japanese samurai swords
Penguin asked:

These are some of the details in the movie that i want to know whether it is fact or just director’s imagination.

1. Did the Japanese samurai take prisoners?
2. Did they crave their name on to their swords
3. Was Bushido, or the Way of the Warrior, taught to non-Japanese man.
4. Which characters are actual people in that era
5. Was the time period shown in the film correct?
6. Are the weapons they use(like the Gantling gun) accurate to the time period?
7. Did the modern Japanese soldiers out number the samurai?
8. Were new laws establish during that period?(like banning of swords)
9. Were there american merchants who travel to Japan at the time?

Thank all very munch,I really appreciate those who helped
Thank you
but can i please have more detail about the time period?
Were the costumes(armors,clothing) accurate?

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3 Comments to “The last Samurai (Fact or Act) part2?”

  1. blakenyp says:

    1 Sure, if there was reason to. Usually it was considered more honorable both to kill and be killed in battle. They’d need an actual reason to take a captive.
    2 The crafter of a blade will often sign it. Samurai did not typically make their own swords, but could easily have their name inscribed onto it.
    3 No, not at that time. It was very restricted even among the Japanese. Budo was not taught to Westerners until after WW II.
    4 To my knowledge, none (except the emperor of course). Some of them were based on actual people.
    5 Generally, yes.
    6 Yes, they’re quite accurate. The Gatling gun was developed shortly before the American Civil War but wasn’t widely used until the 1870s.
    7 Yes, by far. There were never many Samurai, even at the height of the feudal system.
    8 Yes.
    9 Yes, European merchants had been traveling to Japan since the 16th century. Americans dominated trade with Japan at the time shown in the movie.

  2. Koshu says:

    It’s hollywood, and they stretch facts so bad to the absurd, especially for the short one, Tom Cruise. He wanted to star in this movie because he was as tall as most of the Japanese actors.

    I have grown weary of listening to the misguided proclamations when it comes to the most overrated film of the year The Last Samurai. Let’s be frank folks, this film ******. And it ****** for many reasons. Let me count the ways.
    The ending of The Last Samurai is so stunningly awful as to capsize the entire film. I puked, I heaved, I cried in frustration. This film was a tragedy in the making. To tie up everything in a nice happy-ending bow was a crime on the level of Ted Turner colorization. I ask you, “Can we not see films with tragic endings today?” Has film making become so formulaic we can no longer suffer a hero’s death? I sighed with great sadness when Tom Cruise somehow survived multiple bullets from that fucking Gatling gun. Pale and a bit worse for wear, he then presents a warrior’s sword to the oh-so-prissy lisping emperor. If I was Japanese, and I am not, I would be pissed at this piece of dog poo movie.
    Hollywood’s recreation of Japanese history involving samurai warrior Saigo Takamori in the 1870s is as accurate as a comic book. There were no Caucasian men who trained Japanese warriors in the art of modern warfare. There were certainly no veterans of Custer’s Seventh Calvary who traveled overseas. Cruise’s character is a composite, based mainly on Captain Thomas Weir, a survivor of the Little Big Horn disaster. Weir was severely depressed after the battle, committing ******* a year later in 1877. To place a historical magnifying glass to The Last Samurai would essentially rip this sorry film to shreds. I suppose if one reads little history, one can accept the repulsively gigantic liberties taken with actual fact.
    I also could not escape the overall feeling of déjà vu throughout this film, with a predictable chain of Dances With Wolves – like events leading to the redemption of the film’s main character. We’ve seen Kevin Costner do this before, hell, we’ve even seen Peter O’Toole do this before in the classic Lawrence of Arabia. A Caucasian man immerses himself in an alien culture, learning their customs, eventually leading them into battle. Along the way, he learns new spiritual beliefs and the great Caucasian hero is redeemed.
    In Lawrence of Arabia, our fine protagonist returns to British civilization and arguably commits *******. O’Toole’s Lawrence was a changed man, disillusioned, frustrated, unable to completely adapt to his old way of life. Costner’s John Dunbar in Dances With Wolves all but abandons his adopted native American tribe before certain massacre. Oh I know, he said he was going to get the cavalry off their ***. But it was just a matter of time before the U.S. Army made target practice of Graham Greene and company.
    In The Last Samurai, Cruise returns to the hidden Samurai village as the lone survivor. He eyes the lovely oriental **** and all things end happily ever after. The profound reality, which this film severely lacks, is the widowed women of the village either committed ******* or entered into prostitution to survive. Their way of life had brutally come to an end, and no amount of Superman heroics by Mr. Cruise was going to change that sad fact.

  3. ksjennai@sbcglobal.net says:

    1 Kind of a complicated question. when it came to battles of Samurai against samurai, Usually the Losing Samurai would not be allowed to live(unless he had a great value a a bargaining chip against the enemy), and if they did allow him to live , it would have been against his own beliefs to live in such shame(therefore they would commit seppuku(western named Hari-Kiri)
    2 Depending on the Katana(sword) Master, a Name(Samurai) , Person Who Made the sword’s name, Poems(Haiku) could and/or would be carved into the swords stock(near the handle)this was done as early as the 14th century
    3 Bushido(as taught by Masters like Myamoto Musashi) WERE in Japanese Writings as early as the Mid 1600′s but to my knowledge were not translated into English until at least the late 1870′s. Prior to that time it was considered a disgrace to teach anything Japanese to Foreigners.
    4 although the characters may represent Possible actual People, it is entirely fictional. There were some events similar to this in idea (1930′s Slayings of government officials by ones who followed the Bushido way(but werent really samurai in the real sense)NOTE: in the 1870′s , NO foreigner would be allowed in the presence of the Emperor, much less the common Japanese person.
    5 if by this you mean to refer to the Meiji Era you would be correct. If you are referring to the specific acts i think they are a couple of decades off.
    6 It is very unlikely that Gatlin Guns were ever used in Japan , Even if they were there at all, much less the Howitsers. Flintlocks and other hand held weapons were there though.
    7 i would think so. The idea of a United samurai group (although it was represented as just a village or at best a small Prefecture(County) it would represent at best about 5-600 men( more likely about 100)
    the protection detail for the emperor at his two residences (EDO and KYOTO) would be larger than this force alone
    8 During the reign of Emperor Meiji there were laws passed doing this exact thing.
    9 Individuals(as opposed to merchants) were in Japan at the time. Most merchants economy (American) started in the 1880′s

    Additional detail:
    The era they are referring to is the Meiji era (1870′s-1920′s)

    as to the Japanese Army, im not sure
    as to the Samurai— The clothing they wore during their time in the village is very close.
    The War armament seem a little much for this time Period (except for the Higher ups in the Clan)(a mountain Village without a castle would lead one to believe that this is not a rich clan and could not afford more than just a few suits of Armour)

    The Armour does reflect the Armour that Well situated Samurai would wear around court during the Tokugawa era(1600-1850′s)

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