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The Arrow That is Not Aimed

Episode Screen Caps Episode Number: 54
Season Number: 3.14
Air Date: 1/27/1983
Writers: Steven Hensley, J. Miyoko Hensley
Director: James Frawley
Producer: Chas. Floyd Johnson
Exec Producer: Donald P. Bellisario

Guest Stars
Mako (Tozan), Seth Sakai (Fukuda), Lee de Broux (Gallagher), Tommy Fujiwara (Yakuza)
Episode Brief
Higgins sends Magnum to collect a valuable Kenzan porcelain plate, newly purchased by Robin Masters, from the airport, but the artifact, which was entrusted to the care of a samurai warrior named Tozan while in transport from Japan, has been stolen by a ninja. Magnum teams with the samurai, but they must work fast, as the samurai code of honor dictates Tozan must commit Seppuku if the precious plate isn't retrieved.
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1 This is Magnum P.I.'s entry in the "Ninja Craze" that was sweeping the United States in the 1980's. The 1981 film Enter the Ninja started the craze, which continued with movies like Revenge of the Ninja (1983), American Ninja (1985), a plethora of Ninja-themed video games (Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi, and others), and later, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. (Noted by MaximRecoil)

2 The ancient Japanese ritual of Seppuku is a plot theme; Magnum is the unwittingly appointed Kaishakunin.

3 The Kenzan plate seen and mentioned in this episode is a reference to Ogata Kenzan, the most celebrated ceramist in the history of Japanese art.

4 Somewhat surprisingly, this is the legendary Japanese-American actor Mako's only appearance on Magnum P.I..

5 The Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and Honolulu Harbor are used as filming locations. The Temple will be seen again in several future episodes.

6 Lee de Broux (Gallagher) makes his second appearance on the show. He previously appeared in Season One's "China Doll" (1.3) and will later make a memorable appearance in Season Six's "Old Acquaintance" (6.3) as Rodney Ratcliff. Lee also guest starred with John Hillerman in the 1976 TV movie The Invasion of Johnson County.

7 Local Oahu-based actor Tommy Fujiwara (Yakuza) makes his third of four appearances on the show. Tommy also appeared in over 20 episodes of Hawaii Five-O.
Higgins: Extraordinary! Magnum you never cease to amaze me! I must know how you arrived at this remarkably astute conclusion with your limited knowledge of art.
Magnum: Would you believe me if I told you it came to me in a dream?

Magnum: You were saying something about a lesson of "The Arrow That is Not Aimed".
Tozan: It is an old discipline practiced by the "Ichinaga" Samurai. The bow is pulled. The archer has no thought of his aim, the arrow, his game, or even of himself. All is one. All is emptiness. Yet, the arrow always finds its target.
Magnum: When we were playing football we called it being "in the groove". Everything just...worked - the pass, the pattern, the blocking, then boom...touchdown.
Tozan: Oh, you do understand. Ah, it's like the universe in a small, quiet pond. Each movement contains everything. Even so simple a thing as serving tea becomes a prayer.
1 The Yakuza, while having tea poured for him, is holding his hand near the table. It is quite clear that his pinky finger - which is supposed to have been cut off - is hidden behind the ege of the table. (Noted by Tim Johnston)

2 When the tourist shop owner runs through the door and closes it behind him, Mako chases him and bangs on the door forcefully. When Mako bangs on the door, the entire wall moves! It's clear that it's just a set. (Noted by Tim Johnston)

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