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Thread: Swordwork and "The Last Samurai"

  1. #61
    Troy McClure Guest

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    Originally posted by Ronin055
    Perhaps some people who like this "fiction" will move forward and seek more "real" knowlage about this time, this event, and these people. Then there will be real success.
    Very well put. That's how I see movies like these. They are never totally accurate, but they do a great job of introducing other cultures. There's no way we could learn everything that the Japanese went through during the late 1800's, but this did scrape the surface.

    Some will be entertained, and that's enough for them. Others will be intrigued and will go elsewhere to learn more. Whether it's watching the Samurai special on the History Channel or reading a novel about the times, the movie has done it's job.

    The movie did its job of getting the audience involved in the story. I enjoyed it just like I did Braveheart (another fictional historic epic).

  2. #62
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    Default Katsumoto's Poem

    In reference to Katsumoto's poem, I remember it going something like, "For one's life work to be spent searching for the perfect blossom...then something about a tiger followed by ...they are all perfect! It's a shame that's all I can "remember", and yet I know I still retained the impression that it is a beautiful, profound poem! At least I can draw solace from the fact that it has been several days since I saw it. Help!

  3. #63
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    Default Re: OK... FINALLY SAW THE MOVIE, AND...

    Originally posted by Carlos Estrella
    I sat in the theater and tried to ignore anything and everything I'd ever learned about Japan and anything I'd seen Tom Cruise (good and bad) in. Here is what I DIDN'T like:

    - a little long
    - musical score sometimes drowned out the action
    - some plot elements weren't taken advantage of (I won't goive away the story - just go see it to understand)

    To be honest, I really DID ENJOY the movie as a whole. Tom Cruise played the part of the distraught combat veteran well. Being Native, I appreciated how they portrayed both his angst concerning harming and killing my people and how they were shown to be noble warriors in the same vein (albeit with different means) as the samurai.

    This was indeed a worthy film and the splendor, romanticism of the culture and the moral messages all contributed to a powerful film. Ken Watanabe performed admirably though the person playing his son seemed a little too much in the background to have been given the "honor" he is given later in the film).

    Go see it and enjoy. Have an open mind. (ESPECIALLY ALL YOU E-BUDO SAMURAI EXPERTS... IT'S A M O V I E ! ! !)

    Regards,

    Carlos
    I'm sorry, what "honor" is the son given?

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    The "honor" I referred to was fighting and dying a noble death vs. dying on the run or surrendering to be killed.

    Maybe it's a romanticized notion to many here, but there is certain shame in the psyche of some when it comes to how one dies. In my personal experience, in law enforcement I had the unfortunate instance being where someone let himself be killed rather than surrender (those who know me personally on here know where and when). It's only a blurb on the news (sometimes) and often a nightmare for the officers involved... but it gives for a fleeting moment to the offender a shred of honor (for a few seconds of thought anyway).

    Back to the movie... when you are dying and have no chance, do you go out like a lion of a lamb.. that's the choice Katsumoto's son made... at least IMHO. (Personally, I like making the OTHER guy die for HIS country, but I digress :-D )

    FWIW

    Carlos
    E. Carlos Estrella, Jr.

    The strength of a man is not measured in how much he can lift, how many he can fight or how much he can endure, but in his capacity to admit his limitations and learn to successfully circumvent them.

  5. #65
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    Default Katsumoto's death poetry/haiku?

    This is cool. I think that his entire poem went like this:"A perfect blossom is a rare thing; You could spend your life looking for one. And it would not be a wasted life." For much of the movie he complains that he's not much of a writer and appears to be struggling to find just the right conclusion to his poem. It is only later as he is dying, out of time, that he actually realizes HE has been using "too many mind" and amidst the plum flower blossoms he views over Algrens shoulder his ending effortlessly becomes apparent as he whispers, "It is perfect...They are ALL perfect!" He then dies in Algren's arms as his enemies honor him as "The Last Samurai"! Then everyone but me is teary-eyed and choked up stumbling half-blinded to their cars! At least that's what I gather.

  6. #66
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    Thumbs up I concur.

    Originally posted by Carlos Estrella
    The "honor" I referred to was fighting and dying a noble death vs. dying on the run or surrendering to be killed.

    Maybe it's a romanticized notion to many here, but there is certain shame in the psyche of some when it comes to how one dies. In my personal experience, in law enforcement I had the unfortunate instance being where someone let himself be killed rather than surrender (those who know me personally on here know where and when). It's only a blurb on the news (sometimes) and often a nightmare for the officers involved... but it gives for a fleeting moment to the offender a shred of honor (for a few seconds of thought anyway).

    Back to the movie... when you are dying and have no chance, do you go out like a lion of a lamb.. that's the choice Katsumoto's son made... at least IMHO. (Personally, I like making the OTHER guy die for HIS country, but I digress :-D )

    FWIW

    Carlos
    Hey I see what you meant. Too often in our mundane lives we don't believe that we can REALLY subscribe to these romanticized notions of living nobly but I submit that All REAL Men can live no other way![B]"Do thy duty, that is best; Leave unto the Lord the rest!" Unknown

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    Default Re: Katsumoto's death poetry/haiku?

    Originally posted by dingodog1
    This is cool. I think that his entire poem went like this:"A perfect blossom is a rare thing; You could spend your life looking for one. And it would not be a wasted life."
    Katsumoto's observation about the search for a perfect blossom was not part of his poem. He was simply stating one of his life values to Algren; that the journey is as important as the destination. And as he is dying he realizes a greater truth; that every blossom (and thus life itself?) is perfect.

    His poem, on the other hand, is never finished as far as we know.
    After expressing his feeling about the search for a perfect blossom, and after Algren asks who sent the assasins, Katsumoto says:

    "I am writing a poem about a dream I had. 'The tiger's eyes are like my own. But he comes from across a deep and troubled sea.'"

    This is from the screenplay. I can't recall for sure, but I think in the actual film Katsumoto said something like "I am writing a poem about a dream I had, but I am having trouble finishing it." That's probably why his final line, "They are all perfect," is thought to be the end to his poem.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Talking Thanks!

    Hmmm, yeah it confused me. My buddy said he heard that reference but some reason both times that I went I couldn't clearly understand that part. I guess I tried to make sense of it based on what I heard. Sort of the "telephone" game where the original message changes as it's passed on. Thanks for the insight!

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    Default Re: Thanks!

    Originally posted by dingodog1
    Sort of the "telephone" game where the original message changes as it's passed on.
    Ah! The telephone game! I'd forgotten about that. Serendipity on E-Budo.com.

    I'm writing an article on the relevence/purpose of kata training, and having a tough time getting started.

    The example of the telephone game will make a perfect opening!

    You helped me without even knowing it. Thank you!
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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