Continuity mistake: When the samurai are entering the village, the geishas that the photographer was taking a picture of are seen entering a house behind him. Then the shot changes. When it returns to the photographer, you see them entering the same building again over his shoulder.
Continuity mistake: When Algren is trying to prove to the Colonel that the soldiers are not ready to fight, by having the man try to shoot him, the first barrel band on the soldier's musket (the one closest to the muzzle) is detached and dangling just behind the front sight. It stays in this position for several shots and then magically resets itself after the weapon is fired.
Continuity mistake: During the rescue scene, the heroes cross a bridge and are followed by the Imperial Army. The first batch of Imperial soldiers rips a hole in the paper door/window/wall. In the next shot the door/window/wall is intact.
Continuity mistake: When Algren is saying good bye to Taka, who is ending her bath, the position of her hair changes between shots.
Continuity mistake: Just before the final battle, a clip of the now well-trained Japanese army standing at "port arms" (holding their rifles in front of them, with their left hand on the upper stock and their right hand behind the trigger guard; the rifle is pointed up and to their left). This is a standard out of any military manual of arms. The scene flashes to several other snapshots of the other parties preparing for the big battle. When the camera shows another snapshot of the Japanese army, the film is in reverse. The soldiers are still at "port arms," but their rifles are pointed up and to their right.
Continuity mistake: When Algren is packing to leave, Colonel Bagley picks up the note that the young boy had written for Algren. In the close up, you can see the paper is light blue at the top and a light pink at the bottom. When Algren takes it from him and smooths it out, it is suddenly all light blue.
Continuity mistake: Algren's horse has a white spot on his forehead. The spot changes size, shape and place during the film. At the very end of the film, when Algren goes back to the samurai-village, horse hasn't got that spot at all (it's still the same horse, big ears and all that.).
Continuity mistake: When Algren teaches a soldier to shoot, the soldier has a chin strap below his lip. Yet, in the next shot there is no strap. (00:19:35)
Continuity mistake: When Algren is handing the 'sword' back to the little kid, his hands change position around the sword everytime the angle switches: first it's between his fingers, then fully grasped, then between his fingers again.
Continuity mistake: In the final scene as Algren approaches the village, his horse is on his left. When he sees his girlfriend, the horse is on his right.
Continuity mistake: During the ninja attack, Algren, Taka and her children retreat inside their house. The older boy goes to bring his father's sword to fight a ninja and another ninja is pushing Algren's face towards a sword's edge. When the boy screams and engages in combat, we can see Algren in the back stabbing the ninja in the head with a sword fragment. A couple of short scenes later, we see Algren stabbing the ninja again, only this time he actually holds the fragment, for during the first stabbing it's still lying out of reach. (01:07:40)
Continuity mistake: During the scene where Nobutada's top knot is cut off, his hair magically changes positions multiple times. When the police officer begins cutting his hair, you see his face close up, and there is no hair on his shoulders- it's all behind his head, presumably still connected to the topknot. You then see Nobutada from a distance. The officer's finishing cutting at his hair, and you can see a lot of it resting on the front of his shoulders. The next shot of Nobutada is a closeup on his face and shoulders again, and his hair's all behind his head- his shoulders are clean. The officer then kicks him down to the ground, and his hair's back in front. The two different angles were shot separately- one while the officer's cutting his hair and one where the officer finishes and kicks him to the ground, thus the inconsistency. (01:25:30)
Continuity mistake: The first time Algren is eating with the family, there is a shot with the older of the 2 boys in the corner. He takes a bite of his food with his chopsticks at his mouth, but immediately after, his chopsticks are down in the bowl again, there is no time in between shots for him to put the chopsticks down.
Continuity mistake: In the fight scene where the ninjas invade the village, right before Algren runs in to help Katsumoto, it shows a shot of Katsumoto and two ninjas. One has a sword, the other has two sais. The two shots are close-ups on each ninja. The shots show each one having a sword. Then in the next shot, when Algren runs in, the ninja has sais again. (01:07:55)