Review of The Last Samurai (2003)

Moving picture, 154 minutes

1876: A self-loathing American who’s been butchering Indians professionally for years is hired to train Japanese troops at the unstable dawn of the Meiji era. He’s captured by traditionalist rebels.

Hollywood samurai action. As in Dances with Wolves (1990) a modern man realizes the beauty and dismal plight of an old culture threatened by the man’s own civilization. The emperor’s name, while alive, was Mutsuhito. Meiji (“enlightened rule”) was the name of his reign, as well as his posthumous name. His enemies used guns. Most other discrepancies that I can see are attributable to Hollywood “dramatic license,” including the end, where Tom Cruise convinces “Meiji” that the old ideals rock. Lots of clichés.

References here: Hidden Figures (2016).

moving picture Japanese production fiction