A famous story that has made the rounds in the anime circles is this:

While Disney/Miramax were in talks to dub and release Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke in the states, it was suggested that a few cuts be made. In response, Studio Ghibli sent a katana (a Japanese sword) to Disney with the words "no cuts." (source)

While the story is definitely amusing, it does ring of hyperbole. Is there any truth to this story?

  • 1) What is a "Katana sword"? Please, explain. 2) Supposing that such a "Katan sword" means something, what make you skeptical of that fact? – Carlo Alterego Apr 2 '13 at 23:15
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    Katanas are the famous Japanese swords (used by Samurai). What makes me skeptical, is that this gesture sounds like something out of a movie (a Yakuza gangster movie in fact) rather than a form of communication between companies. – System Down Apr 2 '13 at 23:16
  • @SystemDown, the story is probably false, because the act of sending a sword implies they allow the cuts, hence the sword they can use for "cutting". – Kenshin Apr 2 '13 at 23:21
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    @Chris - It could also constitute a veiled threat if "cuts" are made. Works great in movies. In real life though? – System Down Apr 2 '13 at 23:23
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    @Chris: not really if "no cuts" was sent together with the sword... – nico Apr 3 '13 at 9:37

I doubt there is any scientifically valid information on this, you have to believe the tales or not. There are quite a lot of people that tell those tales however.

The Wikipedia Article on Harvey Weinstein, who received the sword, mentions it too.

When Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, he received a samurai sword in the mail with an attached note that read, "No cuts."

Directly from the Interview (The Guardian):

There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: "No cuts."

The director [Miyazaki] chortles. "Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts." He smiles. "I defeated him."

At least one person that was involved told the Guardian Reporter, that it happened. This is definitely not a clear case, without any statement of Mr. Weinstein it will be a one-sided story.

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    Ummm a "samurai sword" is what a katana tend to be called in english. And both the katana and the samurai are from Japan. Why would a japanese studio send a chinese sword? – Wertilq Apr 3 '13 at 7:33
  • Ups, sorry I got that mixed up, thought the Samurai were the Chinese Warriors. Hehe, seems my knowledge of Asian culture is bad, too :) – Baarn Apr 3 '13 at 7:35
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    Hmmm. If Miyazaki has affirmed the story, then I'd say there's a good chance it's true! Now I have to wonder what went inside Weinstein's head when he got that sword, and if he ever displays it somewhere :) – System Down Apr 3 '13 at 16:37
  • I guess I am a Weaboo. I'm surprised many people here don't know about Katanas and Samurai. – Dudey Apr 14 '16 at 19:09

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