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In the 1850's Townsend Harris was dispatched by President Pierce to Japan to establish open trade with Japan. While there, he forms a relationship with a beautiful young geisha named Okichi. The Barbarian And The Geisha, although perhaps not completely accurate to true life of the events it depicts does give us a beautiful look into the the look and feel of Japan of the mid-1800's. Shot entirely in Japan, the scenery is stunning, and the costumes, especially those of the Geisha are truly beautiful. We are invited to watch Geisha in performance; dancing, singing, and entertaining. One scene features a large group of Geisha playing the koto, a stringed instrument central in Japanese music and culture, and the sound is transporting to the "mysterious Orient". Japanese language is heard throughout the movie, kudos to Huston there, and the characters communicate largely through a translator which also puts us more into the place of Harris' experience in Japan. This element mixed with a limited number of bilingual Japanese characters avoids the lameness of just having everyone speak English for the sake of the American Audience or having to use subtitles at all. Although you won't find yourself on the edge of your seat, or swept by the moving story or a dramatic romance with this film, it covers the subject matter with a commendable ease and the visual elements are enough within themselves to ride out the entire picture.