The article “How True to History is Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai?” categorically describes in a comparative framework the areas where the film, though based on history deviates from the actual records. The author first gives a brief synopsis…
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The book on The Last Samurai written by Ravina, an expert in Japanese History and an Associate Professor of History at Emory University, centers on the life and the battles fought by Saigo Takamori. The book describes the entire phase from the moderate origins of Saigo and his development to the stage of a deprived samurai. Then his eventual rise to powerful position as a national leader. Finally it shows how events unfold to bring on his death as a leader who died in rebellion. This book has been the base for the movie centering on Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. Saigo’s significance has been revealed here especially in the context of the Meiji rule. He was the first to overthrow the feudal dominion and build the Meiji base in Japan. His battle was a fight to preserve the honor of a samurai and his consequent loyalty and service to the society. Hence he was against the idea of centralized country. The book gives an elaborate account of his deeds and his contribution, which turned him into a folk hero, and gradually compelled the government to raise him to the position of national martyrdom. The spirit of the samurai captured here has given the inspiration to the movie and hence becomes useful to the paper.The book written by Turnbull, a historian specializing in the history of the samurai gives a clear account of the Satsuma rebellion with respect to the honor of the sword of the samurai. The author’s knowledge in military history has helped him frame the revolt with a cause to support it. He did not agree to the reforms led by the government and revolted with his army to preserve the pride of the samurai. The book contains quotes and opinions of experts and historians apart from reporters. The leader carried out several organizations and built schools in euphemistic style named as “Private Schools” the academics were rendered in military style training such that a private army could be formed. The students had to take an oath in blood to be loyal to the purpose and this alarmed the Meiji government. These movements and tactics of the plan are interesting to note and compare to the movie with respect to its adherence to the facts. 3. Logan, John, Herskovitz, Marshall, Zwick, Edward and David James. The Last Samurai. Time Inc Home Entertainment, 2003 The book contains some parts of the script on which the Last Samurai is based and the making of the movie in general including some stills and comments form the acting team and director. The contributors to the book are all a part of the moviemakers’
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