The Last Samurai (2003) Script

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:

Honour.


Ladies and gentlemen: Winchester.

America's leader in all forms of armament used...

... by the United States Army...

... celebrates our nation's centennial by bringing you a true American hero.

One of the most decorated warriors this country has ever known.

Winner of the Medal of Honour for his gallantry...

... on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg.

San Francisco, 1876 He is late of the 7th Cavalry...

... and their triumphant campaign against the most savage of the Indian nations.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Captain Nathan Algren!

Captain Nathan Algren!

Yes!

Yes!

One moment, ladies and gentlemen.

Goddamn you, Algren, get out there!

This is your last performance! You're fired! Now get out there!

Come on! I'm sick of this!

Come on!

Yes!

My thanks, Mr. McCabe, you are too kind.

This, ladies and gents...

... is the gun that's winning the West.

Why, many's the time I've found myself...

... surrounded by a swarm of...

... angry hostiles...

... with nothing but this rifle...

... between me and a certain and gruesome death.

And let me tell you, folks, the red man...

... is a fearsome enemy.

And if he'd had his way...

... why, this scalp of mine would be long gone...

... and there'd be a balder man standing before you today.

Like those poor bastards out there...

... on the Little Bighorn.

Bodies stripped bare...

... mutilated.

Left to rot in the sun.

This, ladies and gentlemen, the 73 lever-action...

... Trapper.

It's got a seven-shot capacity. Accurate 400 yards, one round per second.

Son, have you ever seen what this could do to a man?

This would blow a hole in your daddy six inches wide.

That's right, missy.

This beauty.

You could kill yourself five, six, seven braves without ever having to reload.

Note the patented loading port and the smooth cocking action.

My thanks on behalf of those who died...

... in the name of better mechanical amusements...

... and commercial opportunities.

Mr. McCabe here will take your orders.

God bless you all.

I must say, captain, you have a flair for the old melodrama.

You're alive. I am, indeed.

Your man Custer says to me, ''We're going to the Little Bighorn. ''

Says I, ''What's this 'we' stuff?'' It's the walking ticket for me.

Nine lives I have. But I'll tell you what else I have.

I have a good job for the both of us.

God knows it looks as if you'll need one real soon.

What kind of a job?

The only job you're fit for, boyo. A man's job.

Unless, of course, you got your heart set on a career in the theatre.

Nathan!

Just listen to what your man has to say.

Been a while. It's good to see you.

I'd like you to meet Mr. Omura from Japan...

... and his associate, whose name I've given up trying to pronounce.

Sit down, please.

Whiskey.

Now, Japan's got it in mind to become a civilized country.

And Mr. Omura here is willing to spend what it takes...

... to hire white experts to train their army.

And if we play our cards right...

... the Emperor grants the U. S. exclusive rights to supply arms.

Well, I have an agreement with Winchester Company.

I'm certain Mr. Omura has some concept of what an agreement is.

Your performances for the Winchester Company bring you $25 a week.

We will pay you $400 a month.

Five. For each.

And another 500 when we get the job done.

How many other genuine heroes you got lined up?

He's rude.

That's how it is here. A land of cheap traders.

Whiskey.

So who will we be training your boys to fight?

His name is Katsumoto Moritsugu. He was once the Emperor's teacher.

He's Samurai. Samurai?

The word you might use is ''warrior. ''

Mr. Omura is familiar with our experiences dealing with renegades. ls he?

He's even read your book.

Captain Algren's study of the tribes...

... was a crucial factor in our defeat of the Cheyenne.

Please excuse. What is funny?

The corps back together again. It's just so...

... inspiring!

Excuse me.

I need to use the necessities.

This isn't a problem. I'll just talk to him for a minute.

Colonel Vagley.

We contacted you because you are Captain Algren's superior officer...

... and you assured us of his participation.

He'll do it. I just need a minute.

Nathan.

I did what I was ordered to do out there.

And I have no remorse.

So, what do you say we put the past behind us?

You want me to kill Jappos, I'll kill them.

I'm not asking you to kill anybody. You want me to kill their enemies...

... I'll kill their enemies.

Rebs or Sioux or Cheyenne... .

For 500 bucks a month, I'll kill whoever you want.

