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J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


class float-right center Image
xml:lang ja-JP 西郷隆盛/吉之助
Saigou, Takamori/Kichinosuke
class float-left center Image
Ken Watanabe, playing Katsumoto
class float-left clear center Image
statue of Saigou
Finally got around to watching The Last Samurai last night. This movie is largely about the later life of Saigo, Takamori, aka Saigou, Kichinosuke, who forms the basis for the rebel leader Katsumoto in the film. After leading the Satsuma-Choshu forces (the Ishin Shishi) against the Shinsengumi and other shogunate forces, thereby restoring the Emperor Meiji to power, Saigou became one of the lords who, in reality, ruled Japan after the Meiji Restoration. However, Saigou began to clash with the other lords and resigned. After all, the slogan of the Ishin Shishi had been xml:lang ja-JP 尊皇攘夷 (Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians). Later (until 1877), as the film depicts, he led the xml:lang ja-JP 西南戦争 (Satsuma Rebellion).

Naturally, Saigou is heavily featured in the later episodes of the Japanese drama xml:lang ja-JP 新選組! (Shinsengumi!). Ironically, the promotional picture of Ken Watanabe from The Last Samurai features the Shinsengumi's symbol, xml:lang ja-JP (sincerity). Remember that in real life, the Shinsengumi were defeated by Saigou, the man this film honors.

Language note: I know some do not like the overly literal and un-English-like translations used by Asahi Homecast. But when watching this movie, be prepared for extremely non-literal translations. Basically, the subtitles show what somewhat might say in English in that situation and not what the characters are literally saying in Japanese.

Language note: Both xml:lang ja-JP and xml:lang ja-JP . are seen in or in connection with this film. Both can mean “samurai”. One is not a simplified form of the other, but the similarity in appearance is correlated with their similarity in pronunciation.

Other shows relating to this period in history: class ul class li xml:lang ja-JP るろうに剣心 (Rurouni Kenshin)—both Kenshin and Shishio were part of the Imperialist (Ishen) movement; the Rurouni Kenshin TV series starts in 1878. The Gatling gun plays a notable role here, too. class li xml:lang ja-JP 陽だまりの樹 (A Tree in the Sun)—based on the real story of the great-granfather of Tezuka, Osamu, the “God of Manga”, creator of AstroBoy, Kimba the White Lion,…. This series showed the creation and training of Japan's new Westernized army. Tezuka's great-grandfather was a doctor on the side of the Imperial Army in the Satsuma rebellion, where he contracted cholera and died.

Last edited by ccwf, 10/30/2005, 3:26 am


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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Last edited by ccwf, 1/29/2005, 5:18 pm


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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


So, I realized I didn't write a review to go along with those notes and pictures. emoticon

I started watching this movie fully expecting not to like it a lot. In fact, I had put off watching it a couple of times.

One reason for that distrust was that fish out of water stories can be shallow and filled with a lot of hackneyed, stereotypical clichés. While the opening does contain some obligatory shots of geishas and someone staring out of a covered litter, fortunately, these shots are quite brief. I did find the scene of Tom Cruise prancing about after having doffed Western clothing rather stupid, however. I guess it's believable that an American soldier might act stupid in that situation. Still, the scene went on too long.

Another reason for initial distrust was the potential for historical inaccuracy. Keep in mind that this is a fictional story, but set in a real historical period and based on the real life and rebellion of Saigou. In fact, with Saigou's anti-Western sentiments, would he have spared and made friends a Western foe? And shacked him up with his sister? emoticon Did Saigou ever learn English? (I don't know.) And, in fact, one of the reasons Saigou's rebellion lasted as long as it did is because they, too, used firearms, which this idealized film does not show at all.

Aside from those inaccuracies, some viewers may have gotten the skewed impression from this movie that the U.S. was primarily responsible for modernizing Japan's armed forces. That's not true. As seen in the 新選組! (Shinsengumi!) series as well as the movie (shown earlier this year) xml:lang ja-JP またも辞めたか亭主殿〜幕末の名奉行・小栗上野介 (Another Resignation, My Husband: Oguri, the Famous Magistrate of Late Edo Era), Japan recruited people from many countries to help in arming and training Japan with modern weaponry. The movie just focuses on American involvement since Cruise's character, Captain Nathan Algren, is American.

Also, again, keep in mind that the movie presents an extremely idealized picture of the samurai. Not shown are people being abused by samurai and otherwise being unhappy with the caste system. And there's the fact that the samurai forces were opposing democratization (albeit an initially corrupt democracy). Supposedly, one of the extras on the DVD addresses these issues. Good.

Overall, Cruise's performance in this movie is good (a little over the top at times). This project was obviously near to his heart, and he spent a lot of time, effort, and money on it. Veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, playing Katsumoto, based on the legendary (and often mythologized) Saigou, delivers a very, very strong performance. And I believe this movie was his first English-speaking role!

Rating: 7.75/10

Last edited by ccwf, 10/30/2005, 3:27 am


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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


I saw this film last year when it first came out, and I like ccwf had mixed feelings about it. The Samurai were idealized a bit too much - and though I am a royalist - didn't feel that we saw enough torture of what the former-shogunate had put the population under. Otherwise - it was an all right film. I wish they had given us more history..but oh well...
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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


classblockquoteHiroshi66 wrote:

I like ccwf
aww, shucks emoticon ;) emoticon

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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


引用 (quote):

ccwf wrote:

classblockquoteHiroshi66 wrote:

I like ccwf
aww, shucks emoticon ;) emoticon



LOL - now do we all see how poisonous the English language is? ^^
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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


class blockquote no rest wrote:

On a kind of a side note, the youngest sister, played by Koyuki, also appears in the movie The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. I was watching the movie after Kintaro 4 ended and was quite shocked to notice that it was the same actress from 末っ子長男姉三人 (Only Son & Three Older Sisters). I just thought it was rather interesting and worth mentioning emoticon.
Just wanted to note this here since Last Samurai viewers might not have necessarily read pages and pages of the xml:lang ja-JP 末っ子長男姉三人 topic.

Last edited by ccwf, 10/30/2005, 3:27 am


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Re: J-Related: ラスト サムライ (The Last Samurai)


I think there might have been a historical error in the beginning part of this film. Yokohama and Tokyo are 27 miles apart. When Nathan gets off the ship at Yokohama harbor, he and the Englishman are taking via rickshaw to Tokyo - but as soon as they get on we can see the palace in the near distance. Was this indeed inaccurate?
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posticon i love the last samurai


i love the last samurai and japan i love japanese girls/womem and i love every thing about japan and i love japans language ohh my god I LOVE JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




           IT'S TURE I DO
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.


Has anyone tried to read the book "The Last Samurai"? Its a book on the life of Saigo Takemori.
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