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Vasiliy Ustinov
Vasiliy Ustinov

The Book Of Samurai - Fundamental Samurai Teach...

Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior is a children's historical novel by Chris Bradford, published in 2008. It is the first in a series of action-adventure stories set in 17th century Japan following the exploits of an English boy, Jack Fletcher, as he strives to be the first gaijin samurai.

The Book of Samurai - Fundamental Samurai Teach...

Jack is later found by Masamoto Takeshi and taken to his sister Hiroko's house. There Jack is treated. When he wakes up, Jack hears voices in the room next door. He accidentally falls through the paper door and is threatened by a samurai. Following the advice he once got from a fellow sailor he bows as deep as possible, amusing the samurai.

Jack spends the next few months recovering and learning to speak and write from Father Lucius. A samurai comes with a message saying that Masamoto will return to Toba soon. The evening before Masamoto's arrival, the house is attacked by ninja, including Dokugan Ryu. Dokugan Ryu asks Jack where the rutter is, but Jack denies knowing about its whereabouts. Before Dokugan Ryu can do anything Masamoto arrives, forcing the ninja to flee.

The next day, Masamoto takes Jack, Yamato and Akiko to Kyoto so they can learn the way of the samurai at his school. There Jack makes friends, but also enemies, one of them being Oda Kazuki. Jack proves to be a talented student in the Way of the Samurai, much to the dismay of others who don't approve the idea of a gaijin learning their ways.

A newly translated 19th-century book, written by samurai, describes martial arts techniques designed to help police officers of the time. The highly guarded practices included how to tie suspects up using paper string and fighting techniques that allowed officers to defeat suspects without killing them.

The book, which contains illustrated instructions, was published in 1888, a time when the samurai class had lost many of its privileges and the formally secretive martial art schools that taught the samurai were willing to divulge their secrets.

This book drew on the expertise of 16 martial arts schools operating in Japan in 1888. "Each school revealed their inner secrets and demonstrated their expertise," wrote Tetsutaro Hisatomi, the author of the book and a samurai himself. Those techniques deemed helpful to police officers were "incorporated into this volume which we have decided to call 'Kenpo,' or 'Fisticuffs,'" wrote Hisatomi, according to the translation by Eric Shahan, who specializes in translating 19th- and 20th-century Japanese martial arts texts. [See Images from the 'Illustrated Martial Arts Book]

In 1868, the Japanese shogun (a hereditary ruler) was overthrown and Japan's government became centralized under the emperor in an event known as the Meiji Restoration. A series of military reforms followed the restoration and included the samurai class gradually losing its privileges.

The Last Samurai is a 2003 epic period action drama film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan and Marshall Herskovitz from a story devised by Logan. The film stars Ken Watanabe in the title role, with Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as a soldier-turned-samurai who befriends him, and Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Koyuki, and Shin Koyamada in supporting roles.

Tom Cruise portrays Nathan Algren, an American captain of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th century Japan. The film's plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori and the Westernization of Japan by foreign powers.[a] The character of Algren was influenced by Jules Brunet, a French Imperial Guard officer who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the earlier Boshin War; Ernest Mason Satow and Algernon Mitford, British diplomats during the Meiji restoration who were involved in the Satsuma rebellion; and, to a lesser extent, by Frederick Townsend Ward, an American mercenary who helped Westernize the Chinese army.

In 1876, former U.S. Army Captain Nathan Algren, a skilled soldier who has become a bitter alcoholic traumatized by the atrocities he committed during the American Indian Wars, is approached by his former commanding officer Colonel Bagley. Bagley asks him to train the newly created Imperial Japanese Army for a Japanese businessman, Omura, who intends to use the army to suppress a Samurai-headed rebellion against Japan's new emperor. Despite his hatred of Bagley, the impoverished Algren takes the job for the money. He is accompanied to Japan by his old friend, Sergeant Zebulon Gant. Upon arriving, Algren meets Simon Graham, a British translator knowledgeable about the samurai.

Algren learns that the Imperial soldiers are simply conscripted peasants with shoddy training and little discipline. While training them to shoot, Algren is informed that the samurai are attacking one of Omura's railroads; Omura sends the army there, despite Algren's protests that they are not ready. The battle is a disaster, as the undisciplined conscripts are routed, and Gant is killed. Algren fights to the last before he is surrounded; expecting to die, he is taken prisoner when samurai leader Katsumoto decides to spare him; General Hasegawa, a former Samurai serving in the Imperial Army, commits seppuku rather than be taken prisoner. Algren is taken to Katsumoto's village. While he is poorly treated at first, he eventually gains the samurai's respect and grows close to Katsumoto. Algren overcomes his alcoholism and guilt, learns the Japanese language and culture, and is trained in the art of kenjutsu. He develops sympathy for the samurai, who are upset that the pace of modern technology has eroded the traditions of their society. Algren and Taka, Katsumoto's sister and the widow of a samurai killed by Algren, develop an unspoken affection for each other.

