Pat Morita

Ouch that one hurts.

Pat Morita has passed away. As with others my age, I looked up to the fictional character of Mr. Miyagi as a mentor. A character who dealt with negative forces with a reasoned approach. OK, sometimes with force, but still with calm and reason.

Now I was not an avid fan of Mr. Morita, and did not follow his career, but the Mr. Miyagi character holds something special for me. Mr. Miyagi very much resembled my grandfather. His style, his accent, his manner of speak, and even his grunts. My grandfather passed away a couple years after Karate Kid came out, so I could not watch the movie without thinking of him. Mr. Morita was one of the few prominant Japanese American celebrities out there. The only other I can think of is David Suzuki.

It is odd how this stings. It happens everytime someone from my childhood passes away. Like when Jimmy Stewart passed. It doesn’t help that I have been on a bit of a nostaglia streak lately. Reading other blogs has really stirred up a lot of memories. And before that child rearing harkens back to how things were when I was a child. Could this be middle age or am I still too young?

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~ by Frank on November 26, 2005.

5 Responses to “Pat Morita”

  1. Wax on.
    Wax off.

  2. I too was affected by this news. For the same reasons you mentioned, he reminded me of my fathers quiet, composed approach to life pressures.
    He was a great model and example for all of us.

    Morita’s character accurately protrayed that “above brute force” method of succeeding when confronted by larger adversaries.
    Quite similar in fact to Yoda in Star Wars in using cunning and inner strength.

    But yes, the passing of characters from our formative years is sad. I have thought lately of my brother, coworkers and friends who were an influence on making me who I am and reflect on the good times we shared. That said, life goes on!

    Time to enjoy those around us today.

  3. “the elder”, I like that.

    I hope to post soon on Grampa after reading N’s thesis on him. It was quite an extraordinary life.

  4. I was a fan of Pat Morita’s, and I loved the Karate Kid movies. It was because of Mr. Miyagi. But I also knew of him (being older than Frank) before the Karate Kid movies. He was a well respected comedian, and his laugh is incredibly infectious. He was a special brand of comedian and actor and will be missed dearly. Thanks for the nice tribute Frank.

  5. Nice tribute to Pat Morita in the upcoming People magazine if you’re interested.

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