The Last Samurai Essay

Edward Zwick, the manager of “ fable of the autumn ” , co-produced this 2003 war and play movie, based on a true narrative picturing award and bravery battling against corruptness and greed. Nathan Algren ( Tom sail ) is an American civil war veteran who carries moral cicatrixs of his triumph against the native Indians. As he drowns his guilt in intoxicant and performs Acts of the Apostless at trade shows in San Francisco, his old commanding officer drags him into run intoing Prince Mitsui, a Nipponese man of affairs who offers Algren a occupation as a military adviser, to develop the Nipponese authorities ground forces.

At that clip, Japan was lead by Emperor Meiji who had a vision of a modernized Japan and a wish to beef up his ground forces and update its public presentation through the latest fire-weapons and war schemes. This is where the struggle arises as the old Nipponese samurai society stands against this rapid transmutation. Lead by Katsumoto ( Ken Watanabe ) a few hundred samurai, Rebel and hence are judged as treasonists and ordered to be marginalized and eliminated. This is where Algren comes into drama to show the power of the rifle and let American bargainers to sell arms to the upgraded Nipponese ground forces to contend against those Rebels.

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During the first brush between the unprepared Nipponese regimens and the smattering of courageous samurai, Algren falls and is captured by the enemy. He is so taken to the samurai small town up in the mountains where he learns to interact with them, discovers their civilization and observes their combat methods. During his “ imprisonment ” , a friendly relationship is born between Algren and Katsumoto. They learn to understand each other ‘s cultural disagreements and adapt to each other ‘s characters. He becomes so impregnated with the values that the samurai defend, that he practically becomes more than merely one of them and ends up taking them along sides Katsumoto into conflict confronting his ain battalion.

The chief characters:

Two chief supporters can be discerned in the secret plan: Algren and Katsumoto. Both of them display different types of leadings that might be correlated to their divergent cultural differences. American population tends to be more explicit in their manners of look when Nipponese might connote their messages in indirect signifiers. Algren ‘s fiery personality contrasts to Katsumoto ‘s reserved and introverted character. When the samurai enjoys minutes of silence, the captain is frustrated with his non-talkative guard. Other fluctuation in behaviour can be explained with respects to their construct of personal infinite, hierarchy controversy, tradition and aged regard every bit good as individualistic to corporate attitude. Even though, none of the manners can be judged to be better than the other, it is possible to corroborate that Algren ‘s unprompted behaviour sometimes drives him to do determinations that are non in his best involvement. The clip that Katsumoto takes to reflect on issues somehow delays the decision-making procedure but might interpret into wiser and more rational judgement.

The spiritualty of the Nipponese civilization every bit good as their values are ubiquitous in all facets of their lives. Algren is staggered with their devotedness to the flawlessness of their mundane undertakings and is intrigued with the spiritualty that emanates from their beliefs. While he is populating among them he surprisingly discovers the significance of the word “ samurai ” : to function. This is one of the major disagreements between the two work forces and this is the facet of leading that Algren learns from Katsumoto. As the secret plan is happening, the relationship between the two grows from enemies, captive and oppressor, instructor and pupil, spouses with common involvements, even making the friendly relationship province. This extract of values balances out the resonance between them to the point where we see for the first clip an reverse state of affairs with Algren go toing Katsumoto ‘s failings. In the scene predating the concluding conflict, Katsumoto confides in his friend apparently afraid of the result. The emperor had antecedently refused to see his proposal, which broke Katsumoto ‘s religion and hope for a common apprehension. In this state of affairs, Algren actively listens to the interior frights of the great leader and in a really directing manner, efforts to actuate him and re-enforce hope and optimism “ It ‘s non over yet ” ( Quoted from the movie ‘s book ) .

The Leadership Analysis of Nathan Algren:

All through this film, Algren displays attitudes of a magnetic leader that is non nevertheless ever admired for his picks. Even in his minutes of failing, Captain Algren ‘s prima accomplishments are still clearly embedded in his individuality. As the character evolves, many aspects of leading can be observed through the ideals that he represents and unrecorded by. Firstly, award is someway the dominant value in the secret plan as it encompasses truth beyond practicality and efficiency. This is one of the constructs that Captain Algren learned during the clip he spends with the samurai. In the secret plan, award is often interlinked to courage and can be admired in the battle of the warriors and their leaders as much in personal conflicts or field wars. As Algren is confronted to Katsumoto, he discovers a spiritualty such that of the Bushido spirit dwelling in trueness, gallantry, bravery, justness, courtesy, compassion and earnestness. The undermentioned observation grid is a chronological overview description of some of the leading traits that were revealed through Algren ‘s behaviour and places in different scenes. In each state of affairs, the interaction between characters is explained and the facets of leading underlined.

A few quotation marks:

“ What does it intend to be Samurai: To give yourself absolutely to a set of moral rules ; to seek a hush of your head, and to get the hang the manner of the blade. ” – Nathan Algren

“ There is so much here I will ne’er understand. I ‘ve ne’er been a church traveling adult male, and what I ‘ve seen on the field of conflict has led me to oppugn God ‘s intent. But there is so something religious in this topographic point. And though it may everlastingly be vague to me, I can non but be cognizant of its power. ” – Nathan Algren

“ Katsumoto: You believe a adult male can alter his fate?

Nathan Algren: I think a adult male does what he can, until his fate is revealed. ”

“ Emperor Meiji: State me how he died.

Nathan Algren: I will state you how he lived. ”


This analysis portrays the characteristic traits that represent the leading attitudes of Nathan Algren, the chief histrion in the outline. However, another character is deserving being besides studied in his places, rules and uncommon behaviours. Katsumoto, the Samurai Rebel, is the embodiment of a true leader whom followings respect and admire to the point where they would be willing to give their lives for him out of strong belief and fondness. A relevant point to the interaction between the two types of leaders is one of the most of import characteristics of leading sempiternity. That is one of the grounds that caught Katsumoto ‘s attending during his first brush with Algren, watching him persevere in the battle till the terminal. Katsumoto saw in him the spirit of a leader, and the movie ‘s secret plan witnesses the development of the nexus between the two work forces. When the relationship reaches a certain trust and adulthood, Katsumoto ‘s attitude towards Algren become that of a instructor, a trainer, a usher. Katsumoto takes the duty of maneuvering Algren and modeling his character to carry on him to go his replacement. This is how Algren himself becomes “ The Last Samurai ” .


  • “ The Last Samurai ” movie, Edward Zwick, 2003
  • Leadership Models and Theories: A Brief Overview, Emily Spencer ( class stuff )