Description of how the movie “The Last Samurai” portrays the effects of Western Imperialism on Japan BY researchers This movie was set in Japan during the late 1 9th century. An American general who was famous for his many victorious battles against the Native Americans was called to Japan for a special task. The Japanese government was looking to make their civilization as western as possible. They adopted Western dress and began to shy away from the old warrior ways. New technologies such as firearms, cannons, trains, and photography were being instituted into their ultra.
The only thing holding the government back form being totally westernizes was a group of rebels that wanted Japan to stay as it was and not forget its long and treasured history. This American general was brought to Japan in order to train the army to operate like they do in the West. He was hired to train the soldiers how to use firearms and cannons. In the first battle scene the Japanese army is unprepared even though that had a huge advantage over the samurai as far as technology goes. The mural used bow and arrows, swords, spears, and rode on horseback.
They wore traditional dress such as large metal armor and ornate headpieces. The Japanese army wore modern outfits and fired their arms in synchronized lines. The samurai reigned victorious. It was considered an honor among the samurai to die in battle while fighting for what they believed in. They practiced a form of suicide known as hair Carr if they were disloyal. Even if they were wounded in battle and were soon to die, they’d rather kill themselves then be defeated by the enemy. The American general is captured as a prisoner and brought back to the samurai village.
He is taught “bushier” or the ways of the warriors. The village was very primitive and showed no signs of being modernized. Women were subordinate to men, which was shown when Take was forced to obey her brother. These people were very religious and practiced a form of Buddhism which included deep meditation. When the Nathan (the American general) is brought back to the Japanese army he learns that Britain or America (l could ‘t figure out which county) as selling even more advanced weaponry to Japan in order to fight and crush the samurai.
The emperor is referred to as “the enlightened one” or a “living god”. This shows that they believed that the Japanese emperor was sent down from the heavens to rule justly over the people. In the final battle scene the samurai used amazing tactics to draw the enemy near. This shows that people who know and use the land to their advantage have a good chance Of winning wars. Despite this fact in the end, new and improved cannons reigned supreme over the samurai’s simple battle tools.
The emperor agrees to bring Japan into a new age and continue westernizes but that the ancient Japanese culture will never die. This movie shows the reactions of a select group of people to westernizes. Some embraced it and prospered from the positive effects it brought but others fought it to the death. The samurai believed that there way was the true way Japan should be ruled and fought valiantly in order to protect those beliefs. But technology proved to reign supreme and the samurai fell to advanced weaponry.