of the samurai, even Darth Vader’s helmet was based on the samurai’s Zunari Kabuto helmet. The light-saber duels are reminiscent of the samurai katana sword fights. Yoda’s name came from that of a Japanese friend of George Lucas, a Mr. Yoda, and the word Jedi comes from the name for samurai period dramas, Jidai-geki… Jidai became Jedi…and the rest is history.
There’s a Death Star in the center of Aichi Prefecture’s capital, Nagoya! Well, it LOOKS like the Death Star from Star Wars, or one of those Trade Federation ships from Episode 3 has descended onto Nagoya City’s Shirakawa Koen Park! And in fact the Stars are on the inside!!!
(The Death Star of Aichi)
At 35 meters across, this is the world’s biggest planetarium, “Brother Earth”, and one of the highlights of the Nagoya City Science Museum. The star-projector (which looks like some futuristic Death Star weapon!) is one of the world’s most complex and most accurate, and can replicate the night sky seen from the Northern or Southern Hemisphere at any point in time. Visitors can enjoy watching the stars and special space-travel like star scenes from the comfort of the reclining chairs. Exhibitions and themes change monthly, and every show is fantastic!
(The Star Wars Mind Probe,..actually it’s a star projector.)
In fact, Aichi Prefecture is the home of Japan’s leading Aerospace technology and manufacturing industry. Parts of the International Space Station were made in Aichi, as were the rockets that took them into space. Rocket and Space Station parts are also on display at the Nagoya Science Center.
The entire building is dedicated to introducing nature, science, and technology in an informative and entertaining way and features 4 main sections on modern technology, life sciences, space and future technology and general science with a wide variety of hands-on exhibits.
(Hands on experiences at the Nagoya Science Center)
Experience the -30 degree C Polar room and aurora display, see an 8m high artificial tornado, and visit the Electric Discharge Lab. Learn about the properties of water through fun experiments too. Special events and exhibits for all ages are regularly staged in the Nagoya City Science Museum, a top class learning facility and tourist attraction in the heart of the city.
It’s not really the Death Star, and Darth Vader might not be there, but it’s one cool building!
Chris Glenn is a bilingual radio DJ, TV presenter, producer, narrator, MC, copywriter, author and columnist, and Japanese historian, specializing in samurai castles, battles, armor and weapons. He is an inbound tourism advisor, and is often called upon as a lecturer and speaker on Japanese history and topics. He was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1968, and has spent over half his life in Japan, most of that time in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Chris is dedicated to promoting and preserving Japans’ long history, deep culture, traditions, arts and crafts.