Greatest Fictional Angelenos #1: Kesuke Miyagi

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/08/bla_miyagi-thumb.jpgName: Mr. Kesuke Miyagi
Residence: 19223 Saticoy St., Reseda
Area code: 213/818 (the area code changed in 1984)
Occupation: Apartment Complex Maintenance Man/Fly Catcher turned Reluctant Karate Sensei

The son of an Okinawan fisherman, Kesuke Miyagi was a loving husband, decorated veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and mentor to two-time All Valley Karate Champion Daniel LaRusso. Defying convention, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel basic karate movements through various household chores. (“Show me, paint the fence.” “Show me, sand the floor.”) Mr. Miyagi’s adventures with Daniel-san in the San Fernando Valley included run-ins with the Cobra Kai dojo and its Sensei, John Kreese. After LaRusso, Mr. Miyagi also took on a teenaged girl, Julie Pierce, under his wing and taught her karate (and his wisdom) at a monk sanctuary. Wax on, wax off. Indeed.

More at Wikipedia, IMDB, and the Unofficial Karate Kid website

Other fictional Angelenos in this series.

21 Replies to “Greatest Fictional Angelenos #1: Kesuke Miyagi”

  1. There are just too many to enumerate! What about…

    Norman Tinker? Dennis “Animal” Price? Engineer Bill? Harry Washello? Uncle Charley O’Casey? Mr. Ed? Abigail or is it Gladys Crabtree? Frances Elizabeth Lawrence? Gerald Lloyd Kookson III?

  2. Oh, puhleeze. What kind of bullshit list doesn’t even mention Jake ‘J.J.’ Gittes!? Feh. You are dead to me!

  3. I nominate Maria Wyeth from Joan Didion’s “Play It As It Lays.” Literature was sorely under represented in this list. And I second those noms for Jake Gittes. The Karate Fucking Kid number one? Please.

  4. The Karate Fucking Kid number one?

    Actually, it was Miyagi that was #1. Daniel, The Karate Kid, is a completely different person.

    Literature was sorely under represented in this list.

    Really? I would say five out of 25 (six if you want to count Deckard, who originated as a character in a book), is a pretty good representation.

  5. Philip K. Dick’s novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, not L.A., so Deckard doesn’t count, technically, as a literature-inspired fictional Angeleno. Film, yes.

  6. In that case, I disqualify Deckard and replace him with Gittes. ( interesting bit of trivia about the adaptation swap)

    But, seriously, if we included every PI and Detective type that film fans wanted, it wouldn’t have had average citizens at all.

    Was Jake screwed? Yeah, maybe. But Jake always gets screwed. Fits with his character.

    I’ll have a recap on the list and some notes about how it was assembled on Monday.

  7. Well, if you can do replacements, then there has to be some way to sneak in Frances Elizabeth “Gidget” Lawrence, who to this day still exemplifies the Southern California lifestyle…

  8. As I’m sure Markland will tell, Gidget was based on a real person, which disqualifies her from this list.

  9. Again, Pee Wee is not an Angeleno. He travels here to get his bike back, but he doesn’t live here.

  10. Fictional LA wouldn’t still be standing if not for this glaring omission from your list:

    Jack Bauer, baby.

    How does that useless Alias girl get on the list and the Bauer doesn’t make the cut? Illogical….

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