But keep one thing in mind...

... I'd happily kill you for free.

July 12th, 1876. There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea. No past, no future.

And then at once, I'm confronted by the hard truth of present circumstances.

I have been hired to help suppress the rebellion of yet another tribal leader. Apparently, this is the only job for which I am suited.

I am beset by the ironies of my life.


Yokohama Harbor, 1876


Captain Algren, I presume? Yes.

Jolly good. How do you do? Simon Graham.

Twenty years ago, this was a sleepy little town.

Now look at it.

You see, the Emperor is mad for all things Western...

... and the Samurai believe it's changing too fast.

The ancient and the modern are at war for the soul of Japan.

So your new employer, Mr. Omura, is bringing in...

... every Western expert he can get.

Lawyers from France, engineers from Germany, architects from Holland...

... and now, of course, warriors from America.

I came over with the British trade mission, oh, years ago.

I was soon relieved of my position.

I had an unfortunate tendency to tell the truth...

... in a country where no one ever says what they mean.

So now, I very accurately translate other people's lies.

For 2000 years, no emperor was even seen by a commoner.

You have to realize what an honour this is. It's all highly ritualized, of course.

You may look at him, but do not speak unless spoken to.

If he stands, you must bow. If he bows, you must bow lower.

Do I look presentable? I haven't worn this in a decade.

Rather snug around the midriff.

And bow.

The divine Emperor Meiji bids you welcome.

He is grateful for the assistance your country offers.

We hope to accomplish the same national harmony...

... you enjoy in your homeland.

The Emperor is most interested in your American Indians...

... if you have fought against them in battle.

We have, Your Highness. The red man is a brutal adversary.

The Emperor wishes to ask Captain Algren...

... if it is true they wear eagle feathers...

... and paint their faces before going into battle...

... and that they have no fear.

They are very brave.

Vow.

Thank you very much.

And step back.

Step back, step back and turn.

Right, you little bastards!

You will stand up straight or I will personally shit-kick...

... every Far Eastern buttock that appears before my eyes!

Well done, sergeant.

When you understand the language, everything falls into place.

The first rank will kneel, rifles at the ready.

The second rank... .

July 22nd, 1876. For six months ' work, I am to receive three years of captain 's pay...

... teaching Orientals to soldier.

They are an army of conscripts. Most of them are peasants who have never even seen a gun. Fire!

They are led by General Hasegawa, a man of small stature...

... who nonetheless commands enormous respect. What can the general tell me about this man, this Samurai, Katsumoto?

He seems to have great knowledge of Katsumoto and his rebellion. I will count on his help when facing the Samurai. Who supplies their weapons?

Katsumoto no longer dishonours himself by using firearms, you see.

He uses no firearms?

To those who honour the old ways, Katsumoto is a hero.

How well does he know him?

The general and Katsumoto fought together for the Emperor.

He fought with the Samurai?

He is Samurai.

You must understand. Katsumoto pledged his sword...

... to defend the Emperor.

They say that a Samurai's sword is his soul.

Samurai are paradoxical.

I've tried to write about them, but they keep to themselves.

The bastards are still wearing armour.

When the Irish were comporting themselves in loincloths...

... these chaps were the most sophisticated warriors on Earth.

I need information on their battle tactics.

I have several more books just waiting to be translated.

He'll be speaking the lingo in no time.

You should hear him blather on in Vlackfoot.

Really?

A fellow linguist? Oh, capital!

Come on, sir. A word or two in the savage tongue.

Just ''hello'' or ''goodbye'' or-- No, no, no!

''Cut his tongue out and boil him in oil. ''

Early day tomorrow, captain.

It's about bedtime, isn't it? I always had a fascination with scalping.

I never quite understood its technique.

Imagine someone who hates you with the utmost intensity...

... grabbing a handful of your hair while you're lying prostrate and helpless...

... and scraping a dull blade of a rusty knife around your scalp...

... with a saw-like motion.

And let your imagination grasp, if you can, the effect of a strong, quick jerk...

... on the turf of your hair to release any clinging particles...

... would have on your nervous system.

And you'll have some idea of how it feels to be scalped...

... Mr. Graham.

How soon can you translate those books?

Right away.

