Cowboys Identity

2662 Words11 Pages
Onnyx Bei
Dr. Lowery
Western Films
27 June 2015
Cowboys and Samurai and Their Search for Identity Unlike any other type of film, many classic Samurai and Western films have an epic grandeur. Both genres focus on the end of an entire way of life—the end of the Samurai and the end of the cowboys and cattle ranchers. With the changing society, many Samurai and cowboys roamed like lone wolves because they were out of place. These lone wolves attract audiences because people are drawn to the journey of the hero who puts duty over desire. Kurosawa loved Western films because they have great heroes. He also admired the director John Ford. He even wished to resemble him. Kurosawa studied the Western genre and considered a grammar had evolved in
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Shiba, a Samurai, stumbles into a water mill where the villagers are holding the girl hostage. He gets caught up in their fight against the government officials. At first, Shiba’s objective is to help the girl, but after he finds that they have not raped her and is mistaken for one of the villagers, he decides to help them. He finds a new identity through objective. With an objective or goal, Shiba finds a newly directed purpose. The second Samurai to join him is Sakura who has been released from prison with the condition to help the magistrate recover his daughter. However, when he confronts Shiba, he learns about the situation and decides to join the peasants’ cause. The last of the Samurai to join is Kikyo, who is rather indifferent at first and idly watches the action develop. At first he prefers live and eat well than join the peasants. However, he has a transformation before the end of the film and helps the farmers achieve their goal. All three Samurai go through a transformation as they decide to join the farmers’ cause. Another character who transforms is the kidnapped daughter. She is ultimately released and Shiba is captured. In the end, she sides with the farmers and helps Shiba escape. She no longer identifies with family as her defiance to her father cuts those ties, but she identifies with the farmers’ objective. This gives her a new identity through purpose which adds value to her life. The three Samurai and Aya are united with the villagers through the goal. Though the kidnappers die in the end and the Samurai win the battle, they do not gain being a part of a community. They are still left to roam and to search for a new objective to define their identity because ronin—renegade, masterless Samurai—have no place in a farming village. Their options were to be
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