The Last Samurai

Corrected entry: When all the "ninjas" are attacking the village after the big entertainment show, you see Algren sticking his sword through a ninja, so the end of it comes out on the other side of the ninja's bag. Then you see Algren drawing the sword back again, but the part on the other side doesn't move an inch.


Correction: Algren never pulls the sword out. The Ninja drops down dead with the sword still in his back.

Corrected entry: The sword that Algren gives to the Emperor is fake. Notice the handle during the Emperor's little speech- it's plastic. During the battle you can see that its a real black fabric around the sword's handle. (02:15:10 - 02:20:50)


Correction: Looking at the sword hilt as shown in that scene, it appears to be tightly wrapped fabric, just as seen earlier. Appearances can change considerably based on light conditions in a scene - this looks to me like the same sword, simply under more subdued lighting. Certainly the sword is exactly as before when Algren is holding it a few seconds earlier and very little appears to change.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: In the final battle scene when Katsumoto and Algren have just spoken to the enemy commanders and are returning to the Japanese army, there is a shot of Algren getting off his horse. To his left you can see a soldier stumble backwards clutching his leg. If you look closely (slow motion helps), you can see Algren's horse kick him. The horse's leg is only visible for a frame or so.

Correction: This isn't a movie mistake. Horses do this in real life, therefore it can hardly be considered an error if one does it in a film.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Katsumoto tells Aldrin that they have clear passage to Tokyo, he pronounces Tokyo with three syllables (Toe-kee-o) as would an American, whilst the proper pronunciation has two syllables (Toe-kyo). Despite the fact that they are speaking English, this mistake wouldn't have been made by a native Japanese speaker. (01:14:00)


Correction: This is disproven by itself; Ken Watanabe, the actor playing Katsumoto, IS a native of Japan, and as we can clearly hear he pronounces "Tokyo" with three syllables.


Corrected entry: When Algren is talking to Katsumoto about General Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn, he states that Custer leads a single battalion against 2000 Indians. Katsumoto asks, "How many men for Custer?" Algren replies, "211." A battalion is actually made up of 5 companies of approximately 200 men each. Therefore, if Custer would have taken a battalion to Little Big Horn, his accompaniment would have been closer to 1000.

Correction: Incorrect. At the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the entire 7th Cavalry regiment, Custer's unit, consisted of just 45 officers and 718 troopers, 166 of whom were not present on the battlefield, having been detached for other duties. Prior to the assault, Custer divided his troops into three battalions of varying size, taking the largest group, consisting of just over 200 men with him, a group that would subsequently be completely wiped out in the famous Last Stand. It may not match what you think should be the right numbers, but Algren's statement is historically accurate.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: Some of the Japanese phrases were either mistakenly or deliberately (probably for effect) mistranslated in the subtitles. For instance, when Katsumoto has his audience with the Emperor, the latter requests his teacher's advice. When the subtitle says: "... my teacher", he is saying "oshiete", which actually means "tell me" or "teach me". Likewise, when Taka offers Algren her late husband's armor, she says "ureshii". In the subtitle, it is translated: "I would be honored", whereas it really means (in this context): "I would be happy". (Of course, it would take some basic knowledge in Japanese to spot these mistakes)

Correction: Absolute literal translations from Japanese to English frequently yield unexpected (sometimes humorous) results. The point of the subtitles is to correctly relay the substance of the conversation, not a word-for-word translation.

Jason Hoffman

Corrected entry: In the scene when the Imperial Japanese Army is fighting the Samurai for the first time in the forest, Algren is knocked from his horse. He is then fighting several Samurai foot soldiers. During the fight he is stabbed in the right shoulder with a spear. Later in the village Taka is sewing up a wound in his left shoulder.

Correction: He was stabbed several times and in several different locations.

Jason Hoffman

Corrected entry: In the final battle where the samurai first assemble behind barricades, before making their strategic retreat behind the hill, the Japanese army kills a number of them with cannon fire. Yet, when the Japanese army pursues them, the bodies have disappeared.

Correction: I count at least 2 dead bodies, and there is a lot of smoke and many wooden barricades where more samurai could lie and we don't see.

Ronnie Bischof

Corrected entry: During the final battle, there is a close-up of a samurai's foot stepping on the back of a dead soldier. You can tell that there is thick padding inside the soldiers jacket in the upper shoulder area.

Correction: The soldiers are going up against guys with big swords, if it were me I'd stuff my jacket with anything I could get my hands on in an attempt to lessen/deflect a sword blow. Clearly this is futile as the swords can cut through muskets, but you can't blame a guy for trying . . .

Corrected entry: When Algren wears Taka's dead husband's armour, it is in pristine condition. At the beginning of the film Algren killed Taka's husband by stabbing him - surely the armour should have a hole in it?

Correction: Algren stabs Taka's husband in his unprotected throat - his armour is never touched.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: At the very end of the samurai's last charge, the Imperial army bring out the gatling guns. After a few seconds of firing, you can see in a close-up shot of the ammo feeder that the magazine is half-empty. The gun fires for a minute or so more, far long after the magazine should've been depleted, with no time spent reloading.

