The Last Samurai

1) Japan. The end of XIX century, Capt. Nathan Algren(main character), an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army of the rising sun to contemporary art of warfare. The Emperor is trying to eradicate the ancient Imperial warrior class of samurai, in preparation for a more pro-Western government policies supporting foreign trade. Meanwhile, as a result of collisions with the samurai, Algren finds himself in the center of the confrontation of two worlds and civilizations, where the only way to survive is guided by its own concept of honor. ) Nathan Algren: What do you want? Katsumoto: To know my enemy. Nathan Algren: I’ve seen what you do to your enemies. Katsumoto: Warriors in your country do not kill? Nathan Algren: They don’t cut the heads off defeated, kneeling men. Katsumoto: General Hasegawa asked me to help him end his life. A samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat. I was honored to cut off his head. Katsumoto: And who was your general? Nathan Algren: Don’t you have a rebellion to lead? Katsumoto: People in your country do not like conversation? Nathan Algren: He was a lieutenant colonel.

His name was Custer. Katsumoto: I know this name. He killed many warriors. Nathan Algren: Oh, yes. Many warriors. Katsumoto: So he was a good general. Nathan Algren: No. He wasn’t a good general. He was arrogant and foolhardy. And he got massacred because he took a single battalion against two thousand angry Indians. Katsumoto: Two thousand Indians? How many men for Custer? Nathan Algren: Two hundred and eleven. Katsumoto: I like this General Custer. Nathan Algren: He was a murderer who fell in love with his own legend. And his troopers died for it.

Katsumoto: I think this is a very good death. Nathan Algren: Well, maybe you can have one just like it someday. 3) Differences between the two cultures of these countries are very strong as we can see in the dialogue, Nathan Algren protagonist does not understand what Katsumoto, the rebel leader says, but only in the beginning and at the end of the film author quite clearly shows how Englishman understood the ancient culture of Japan. In this film the best scenes is a heroic death, let’s say, three hundred Japanese who encountered by continuous fire from the guns and howitzers.

Here we are talking about personal valor and military honor, above all, including – devotion to their ruler or lord. The human personality, which remains independent and free, even in the moment of death, when made ?? a conscious choice between fame and infamy, is the main measure of value. And this, director showed the viewers by eyes of the protagonist, a foreigner. The fact that he has mastered the culture which he didn’t know at all  and in the end decided to be for it. 4) Finally, I want to say that the main principle of survival in the harsh environment of foreign life is adaptation.

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And I chose this film because there are clearly shown and gradually as the main character throughout the film get used to the Japanese environment. The protagonist, taken prisoner by samurai, gradually turns into a samurai. Contemplation of people indifferent to his own death, talks with rebel leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), stating that the person who saw the perfect shape of a flower, has lived a life not in vain, a clear rhythm and strict rest of life around make from American captain a new man.

He understands why his former enemies’ absolute hero – not the one who kept the army and strategic positions, but the one who led a detachment of 211 troops against the two thousandth. And he understands why Katsumoto smiles happily when he heard that all 300 soldiers were killed Spartan at Thermopylae; he understands why widow of killed by him Samurai nursed him after being wounded – killed for a fair fight can not be an enemy. And, realizing this, Olgren wears the captain samurai armor, stands in order of their recent opponents and comes with a sword against guns and howitzers.

Predetermined outcome of the battle, but it absolutely does not matter: death – only worthy end of life as a single ceremony of honor. Therefore, before the final battle, the protagonist offers a simple truth, which requires a long way to me: fate can not be change or submit- the fate amenable to recognition only. University of International Business and Economics The Last Samurai Intercultural communication Student: Farrukh Khamraev ID: IUP2010070 Date: November 29,2011 Beijing, 2011

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