I'm just delighted you're taking such an interest in Samurai.

I don't give a damn about the Samurai. I want to know my enemy.

I shall not sleep until it is done.

Sake.

I bid you good night.

Can I get you anything?

This is a punitive expedition, captain. Col. Vagley, these people had nothing to do with the raids!

Good night, sir. Quietly now, boys.


Fire!

We should be grateful they're all firing in the same direction.

Couldn't have put it better myself, sir.

Rifle butt, against the shoulder.

Eye, down the sight.

Now, slowly... .

Well done.

Nathan!

Katsumoto's attacked a rail-road at the border of his province.

We cannot govern a country in which we cannot travel freely.

He must be stopped now.

My rail-road is a priority for this country.

They're not ready.

The rebels don't have any rifles. They're savages with bows and arrows.

Whose sole occupation for the last thousand years has been war.

You have superior fire-power and a larger force.

I am ordering the regiment to move against Katsumoto.

You will track him down and engage him.

Load.

Mr. Graham! Tell this man to fire at me!

I beg your pardon? Tell this man...

... if he does not shoot me, I will kill him!

Captain, if I might have a word. Tell him!

Tell him!

Load!

Load!

Faster!

Faster!

Shoot me, damn it.

Fire!

Fire!


They're not ready.

The regiment leaves at 6 am. !


A thousand miles of rail track laid in less than two years.

It's astonishing.

And Omura owns all of it?

As soon as he can get rid of the Samurai, he will, yes.

How do you intend to find Katsumoto?

Don't worry, Mr. Graham. I assure you, he'll find us.

Move into position!

Yoshino Province, 1876

1st Company, form a battle line on me!

Pay attention, it will save your life!

2nd Company, form on 1st Company.

3rd and 4th Company, form up behind.

Fill in on command!

Where's Hasegawa? He refuses to fight against Katsumoto.

Cover down! Captain Algren.

We are not here as combatants.

Then who's gonna lead them? Their own officers.

Let's move to the rear. We'll be there presently.

Fix bayonets!

Mr. Graham, accompany me to the rear. Yes, of course.

Sergeant Gant, report to the rear and see to the disposition of the supply trains.

Did you hear my order? I did indeed, sir!

Then you will obey it. Now!

No disrespect intended, sir, but shove it up your ass.

Load! Load!


Samurai come.

You'll be fine, son.

Assume firing positions! Assume firing positions!

Fire on my order only!


Hold your fire!

Hold your fire!

Reload!

Hold the line!

Fire at will!

Lieutenant, fall back!


Zeb!


He's mine.


Stop!

Take him away!


What is your name?

Insolent swine! Answer!

Leave him be.

This is my son's village.

We are deep in the mountains and winter is coming. You cannot escape.

Jolly good.


My Lord, why do you spare the barbarian?

He is shamed in defeat.

He should kill himself.

That is not their custom.

Then...

... I will kill him.

Father... .

I don't think... .

Ujio...

... there will be plenty of killing to come.

For now...

... we will learn about our new enemy.

Keep him alive.

He's in bad shape.

Sake.

Sake?

Sake.

Sake.

Taka will take care of you.

Sake.


Sake.

Sake!

Let him drink, Aunt.

No. That will not do.

This is my village.

This is my house.

Please.

Sake.

Sake!

No!

No!

I told you!

No!


Morning.


Over there!

Go. You, go.

What's your name?

You got a name, don't you?

You don't know what I'm saying, do you?

I know why you don't talk.

You're angry.

You're angry because they make you wear a dress.

Son of a bitch.


This temple was built by my family a thousand years ago.

My name is Katsumoto.

What is your name?

Are my words not correct?

I will practice my English with you...

... if you would honour me.

You kept me alive just to speak English?

Then what do you want?

To know my enemy.

I've seen what you do to your enemies.

Warriors in your country do not kill?

They don't cut the heads off defeated, kneeling men.

General Hasegawa asked me to help him end his life.

A Samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat.

I was honored to cut off his head.

Many of our customs seem strange to you. The same is true of yours.

For example...

... not to introduce yourself is considered extremely rude, even among enemies.

Nathan Algren.

I am honored to meet you.

I enjoyed this conversation in English. I have questions.

