Tom Cruise’s film, The Last Samurai, portraits the Meiji Restoration period. Since 1603, the Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan from Edo(Tokyo’s former name). The imperial family was a figurehead based in Kyoto.
In the Meiji Restoration, the nation goes through a radical political and cultural change. Emperor Meiji wants to modernize and abolish the samurai. Tom Cruise’s character, an American Union officer, is hired to modernize Japan’s army and destroy the samurai.
In 1868, Emperor Meiji takes control of the nation from the feudal clan system. The imperial family is in control again. The wearing of swords by the samurai is outlawed. The drama and action in the film display the samurai taking a stand against these new laws.
The dramatic film is a great way to learn the old ways of the samurai. Also, it gives a picture of a period of Japan’s history that little known in the West.
Story 3 of 4 Durians
Visit to Japan 4 of 4 Durians
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