03 May 2010

fundoshi in cinema

Hollywood has never really fully acknowledged the fundoshi, despite their historic love for loinclothed leads. Over time, costume designers have used the strong-yet-sensuous allure of fundoshi (or fundoshi-like garments) in many different styles of film, and wrapping the hips of quite a few household names.

Perhaps the first western occurrence of the fundoshi was seen in the film Tora Tora Tora!, worn by the kamikaze pilots. But could the most recent be the lampooning of the fundoshi in the Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughan comedy Dodgeball, where it is worn by the easily defeated Japanese dodgeball team?

After the jump are several photographs and film clips of well-known (and a few not-so-well-known) celebrities who wear their screen version of the fundoshi quite well:

Christopher Atkins reprised his fundoshi-like loincloth in the fairly silly parody/homage to Gilbert & Sullivan The Pirate Movie, updated for the 80s...

...that he originally wore to greater advantage in the much better known The Blue Lagoon:

Atkins even said "The loincloth became a status symbol, because The Blue Lagoon was such a huge hit." While modeled on the fundoshi, the ragged edges and fuller coverage of Atkins' buttocks that this snug-fitting costume afforded make it stand apart. Perhaps they were concessions to the ratings board, but it's fun to imagine the blue lagoon re-shot with Atkins wearing a crisp, white, well-twisted fundoshi.

Well-known Asian porn actor Van Darkholme isn't shy at all about his fundoshi.

But then, neither is Bruce Lee.

And in this somewhat inexplicable video clip, Jackie Chan yuks it up in red Etchū fundoshi:

David Bowie's cache-sexe is clearly fundoshi-inspired.

And who could possibly forget Sean Connery's red fundoshi and suspenders from Zardoz?

Probably less well-known, however, is Indian actor Naveen Korma's hand-to-hand combat scene, in which he wears a variant of the fundoshi from the Indian subcontinent.

The fundoshi makes most of its on-screen appearances in anime, on imaginary characters. When Hollywood utilizes it, it seems to be mostly as a point of reference. True fundoshis are rarely seen in western hemisphere productions.

That said, which actors/musicians/celebrities would YOU like to see stripped down to their fundoshi?


Anonymous said...

Hi! Just would like to say I have recently discovered fundoshi and I am really loving it! It feels so free and liberating! I feel a new fashion trend emerging in the near future! haha!

Though just one question... how do you wash a fundoshi properly? Can you put it in with your jeans and t-shirt or does it need any special treatment?

Fundoshi 4 All! said...

I just throw them in with regular laundry -- the more your fundoshi gets washed and especially tumble-dried, the softer it will get.

One issue is that fundoshi will tend to braid themselves together in the drier, if you want to avoid this you can line-dry them but you'll sacrifice some of the softness!

Anonymous said...

Colin Farrell, if you're reading this, PLEASE wear a fundoshi.

Scott Reacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Rokushaku said...

Absolutely can't wait to see that,Scott! That particular loincloth is one of the things that, uh, tickled my imagination as a kid and put me on the trail of learning to wear a fundoshi! If you're interested in talking loincloths and fundoshis, drop me a note at ihsodnufraew at yahoo dot com -- Ry

Ryan Rokushaku said...

Also, oops I deleted your comment on the Flashback To The Blue Lagoon post by accident! Sorry, I've been trying to retrieve it but I may have zapped it forever... if you want to comment again I'll be more careful ;)

Anonymous said...

It's all good! I just emailed you.