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Now don’t go spoiling the fantasy by referring to this cardboard samurai as Sammy Taylor — Sammy’s deep in his role as a reincarnation of the last great samurai hero of Japan of the late 1870s, Saigo Takamori.
Ever since Sammy heard about the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration in a 5th grade history class, he’s been hooked on all things Nipponese, especially the traditions of those who served the nation’s nobility with a sort of desperate death-defying daring.
It is apparent that Sammy (er . . . I mean, Saigo) has fashioned the samurai’s famed katana, or long sword — of the sort wielded by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill or John Belushi on Saturday Night Live — from the core tube of a roll of his Mom’s leftover upholstery material. A flattened toilet paper roll has likewise become the little warrior’s wakizashi (or “honor weapon”), with which he will either, as occasion may demand, slit the throat of a transgressing ninja (his little sister, Emily), or, should he fail the Emperor in that task, commit ceremonial seppuku. Leftover boxes from Amazon and FedEx have had to serve as the multiple layers of his ornate ‘leather’ armor and intimidating helmet.
(Here we observe 'Saigo' in thoughtful pause, hoping that Dad won’t mind the conversion of the back yard, via several hours with the garden hose, into a rice paddy capable of feeding the Shogun’s army.)