One night, a group of ninja infiltrate the village and attempt to assassinate Katsumoto. Algren saves Katsumoto's life, and then helps defend the village, concluding that Omura must have hired the ninjas. Katsumoto requests a meeting with Emperor Meiji in Tokyo. He brings Algren, intending to release him. Upon arriving in Tokyo, Algren sees that the Imperial Army has become a well-trained and fully equipped force led by Bagley. Katsumoto, to his dismay, discovers that the young and inexperienced Emperor has become a puppet of Omura. At a government meeting, Omura orders Katsumoto's arrest for carrying a sword in public and tells him to perform seppuku the next day to redeem his honor. Meanwhile, Algren refuses Bagley's offer to resume command of the army, prompting Omura to send assassins after him, but Algren kills the assailants and then assists the samurai in freeing Katsumoto. During the rescue, Katsumoto's son Nobutada is mortally wounded, his sacrifice allowing the others to escape.

As the Imperial Army marches to crush the rebellion, a grieving Katsumoto contemplates seppuku. Algren convinces him to fight and joins the samurai in battle. The samurai use the Imperial Army's overconfidence to lure them into a trap; the ensuing battle inflicts massive casualties on both sides and forces the Imperial soldiers to retreat. Knowing that Imperial reinforcements are coming, and defeat is inevitable, Katsumoto orders a suicidal cavalry charge on horseback. The samurai withstand an artillery barrage and break through Bagley's line. Algren kills Bagley, but the samurai are quickly mowed down by Gatling guns. The Imperial captain, previously trained by Algren and horrified by the sight of the dying samurai, orders the soldiers to cease fire, outraging Omura. Katsumoto, mortally wounded, commits seppuku with Algren's help as the soldiers kneel in respect.

The film achieved higher box office receipts in Japan than in the United States.[7] Critical reception in Japan was generally positive.[8] Tomomi Katsuta of The Mainichi Shinbun thought that the film was "a vast improvement over previous American attempts to portray Japan", noting that director Edward Zwick "had researched Japanese history, cast well-known Japanese actors and consulted dialogue coaches to make sure he didn't confuse the casual and formal categories of Japanese speech." Katsuta still found fault with the film's idealistic, "storybook" portrayal of the samurai, stating: "Our image of samurai is that they were more corrupt." As such, he said, the noble samurai leader Katsumoto "set my teeth on edge."[9]

According to the history professor Cathy Schultz, "Many samurai fought Meiji modernization not for altruistic reasons but because it challenged their status as the privileged warrior caste. Meiji reformers proposed the radical idea that all men essentially being equal.... The film also misses the historical reality that many Meiji policy advisors were former samurai, who had voluntarily given up their traditional privileges to follow a course they believed would strengthen Japan."[19]

The fictional character of Katsumoto bears a striking resemblance to the historical figure of Saigō Takamori, a hero of the Meiji Restoration and the leader of the ineffective Satsuma Rebellion, who appears in the histories and legends of modern Japan as a hero against the corruption, extravagance, and unprincipled politics of his contemporaries. "Though he had agreed to become a member of the new government," wrote the translator and historian Ivan Morris, "it was clear from his writings and statements that he believed the ideals of the civil war were being vitiated. He was opposed to the excessively rapid changes in Japanese society and was particularly disturbed by the shabby treatment of the warrior class." Suspicious of the new bureaucracy, he wanted power to remain in the hands of the samurai class and the Emperor, and for those reasons, he had joined the central government. "Edicts like the interdiction against carrying swords and wearing the traditional topknot seemed like a series of gratuitous provocations; and, though Saigō realized that Japan needed an effective standing army to resist pressure from the West, he could not countenance the social implications of the military reforms. For this reason Saigō, although participating in the Okinoerabu government, continued to exercise a powerful appeal among disgruntled ex-samurai in Satsuma and elsewhere." Saigō fought for a moral revolution, not a material one, and he described his revolt as a check on the declining morality of a new, Westernizing materialism.[20] 041b061a72


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