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Review of the Movie ‘The Last Samurai’

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The movie ‘The Last Samurai’ was useful to an extent for the education about the modernization of Japan. This movie is based on a historical event that unfolded in the modernization of Japan. ‘The Last Samurai’ is a 2003 American drama action movie co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick. It is set in 1876 in Japan, which at the time wasn’t modernized and there several different problems between the samurai.

The movie ‘The Last Samurai’ shows some factual and nonfactual evidence from what happened in the real event. As some events that happened in the movie didn’t happen in the real-life event. This movie shows a few accuracy aspects but a lot of inaccuracy aspects.

This movie shows moderate accuracy of real key themes that have happened, however there were parts in the movie that some of the scenes were not accurate with the stages of modernization of Japan. The buildings in ‘The Last Samurai’ were relatively accurate compared to what the architecture would have been when the Meiji Restoration happened in 1876 however some buildings would have been much more updated because of the western influences from all around the world. In the movie the buildings were what the buildings would have been about 100 years before the movie was made. Along with the sets in the movie the scenes inside of a room were a true likeness to how it would have looked including the wallpaper, furnishings and decor. The overall accuracy of the scenery in ‘The Last Samurai’ was accurate to an extent. The depiction of the township, the infrastructure and the standard of living were accurate to the era.

The samurai would have been quite different to how they have been depicted when Algren arrived, in the movie they were working as tax collectors, officials, landlords, and even industrialists. In the movie when Algren arrived, they were portrayed as simple farmers working their land and protecting their property. The movie also has an extremely strange scene, which is pure to Hollywood entertainment where Ninja mercenaries invade the village which is very unrealistic and didn’t happen in real life time.

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The armor and weaponry in which was used throughout the movie was also accurate to a point. The armor that they were wearing was an accurate representation of the samurai before the Meiji Restoration as after the Meiji Restoration the armor changed from what was being shown in the movie. The armor in the movie was able to withstand a gunshot however this would have not been possible when the fight actually happened. The Japanese armor was heavy and hard to move in and the condition that his body was in, it would have limited his movement and not have moved as easily throughout the war scene. Also, during the fight scene the armor was abandoned because it was thought to be non-bullet proof and had no use. This is another reason why the movie should not be used to depict what took place in the modernization of Japan.

Tom Cruise’s character, Nelson Algren, was mostly correct as he was representing a character who was sent to Japan to assist modernize their army. A number of the characters weren't completely true to historical events, for example, the last battle involves Algren and therefore the army would have been structured differently. However, it wasn’t the foremost inaccurate part of this movie.

The samurai was moderately correct as a result of they weren't as progressive as the Japanese army. The Japanese army had a lot of guns and canons whereas the samurai within the movie only had horses, swords and bow and arrows. Truly the samurai did fight with progressive weapons like guns. However, one thing that was impractical and unrealistic was that the main character, Nelson Algren, living through the last battle. The Satsuma Rebellion was correct to some extent, for example, the fight continued till the last man fell, conjointly the samurai were outnumbered and outgunned. Nelson Algren living through the last battle was utterly impractical and untrue. In real life he wasn’t in the battle at all. This fight was way over dramatic and was not true to the actual events however the dates were correct for both the movie and in real life.

As seen up above ‘The Last Samurai’ will be part helpful for Australian students attempting to find out about the modernization of Japan once the movie is showing what the clothing that the samurai were wearing and the fighting scenes, except for half the movie does not depict the actual events, as they occurred nor the way of life the samurai were living which is teaching Australian students the incorrect thing.

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Review of the Movie ‘The Last Samurai’. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Review of the Movie ‘The Last Samurai’.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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Review of the Movie ‘The Last Samurai’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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