The representation of samurai culture in the last samurai and other artworks

Casting, directing, acting, screenplay, cinematography, musical score, sound editing, costumes, make-up, set design, special effects: Images of samurai depict them with their masterfully crafted weapons of war and together with the shorter blade of a wakizashi, this pair, known as the daisho, represented the social status and personal honour of the samurai.

This film uses the example of the samurai, with their strict moral code and discipline, to illustrate the superiority of Japanese culture to the greedy, ruthless culture of the West.


This monumental historic event is referred to as the Meiji Restoration, and reunited Japan under a sovereign ruler for the first time in years. The Last Samurai was intended to be pay homage to Japanese culture but there are some stereotypical themes that can be interpreted as racism.

Widely published today, his teachings on military strategy and tactics draw heavily on Tibetan and Zen philosophy and he advocated the use of both the katana and the wakizashi simultaneously in battle. During this conversation, Bagley addresses a major question in the film: Rather than risk the shame of being captured or suffer a dishonorable death, Saigo chose to end his own life in a ritual suicide decapitation at the hand of a fellow samurai.

Modern Orientalism Lilian Liu The Last Samurai depicts American attitude towards Japanese culture and depicts the contrasts between the cultures very clearly.

The film ends with Japan prevailing against the modernization of the Western world. Shosha in western Japan; a full scale working replica of a Japanese farm, recreated in faithful detail in the northern Taranaki region of New Zealand, using indigenous building materials, native Japanese agricultural crops and flowering fruit trees; and a Hollywood soundstage transformed into a bustling Edo city street.

The ultimate act of bushido was death in loyal service to the daimyo or shogun. These traits are lost in translation by the Westerners who only understand their savage ways. Originally known simply as bushi, the Japanese word for warrior, the samurai served as guards in the courts of the powerful family clans that formed during the Heian Period around the 10th century.

In this screenshot, Algren meets up with Colonel Bagley in Tokyo. Gibson will discuss the agenda behind the use of Japanese in particular scenes and situations in the film.

The Last Samurai Section 1

This does not mean that America is superior or that the East is obsolete—The Last Samurai shows that despite Western stereotypes, the people of Japan can be superior on their own without the West.

During the peaceful times of Edothe practice of bushido was channelled into the aesthetic arts, literature, poetry and refined living, until it tapered off and vanished altogether after the fall of the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu in Upon the death of his father on February 3,Prince Mutsuhito, at the young age of only fifteen, ascended the throne of Japan and declared his reign Meiji, which means "enlightened ruler".

This time, the modernized Japanese are all armed with guns, thoroughly overpowering Nobutada. The strong reactions of Nobutada and others derive not from the speed of his learning however, but from a subtly articulated assumption that the Westerner who learns Japanese is an anomaly, strange.

The sets were located on three continents, including Engyoji, a year-old Japanese temple on the summit of Mt. Upon meeting the emperor, Katsumoto is arrested for not obeying the new rules against the samurai. Modernization is not necessarily wrong, but the film is trying to show that there are issues with this pompous Western civilization.

The implied normalcy of English adoption, even among those supposedly resistant to modernization, contrasts with the dramatic reactions Algren receives when he starts to use Japanese.

Samurai and

To meet these new challenges, Japan was transformed from a primarily agrarian society with a cottage-industry economy under the oppression of a strict military regime, to a burgeoning industrial giant with a growing appetite for colonial conquest on the continent of Asia.

Described as having facility with languages, he acquires halting but technically-sound Japanese in the course of four months, which appropriately enough shocks his Japanese and Western compatriots alike.

Not only master swordsmen, samurai were also proficient in using the yumi, or longbow. The Samurai were not willing to give up the morals they live by.

Rather than deeming the East Asian culture as corrupt and uncivilized, The Last Samurai depicts America as immoral, as they are shown developing Japan and solving their problems through killing others, war, and mass destruction.

East Asian Culture through Film, we discussed representations of East Asian societies in Hollywood throughout the first half of the 20th century. Nathan Algren - This fictional character is a decorated war hero, who, after the Civil War, went on to fight under General George Custer at the historic battle of Little Big Horn, and has now become a cynical alcoholic who travels around the U.

The modernity westerners had to offer upstaged the traditional culture of Japanese people and in return they had to suffer to find their cultural identity. Knowing they are doomed, the samurai charge the imperial lines and are all killed by cannon and machine-gun fire.

Moreover, his suggestion that Japan invade Korea as a preemptive maneuver against western colonization was met with strong opposition by other court ministers, causing Saigo to resign and return to his native province with many faithful samurai followers.

Not so in the case of The Last Samurai. Meanwhile, the task of training the horses had begun.How was the movie "The Last Samurai" received in Japan?

Last Samurai does portray the samurai in a noble light, after all. Incidentally, my friends' comments weren't so kind about Memoirs of a Geisha, which used a mostly Chinese cast. But you can learn about other culture. What Magister said that he could NEVER understand, which sound.

Arts of the Samurai. 2. Asian Art Museum Education Department and discuss how literature and its visual representation relate warrior but force was always available to defend culture.

A samurai scholar of the eighteenth century compared bun and bu to the wings of a bird, writing. For those interested in Japanese history, samurai culture and the role this military class played in shaping Japan is a fascinating one. Although. Samurai Essay Examples.

12 total results. An Overview of the Samurai of Japan The Representation of Samurai Culture in The Last Samurai and Other Artworks. 2, words. 5 pages. The Samurai Way of Life in Japan An Analysis of the Way of the Warrior in Japanese History and Culture.

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Film Review: The Last Samurai

3 pages. The Introduction of. The culture of the samurai was grounded in the concept of bushido, or the way of the warrior, whose central tenets are honor and freedom from fear of death. A samurai was legally entitled to cut down any commoner who failed to honor him—or her—properly.

The creative vision of producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, in collaboration with John Logan, known for his other works, including Gladiator and Any Given Sunday, The Last Samurai has a Zen-like quality all its own.

The representation of samurai culture in the last samurai and other artworks
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