Film Analysis: The Last Samurai

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In the film, The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, viewers are taken on a journey of the modernization of Japan. They see the change the country went through to get to what they are today through the eyes of the samurai. The movie gives people a different outlook on the westernization of countries similar to Japan and how big of an impact it had on the population.
The samurai was part of a warrior caste in Japan and began to emerge in 1192. The samurai consumed not even ten percent of the country’s population. They had a specific code of conduct called Bushido; it held the samurai to being brave, honorable, and loyal to Japan above his own life. In The Last Samurai, spectators got a look at what samurai life was like in Japan. In the film
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After almost a century of war, the Tokugawa shogunate closed off any possible western influence. The shogunate forcefully eliminated Christianity for their country in an attempt to succeed. They also isolated themselves with the exception keeping close relations with Korea and China. During this period, the Japanese economy thrived because the Tokugawa regime kept peasants focusing on agriculture and nothing else. As the period continued, Japan cities grew due to industrial advances. The growth of the cities made farming land smaller, resulting in the decline of the economy. The event led to the weakening of the Tokugawa shogunate, and two groups, the Choshu and Satsuma, took over power and a fourteen year old emperor took over, becoming the Meiji Emperor; thus, the Meiji Restoration, the “Enlightened period”, began. The events of the decline in the Tokugawa period laid the perfect ground for the Meiji Restoration to flourish. During the Meiji Restoration, Japan went through monumental political, economic, and social advances. The Meiji Restoration also built a new and improved army. This army had weapons rather than Japan’s original army, the samurai, who used swords. In this way, modernization of Japan was best expressed in the movie The Last Samurai. The entirety of the movie was the samurai trying to keep their culture intact. Unfortunately, they were defeated by the modernized army that consisted of their own people. In the

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