The Last Samurai

Growing up, one of my favourites movies was “The Last Samurai”, directed by Edward Zwick. The first time I watched the film, I remember being fascinated by the Japanese culture, but most of all being completely captivated by the samurai. In the movie, we witness the Samurai rebelling against and battling the emperor. Moritsugu Katsumoto is the leader of the Samurai, and the movie is cantered around him and his village. My goal is to learn more about the samurai, distinguish between their myth and reality and to discover the ways in which the samurai influenced the Japanese culture.

Numerous questions need to be answered before I reach my goal. Questions like, was the samurai lifestyle accurately portrayed in the film ? If not how did it differ from reality ? Why are they rebelling against and fighting   the same emperor they pledge allegiance to ? And discover how Japanese Culture was influenced by samurai ideology.

In view of the fact that I want to have a accurate understanding of the samurai life style, I will need to watch many documentaries about the reality of the Samurai. Since I need to have reliable information about the reality of the samurai, the documentaries must come from reliable sources, like National geographic and BBC. I will need some books about Japanese culture as well, books like “The Japanese Mind” by Osamu Ikeno, so I can make links In between Japanese and Samurai culture and Ideology and understand the influence the Samurais had on Japan as we know it.