Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hollywood Potrayal of Samurai

    Hello everyone, once again thanks for reading my blogs. I'm so glad that my blog had been read by many people. It motivated me too keep on writing. And this time my blog will be about samurai. I want to ask to the readers regarding the topic that I will be explored in this post. What is in your mind when you are thinking about samurai? Are you thinking about people who can use swords very well and devoted their lives to their masters when you heard the word Samurai? 

    I will tell you about the true meaning of samurai, according to the resources from the internet. Samurai is one of the military caste system in feudal Japan, began as the term  to describe provincial warriors who serves as protectors for members of the Imperial Court. From time to time, the definition of samurai began to change as samurai started to becoming local lords who ruled specific territories.
The samurai dominated Japan goverment and society until Meiji Restoration led to the abolition of feudal system. Samurai used the traditional samurai code of morality, honor and respect also known as bushido (武士道). Bushido is the code that shaped how a samurai should behaved in the society. 
Hasil gambar untuk samurai

    Samurai has been potrayed in many form of popular culture such as books, animes, movies and video games. One of the famous Hollywood film which took a theme of samurai as it’s main plot is The Last Samurai (2003).  The film stars Tom Cruise who potrayed a formerly retired officer of the United States whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of Meiji Restoration. During his times with a group of samurai, he learned the life of samurai and Japanese language. Thus he became a new man who forget his old life filled with death and frustration, finally found peace in his life.

   The Last Samurai received many nominations by Academy Awards, Golden Globe, praised by the critics for the acting, writing, directing and soundtracks. But the movie also received criticsm because of it’s historical inaccuracy and portrayal of the clashed ideology between United States and Japan. This film marks a new era of “the rise of Japan” in Hollywood movies. Then numerous films about Japanese culture are made by Hollywood, many these films had managed to gain a lot of audiences and some of them failed.
    Hasil gambar untuk the last samurai

   I think the theme of samurai in the eyes of Hollywood filmmakers is very interesting because of not every directors are interested in using samurai in their films. Some filmmakers tend to use samurai as their source of inspiration like George Lucas, John Frankenheimer but not featuring samurai as the main characters in their movies. It is because western filmmakers tend to used cowboys as “samurai” in their movies, because cowboys are the western equivalent of Japanese samurai. Films like The Magnificent Seven, 47 Ronin are filled with the element depicting samurai but yet failed to captured many audiences. The reason is because of western filmmakers experienced  some kind of “culture shock”, they read about samurai but didn’t fully understand of the bushido code (武士道), the moral code of samurai. This is why not many western filmmakers could used samurai as the main character in their films and told the viewers about how the story goes in the eyes of samurai.

   But Edward Zwick is quite different from other western filmmakers. He managed to use samurai as the main character in this film eventhough he is actually an American. He made the film that showed the viewers about how an American accepting the moral code and language from other culture and become a new man. And because of it, I think of him as one of great directors in Hollywood who use samurai as the main element in this film and had succeed in receiving positive feedback from audiences and critics.




  1. This blog is amazing. I love how you write the definition of samurai in overall. And your opinion on potrayal of samurai in Hollywood movies made me think of The Last Samurai, the greatest movie ever.

  2. Good story, make me touched.....and your blog so nice