I have introduced myself. You have introduced yourself.

This is a very good conversation.

I have questions. They come later.

Who was the warrior in the red armour?

My brother-in-law, Hirotaro. And the woman who cares for me?

My sister, Hirotaro's wife.

Her name is Taka.

I killed her husband?

It was a good death.

You!

You! Come... . Please... .


Thank you.

He smells like the pigs. Tell my brother I cannot stand this.

Why don't you tell him?

At least make him take a bath.


Nicely done.

They may be children, but they are strong.

You try.

Try.


Put down the sword.


I just realized, I've been remiss. Forgive me.

I have yet to thank you for looking out for me yesterday.

That is your job, correct?

Protecting me?

Well done, Vob.

You don't mind if I call you ''Vob, '' do you?

I knew a Vob once. God, he was ugly as a mule.

You a ladies' man, Vob?

Ujio is teaching you the way of the Japanese sword.

Yes, indeed.

You fought against your Red Indians?

Yes.

Tell me of your part in this war.

Why? I wish to learn.

Read a book. I would rather have a good conversation.

Why? Because...

... we are both students of war.

So...

... you were the general of your army?

No.

I was a captain.

This is a low rank?

A middle rank.

And who was your general?

Don't you have a rebellion to lead?

People in your country do not like conversation?

He was a lieutenant colonel.

His name was Custer.

I know this name.

He killed many warriors.

Oh, yes. Many warriors.

So he was a good general.

No. No, he wasn't a good general. He was arrogant and foolhardy.

He got massacred because he took a battalion against 2000 angry Indians.

Two thousand Indians?

How many men for Custer?

Two hundred and eleven.

I like this General Custer.

He was a murderer who fell in love with his own legend.

And his troopers died for it.

I think this is a very good death.

Maybe you can have one like it someday.

If it is in my destiny.

What do you want from me? What do you want for yourself?

What are you doing?

Why are we having these conversations?

What the hell am I doing here?

In spring...

... the snows will melt and the passes will open.

Until that time, you are here.

Good day, captain.


1876. Day unknown. Month unknown. I continue to live among these unusual people. I am their captive, in that I cannot escape. Mostly, I'm treated with a kind of a mild neglect...

... as if I were a stray dog or an unwelcome guest.

Everyone is polite. Everyone smiles and bows. But beneath their courtesy, I detect a deep reservoir of feeling.


They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake...

... they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue.

I have never seen such discipline. I am surprised to learn that the word ''Samurai'' means ''to serve''...

... and that Katsumoto believes his rebellion to be...

... in the service of the Emperor.


Please forgive. Too many mind.

Too many mind?

Mind sword, mind people watch, mind enemy.

Too many mind.

No mind.

No mind.


Thank you. More rice?

Taka. He spoke Japanese!

Eat a lot. Don't be polite.

Not so fast. What are these?

How can he understand?

Top knot.

No, no. Not so fast.

I'm Algren.

Nobutada. Nobutada.

Magojiro. Magojiro.

Higen.

Higen.

Taka.

Brother, please make him leave. I cannot stand it. ls he so repulsive?

The shame is unbearable. I ask permission to end my life.

You will do as you are told!

You'd rather I kill him to avenge your husband?

Yes.

Hirotaro tried to kill the American. It was karma.

I know.

Forgive my weakness.

There must be some reason why he is here.

It is beyond my understanding.

She's been very kind to me.

She's honored to have my guest in her house.


Winter, 1877. What does it mean to be Samurai?

To devote yourself utterly to a set of moral principles...

... to seek a stillness of your mind...

... and to master the way of the sword. He's getting better, no?

But still so ugly.

Cold?

Also. Also cold.

Fire.

To burn.

No, please.

Japanese men do not help with this.

I am not Japanese.


I'm sorry.

For your husband, Hirotaro.

He did his duty.

You did your duty.

I accept your apology... .

Spring, 1877. This marks the longest I have stayed in one place since I left the farm at 1 7.

There is so much here that I'll never understand.

I have never been a church-going man...

... and what I've seen on the field of battle...

... has led me to question God's purpose. But there is, indeed, something...

... spiritual in this place.

And though it may forever be obscure to me...

... I cannot but be aware of its power.

