Tuesday, December 30, 2003

CINEMA : The Last Samurai

It's might be bit late to comment by now, but anyway eventually watched The Last Samurai.
I am surprised I mostly enjoyed with this film (except last few scenes as pointed by many). But surprised? Might be surprised because this Hollywood blockbuster movie of Samurai epic pictured Samurai life and spirit in acceptable level by eyes of native Japanese. Or surprised because I had no problem to watch the film having the same eyes and feel as eyes of American Tom Crouse watching Samurai spirit and felt their losing.

In fact Katsumoto was an elite Samurai who had privilege to teach to Emperor among majority of Samurais at the end of Edo era who were no more than servants of rigid government and suffering from neediness yet had no way to change their job. Katsumoto's village could be special rich to develop Samurai spirits without fear of hunger. Anyway as Nathan was moved, what I was moved most in this film was their discipline, honor and devotion etc through daily life in their village, which I must think lost forever already and things modern people eager to search; some goes to higher and higher education, some reads piles of self-help books, some goes to yoga or some meditation, some become religious and in modern Japan, what foreigner said could easily be guideline too. Japanese Samurai had own spirit for self-development which was born and grown naturally through their life through 1000 years time but it was Samurai's decision to deny their old spirit and change to so-called western way. Then it was after World War 2 when Samurai spirit really died away and it's only fifty some years after death of a thousand year spirit. No wonder Japan is still like lost child.

(It's not so far time indeed. My mom's ancestor was honored Samurai though the family failed to fit change and lost everything. I used to hear from my mom that mom used to hear from her grandma how Samurai and his Load’s life was.)