My husband and I watched "The Last Samurai" a couple of weeks back. A friend in Manila had warned me to bring tissue paper as, knowing me, he said, I'd be having them in buckets! And so I did.
I think, any other actor could have played Lt. Algren. Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Keifer Sutherland, to name a few...and the story would still be as moving, as beautiful and as memorable. It was the Japanese-ness of it all that was amazing. The life of the Samurai and the discipline and pride that they have. The futility of fighting against change...even if it means losing the culture and the way of life you and your ancestors have been practising for thousands of years.
So there I was, in the cinema, snuffling and my head, I felt, was growing larger and larger as more tears fell. My eyelids getting swollen so my vision was getting smaller. My husband was getting more embarrassed as my sniffs got louder. I was thinking, he should be used to me being like this by now! but I guess not.
My highschool Yahoogroups have been discussing the movie a while back, talking about katana blades and samurais. One guy posted, "The Samurai Shogun shouldn't have died on his back. It is a great dishonour for samurais to die lying on their backs." to which another poster replied, "Yeah but Algren is American, he doesn't know about such things as dying on your back and honour for the samurais."
I now think, and want to post but just stopped myself because the discussion has gone on to new matters like our coming reunion...yeah, quite true that Algren didn't know such things but having lived with them, in their vilalge for an ample amount of time, he should have at least learned about it and thus gave the general a better 'death pose'.
So I'm posting is here for no one and everyone to read because I'm too chicken to open up that issue in my yahoogroups. Oh well.
Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Ride, Ride to Work!