I do know it is here that I have known my first untroubled sleep in many years.

No, you gotta get the ball! Go and get it.

No, not me! You gotta get the ball! The ball!

Ujio will win in three moves.

In five!

Next in five moves.

In six.

No mind.


A draw!


Who is this amateur?


Katsumoto!

Protect Katsumoto! Protect our Lord!


Lord, please go inside!


The perfect blossom is a rare thing.

You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.

Who sent those men to kill you?

I'm writing a poem about a dream I had.

The tiger's eyes are like my own But he comes from across A deep and troubled sea Was it the Emperor?

Omura?

If the Emperor wishes my death, he has but to ask.

So it was Omura.

I'm having trouble finishing the poem.

Can you suggest a last line? I'm not a writer.

Yet you have written many pages since you came here.

What else has she told you?

You have nightmares.

Every soldier has nightmares.

Only one who is ashamed of what he has done.

You have no idea what I have done.

You have seen many things.

I have.

And you do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it. ls this not so?

Yes. I, also.

It happens to men who have seen what we have seen.

And then I come to this place of my ancestors...

... and I remember.

Like these blossoms...

... we are all dying.

To know life in every breath...

... every cup of tea...

... every life we take.

The way of the warrior.

Life in every breath.

That is Vushido.

The Emperor has granted a safe passage to Tokyo.

We leave tomorrow.

Good.

Good.

When I took these, you were...

... my enemy.


Excuse me.

No, so sorry, I am finishing.

I must go away.


You have been kind to me.

I won't forget... .


Algren-san! Algren-san.


Algren?

Algren, my God, you are alive.

Well, you never cease to astonish.

Howitzers. Yes, indeed.

As soon as the Emperor signs the trade agreement...

... he gets the whole package.

Including this particular item. Two hundred rounds a minute.

And the new cartridges cut down on jamming.

I need a bath.

After living with those savages, I can only imagine.

Welcome back, captain.

You rise against me, my teacher.

No, Highness. I rise against your enemies.

They are my advisor's, like you.

They advise in their own interest.

I need advisor's who know the modern world.

If I am no use, I will happily end my life.

No... .

I need your voice in the council.

It is your voice we need, Highness.

You are a living god. Do what you think is right.

I am a living god...

... as long as I do what they think is right.

What sad words you speak.

Forgive me for saying what a teacher must.

Have you forgotten your people?

Tell me what to do...

... my teacher.

You are Emperor, my Lord, not me.

You must find the wisdom for all of us.

Gentlemen, come in.

Captain Algren, it seems you have endured your captivity...

... with little ill effect.

I was not ill-treated, sir.

Mr. Omura, I have here a draft of the arms agreement.

I'm eager to know how many Samurai have joined Katsumoto.

I'm afraid I don't know.

You spent the winter at his encampment. As his prisoner.

Has he fortified his position? Acquired firearms? Tell us what you saw.

As you said, colonel, they're savages with bows and arrows.

Sir, about the-- I'm sure your documents are in order.

Thank you. Leave them on my desk. I'll address them at the appropriate time.

With all due respect, sir, our president's patience is wearing thin.

Perhaps there is someone else we should speak to.

With all due respect, ambassador...

... perhaps there is someone else we should speak to.

For instance, the French or the English.

Or any of the legations waiting in the next room.

We should be looking forward to hearing from you.

Good afternoon, gentlemen. Captain Algren.

Perhaps you and I might have a word in private. Please, sit down.

May I offer you whiskey? No, thank you.

Katsumoto is an extraordinary man, is he not?

He's a tribal leader. I've known many of them.

But none who are Samurai. Their ways have great appeal.

I don't see how this concerns me. But it does.

You see, you were right. Last year, we were not prepared to go to battle.

You were right, and Colonel Vagley was wrong.

But now, we are ready.

If Katsumoto is allowed to attract other Samurai to his cause...

... we will have 10 years of rebellion. This is something I will not allow.

Either I'll stop him at the council today, or you'll lead my army against him.

And with these new weapons, you will crush him.

I appreciate the offer. It is not an offer.

Mr. Omura, my contract with you was to train your army.

Then we will make a new contract...

... one that will recognize the extraordinary contribution...

... you've made to the Emperor.

