A Tale of Heroes

7. Dragon Zakura

The Legend

Oh, Abe Hiroshi, I don’t know why I love you so much, but I do.

Even though I think he could be the equivalent of Japan’s Robert Downey Jr. (because mustache), he gets typecast into the same role every single time: a jerk. Not even a lovable one either! In fact, the only thing that makes his character redeemable in this TV series is the school context.

School dramas are pretty formulaic: bad students + caring teacher = scholarly success with a side of hijinks. But in this case, Abe doesn’t care about the students. Not in the typical sense anyway.

He subscribes to the Glengarry Glen Ross way of thought. The world ain’t such a nice place… and it’ll keep using and abusing you as long as you let it. As long as you’re numb and dumb to this reality, you’re always going to get screwed.

Primary bad-boy student (played by Yamapi) constantly learns this the hard way. His Dad left him and his Mom with a ton of debt. They’re about to get everything re-possessed, so he tries to make money where he can. He sells his stuff at a pawn shop, only to be gypped thousands of dollars. And when he takes up a gig doing construction, he’s “forced” to work below the average wage.

Left to his own devices, he’d be stay on this path without ever learning. Lucky for him, Abe steps in…

The Impact

Dragon Zakura lends itself to tons of excellent fortune cookie quotes.

But the the biggest thing I gleaned from the show is the power of conviction. Our belief systems are flawed. We have too much “that’s just the way it is” type of thinking. So what we do is limit ourselves… we play in safe territory. We get scared to challenge ourselves, but challenge and hardships are the only way to draw out your true potential.

What will you do when ish hits the fan? That’s the real demonstration of character.

Abe issued the biggest challenge to a group of high school flunkies: passing the entrance exam to enter Tokyo University (the equivalent of a top Ivy League school). He convinced them the goal was attainable. He convinced them how it could change their lives. And with that type of conviction, you develop an iron will.

Sure, we don’t always convince ourselves of the best things. After all, insecurity and low-esteem are based on the conviction of being inadequate. But if properly utilized, you can convince yourself of anything.

16 thoughts on “A Tale of Heroes”

  1. I am blown away! I am so proud if you. It was an honor to coach you! I appreciate your kind words! It is men like you that drives me to continue to be the best that I can be! And yes TODAY IS A GREAT DAY! Thank you for making it an even better day! I am always be here for you all you have to do is ask!! Thank you again now go have a great day!!

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