In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren, a cynical veteran of the American Civil war who will work for anyone, is hired by Americans who want lucrative contracts with the Emperor of Japan to train the peasant conscripts for the first standing imperial army in modern warfare using firearms. The imperial Omura cabinet's first priority is to repress a rebellion of traditionalist Samurai -hereditary warriors- who remain devoted to the sacred dynasty but reject the Westernizing policy and even refuse firearms. Yet when his ill-prepared superior force sets out too soon, their panic allows the sword-wielding samurai to crush them. Badly wounded Algren's courageous stand makes the samurai leader Katsumoto spare his life; once nursed to health he learns to know and respect the old Japanese way, and participates as advisor in Katsumoto's failed attempt to save the Bushido tradition, but Omura gets repressive laws enacted- he must now choose to honor his loyalty to one of the embittered sides when ... Written by
In the face of an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior.
5 December 2003 (USA)
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Opening Weekend: $136,898
(30 January 2004)
(2 April 2004)
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Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?
Japan's first Caucasian samurai was actually an Englishman named William Adams, born in 1564 in Gillingham, Kent, UK. He was a sailor and fought the Spanish Armada not long before he left for the far East when he eventually was taken by Samurai and refused to leave Japan because of his ship making qualities. Lord Ieyasu gave him two swords, the trade mark of a samurai because he was of great asset to Ieyasu. Adams' story was more directly adapted/dramatized as the character of John Blackthorne/Anjin-san in James Clavell
(1980). See more
When Katsumoto and Algren are riding to Tokyo, Algren is seen turning around his horse and starting to ride off. In the next shot, he is not moving and beings to ride off again. See more
They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.
The opening Warner Bros. logo is light blue on a solid black background. See more
Performed by Tokyo Gakuso
Courtesy of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc. See more