Correction: There are 3 gatling guns, you can see all of them when they are ordered to stop firing. It is reasonable to say thet they were firing alternatively to provide regular flow of bullets, instead of having them fire all together for 15 seconds, then stop for 20 seconds to reload (giving to the samurais time to come close enough) and then fire again.

Corrected entry: As Algren is fighting with the training sword in the rain, one of the times that he is beaten down by his adversary, his opponent hits Algren's sword so hard that the sword falls out of Algren's hand. Then immediately in the next shot, Algren is getting up with the sword in his hand as if he never let it go.

Correction: The sword falls straight to the ground, a few centimeters under Algren's hand. It would take no time to grab it again.

Corrected entry: It was the British and Germans/French who trained a modern military for Japan, not the U.S.

Correction: At the end of the movie the Emperor refused to sign the treaty with the Americans, and Omura referred to treaties proposed by the British and French when the American ambassador was pushing for the treaty's approval. We can assume that one of the competing offers was accepted in lieu of the American treaty.

Corrected entry: Algren says that he was in the Battle of Little Bighorn when he is on the stage. It cannot be true, because the only survivor from this battle was a horse. All of General George Custer's men died in this battle.

Correction: Algren could legitimately claim to have been present at the Battle of Little Big Horn. A second group of men under Major Reno fought a desperate action at the Little Big Horn separate to that of Custer's and many of these men survived the Battle.

Corrected entry: If Japan is being modernized and the samurai have been gone for over 200 years, shouldn't the ninja be long gone as well?

Grumpy Scot

Correction: Ninja are not gone, even to this day. Though samurai may no longer carry a daisho(long and short sword)or have authority, people are still trained to be like them in their combat/physical and spiritual/mental abilites.

Corrected entry: The last samurai battle in Japan took place in 1600 at Sekigahara and the last significant military action of any sort was during the Shimabara rebellion of 1637. So by the time the events of this film take place, the samurai have not fought or even seen a battle for over two hundred and fifty years. Yet, in the film, they are as skilled at large scale battle tactics as any 16th century army. These tactics take decades of experience and practice to get even approximately right and no amount of "sword swinging" in the fields can substitute for real combat in a good old bang-up war. Twelve generations of samurai had come and gone and the only military action they had seen was as police officers and bodyguards. No wonder they lost.

Joe Moldovan

Correction: While the last great battles may have been a long time ago, the discipline of the samurai still made them enemies to be reckoned with. Also, as the 1900 Chinese Boxer Rebellion proved again later: even the greatest courage and hand-to-hand fighting skill is hardly a match against massive modern firepower.

Corrected entry: At the last charge of the Samurai, they fall in droves to the Japanese army. The armour the samurai wore was designed to withstand blows from high pressure per impact katana swords, it would have resisted the rifle shots from the Japanese infantry more effectively than shown, maybe not from the Gatling guns but definitely from the rifles.

Correction: Not so. It was mainly designed to resist slashing attacks. In fact, most of the time Japanese armor wasnt even 'armor' at all, just woven silk, padding, and light metal, sometimes even wood. The purpose of the armor was to offer minimal protection, while full mobility for the samurai to move. Samurai put most of their faith in avoiding any blow, rather than letting his armor withstand it, which is why they needed such mobility. Even if a katana were to strike them, there would still be a pretty good chance the armor wouldn't be able to absorb it. Similarly, a gunshot would easily penetrate most samurai armor. Some of the more wealthy samurai were able to wear Euoropian type breast plates that offered more protection, but still they may or may not resist a rifle shot. In fact, you'll notice that once firearms became the major weapon in battle worldwide, armor was completely done away with, as even the heaviest full plate of armor wouldn't be able to withstand most rifle shots.


Corrected entry: In Japanese culture, non-close friends and relatives are never referred to without showing them respect by adding "-san", "-sama", "-chan", "-kun" or "-sensei" to their names when mentioning them. Leaving these out (in most cases) would be extremely rude. However, when speaking in Japanese, Katsumoto and the others speak normally, but when speaking in English with Algren he does not use those at all. This continues even when Katsumoto has started to regard Algren as his equal. Please note that this is most likely a deliberate choice in order not to confuse the viewers who are unaware of this fact.

Correction: No, it only shows that Katsumoto is well-versed enough in Occidental culture that he knows that when speaking in English, one does never to add an honorific after names (unless you count calling someone "Mr. Whatever" a honorific). Only those Japanese who are not proficient in another language tend to still add the honorific.


Corrected entry: Near the beginning, the first time Algren goes to train the troops, and at the end, the general says they will leave to ambush the samurais troops at 6 A.M. However, seeing as he is in the military, he should've said 0600.


Correction: The 24 hour clock was not in use yet in the late 1800s.


Corrected entry: Throughout the film you can see in the backgrounds some ferns in the forest, but there are no ferns in forests in Japan, as it was filmed mostly in New Zealand.

Correction: As far as I could see, they are cycads, not ferns. And cycads do grow in parts of Japan.

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