Fist of Fury, starring Bruce Lee, debuted in Japan in 1974. Whilst its critical reception reflected its box-office success, a complex emotional reaction is nevertheless detectable towards the film's unsympathetic portrayal of the Japanese. This paper will explore this reaction and suggest that a post-colonial angst was piqued, one that betrayed fundamental shifts in current racial, erotic, cultural, moral, and historical understandings of Japanese manliness. At one level, the response to Lee is a hermeneutic cue into the manifold ways that this angst was constructed through contesting understandings of an emergent China and unresolved memories concerning failed imperial Japanese adventure. At another level, the phenomenon of Lee's Japanese reception points to longer-term shifts in the visual-cultural representation of masculinity: vulnerability as articulated in the cinema's ‘new man’, male nudity as ‘discovered’ in women's magazines, and most potently, modern Japanese manliness to challenge American neo-colonial hegemony. It is this panorama of masculinity that this paper seeks to open through an inter-disciplinary survey of a variety of media—film, pulp fiction, women's magazines, and homo porn; a panorama into which Bruce Lee exploded on screen, alerting us to the images and contradictory aspirations that script a visual poetry of Japanese manliness.