Do we understand each other?

Yes, we understand each other perfectly. Then I am pleased.

Follow him. If he goes anywhere near Katsumoto, kill him.

Captain Algren! What in heaven's name is going on?

The diplomatic community is abuzz.

Omura has passed laws against the Samurai.

I need a drink. ls your friend Katsumoto planning to go up against the council this afternoon?

You, Samurai! Don't you know about the order?

My God, it's started.

Hey boy, are you listening?

No wonder the foreigners mock you.

Let's give this Samurai a haircut.

Cut off his top knot.

Get down! Kneel!

Captain Algren!

Lower your weapons!

Lower your weapons!

Who are you?

I am Captain Algren.

Stop!


Get down!

Let's go.

I'll take you home.

Jolly good.


We must resist the Western powers...

... by becoming powerful ourselves.

Our army, our economy, must be strong.

Minister, you honour us.

It is my honour to rejoin this council.

Perhaps you are unaware of the law against wearing swords?

I read every law carefully.

Yet you bring weapons into this chamber?

This chamber was protected by my sword when--

We need no protection. We are a nation of laws.

We are a nation of whores, selling ourselves--

If we are whores, the Samurai made us this way.

I have not seen the Omura family giving gold to the masses.

Minister Katsumoto, it is with great regret...

... but I must ask you to remove your sword.

This sword serves the Emperor.

Only he can command me to remove it.


The Emperor's voice is too pure to be heard in this council.

Then, I must refuse to give up my sword.

Then regretfully, my guards will accompany you to your home in Tokyo.

There you will await our summons.


I heard you were leaving.

Omura offers you my job, and you run away.

I suppose I should thank you.

$500 a month, including back pay for time spent...

... in captivity.

Enough to climb back inside a bottle for the rest of your life.

You're welcome.

Well, it is pretty much over.

Katsumoto's under arrest. Omura won't let him last the night.

With him dead, we should have little trouble handling the rebellion...

... even without you.

Especially without you.

Just tell me one thing.

What is it about your own people that you hate so much?


Save us the trouble... .


The Samurai are finished!


Stop!

Don't come any closer!

Don't stop. Whatever you do, don't stop.

Minister Omura has commanded us to photograph the traitor--

Stop! Somebody!

Bring that equipment here now!

Immediately!

You stop!

You insolent, useless son of a peasant dog!

How dare you show your sword in his presence! Do you know who this is?

This is the President of the United States of America!

He is here to lead our armies in victorious battle against the rebels!

It's not my responsibility... .

Now get over there and help those men with their equipment!

Carry the equipment.

President of the United States? Sorry.

I think I'm going to be sick.

How's your poem coming?

The end is proving difficult.

This is Mr. Simon Graham. He'd like very much to take your photograph.

I thought you returned to America.

I decided to stay. See if I could convince you to escape.

How do you plan to do that?

Mr. Graham, perhaps you would care to take pictures of my village.

I would be greatly honored.


My Lord, no!

Nobutada!


Father, let me stay.

It is my time.

My Lord...

... we must go.


The Emperor could not hear my words.

His army will come.

It is the end.

For 900 years, my ancestors have protected our people.

Now...

... I have failed them.

So you will take your own life...

... in shame?

Shame for a life of service?

Discipline? Compassion?

The way of the Samurai is not necessary anymore.

Necessary?

What could be more necessary?

I will die by the sword.

My own...

... or my enemy's.

Then let it be your enemy's.

Together, we will make the Emperor hear you.


He was a good man.

Will you fight the white men, too?

If they come here, yes.

Why?

Because they come to destroy what I have come to love.

The way of Samurai is difficult for children. He misses his father.

And he is angry because I am the cause of that.

No. He is angry because he fears you will die as well.


My father taught me it is glorious to die in battle.

That is what he believed.

I would be afraid to die in battle.

So would I.

But you have been in many battles.

And I was always afraid.

I don't want you to go.

Algren.

They are coming.


I'd say two full regiments.

They'll come in waves of a thousand.

And they have the howitzers.

It makes no difference. They will come, and we will make our stand.

How many men will we have? Maybe 500.

Like General Custer, huh?

There was once a battle at a place called Thermopylae.

