Shopping in Bangkok with Hanuman and the Five Riders

So I’ve gone shopping in Bangkok again, go figure, and because of convenience, time constraints, and personal preference, I have once again returned to Seacon Square – but this trip sparked something interesting.

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Not a big motorsport enthusiast, I was not initially impressed with the fair they had going on this week. It was a show of two wheeled motorized transport through Thai history, with displays of mini-bikes, racing bikes, the still ubiquitous scooter, and of course a rock band and bikers in leather; if it hadn’t been for the bass player’s pleading thumps I might not have wandered over to take a closer look and would have drawn this shopping excursion in Bangkok to a punctual close. But we’ll get to that in a bit.masked rider

I snapped a photo of a bugman costume next to a funny looking street bike and briefly looked over the sign seeing it had come from some classic film. It wasn’t until I got home, and in fact a few days had passed, that I wondered what it was all about. So I looked.

Turns out the Masked Rider 6 is a 1974 Thai version of the tokusatsu superhero Hanuman Five Posterseries from Japan known as the “Kamen Rider” by the Thai production company Chaiyo. Half of the footage came from the Masked Rider 5 or “The Five Riders vs. King Dark”. The Thai version added the character Hanuman, the great white warrior monkey from the Indian epic the Ramayana – known as Ramagayana in Thailand. The Thai title translates directly to “Hanuman and five red ant men” but the rest of the world, including the antmen’s native Japan, knows it as “Hanuman and the Five Riders”. Hanuman turns up a lot in Thai pop culture, if any readers are interested I may explore this theme a bit more in the future…

Hanuman and the Five Riders

I really can’t wait to watch the film and figure out what’s up with the squid blimp.

But seriously, supernatural antmen motorcycle heroes aside, it was a cool show and another brilliant Bangkok shopping experience. I stopped to check out the band who had been doing some rather rockin’ covers as they had just been handed a round of Singha beers by a gentleman with a sharp leather jacket and red bandana when I recorded this video of a rather mellow tune…

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