Three hundred brave Greeks held off a Persian army of a million men.

A million. You understand this number?

I understand this number.

For two days the Greeks made them pay so dearly...

... the Persian army lost all taste for battle and were defeated soon after.

What do you have in mind? Take away the advantage of their guns.

They're overconfident. We'll use that. Lure them close.

Close enough for a sword.

You believe...

... a man can change his destiny?

I think a man does what he can...

... until his destiny is revealed to him.

May 25th, 1877. This will be the last entry in this journal. I've tried to give a true accounting of what I have seen, what I have done. I do not presume to understand the course of my life. I know I am grateful to have partaken of all this...

... even if for a moment.


Algren-san, will you come with me?

If you wear this armour, it will honour us.


You will need this.

What does it say?

''I belong to the warrior in whom the old ways have joined the new. ''


Good God.

Sir, the imperial Army of Japan demands your surrender.

If you lay down your arms, you will not be harmed.

This is not possible, as Mr. Omura knows.

Captain Algren.

We will show you no quarter.

You ride against us, and you are the same as them.

I'll look for you on the field.


Captain Algren.

Mr. Graham.

Perhaps you can use these for your book.

Yes, I will. Captain.

Godspeed.

Mr. Graham.


Well they won't surrender.

Are we ready?

Get into your positions!


Commence firing!


They're covering their retreat. You see?

Even the mighty Samurai cannot stand up to the howitzers.

Signal the attack. I advise sending in skirmishers first.

Nonsense! Full attack!


They're coming.


Wait for the volley.

Second volley.


What on earth? What is happening?


The attack has been stopped. Send in the rest of the regiment.

What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?

Dead to the last man.


Algren-san!


Son of a bitch thinks he can win.


They'll bring two more regiments up here soon.

We won't be able to stop them again.

You do not have to die here.

I should have died so many times before.

Now, you live again.

Yes.

It was not your time.

It's not over.


What is this?

Cannon, prepare to fire!

Prepare to fire!

This is madness. He's going to attack? Yes.

He's defeated! He must accept his shame!

Kill him. All of them.

Now!

My horse!


Fire!


Ready!

Aim!

Fire!

Fire at will!


Bring up the new guns!

Prepare the new guns!

Fire!

Backward!

Quickly! Quickly!

Fire!


Stop firing!

Idiots, keep on firing!

Stop firing! Stop!

No.

Shoot! Kill Katsumoto! Kill the American!

You have your honour again.

Let me die with mine.

Help me up.

Are you ready?

I will miss our conversations.


Perfect.

They are all...

... perfect.


On behalf of the United States of America...

... the signing of this treaty will usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity...

... and cooperation between our two great nations.

On behalf of the Emperor...

... we are pleased to have successfully concluded this...

... negotiation.

He is here?


Highness, if we could just conclude the matter at hand... .


This is Katsumoto's sword.

He would have wanted you to have it...

... that the strength of the Samurai be with you always.

Enlightened One, we all weep for Katsumoto, but--

He hoped...

... with his last breath...

... that you would remember the ancestors who held this sword...

... and what they died for.

Your Highness... .

You were with him...

... at the end?

Emperor, this man fought against you!

Your Highness...

... if you believe me to be your enemy, command me...

... and I will gladly take my life.

I have dreamed of a unified Japan...

... of a country strong and independent and modern.

And now we have railroads and cannon, Western clothing.

But...

... we cannot forget who we are...

... or where we come from.

Ambassador Swanbeck...

... I have concluded that your treaty...

... is not in the best interest of my people.

Sir, if I may-- So sorry...

... but you may not.

This is an outrage!

Enlightened One, we should discuss this--

Omura...

... you have done quite enough.

Everything I have done, I have done for my country.

Then you will not mind when I seize your family's assets...

... and present them as my gift to the people.

You disgrace me.

If your shame is too unbearable...

... I offer you this sword.


Tell me how he died.

I will tell you how he lived.

And so the days of the Samurai had ended. Nations, like men, it is sometimes said, have their own destiny. As for the American captain...

... no one knows what became of him. Some say that he died of his wounds...

... others, that he returned to his own country. But I like to think...

... he may have at last found some small measure of peace...

... that we all seek...

... and few of us ever find.