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.don_corleone
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Corrected entry: It was the British and Germans/French who trained a modern military for Japan, not the U.S.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film, during the sideshow shot, you hear the show playing the song "Bonnie Blue Flag," which was a southern war hymn. The lyrics go something like, "Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah!" Not something that a Union officer would be a part of.
Corrected entry: During the last charge of the Samurai, they are riding face-first into single-shot barrel-loading howitzers. I believe there were only 6 to 8 of them. However, as they charge, there are literally dozens of explosions from the howitzers, far more then what a battery of them would be capable of firing even with a quick loading crew. Furthermore, the absolute first time the Howitzers fire, they adjust aim, a relatively slow process. In the final charge, the impact of the Howitzers is keeping pace with their advance.
Corrected entry: After the ninja attack, they all go into the house. When Algren is fighting the ninja, he blocks his katana using a wooden table as a shield. Katanas are far more powerful than that. You can see what I mean in the final battle when, in the field, Algren cuts through a kneeling soldier's rifle (along with his skull), who was trying to block.
Corrected entry: In the scene where captured Tom Cruise it taken away on horseback he watches as the defeated samurai general commits seppuku and Katsumoto chops his head off, which rolls away from the body after the execution. Actually it has to remain attached on some skin and flesh otherwise it is a big disgrace. Katsumoto ,as an experienced samurai, would not cut it like that.
Corrected entry: In the scenes where the samurai are sparring in the village, see some of them wear Kendo armor in the 1870's I think it was. Yet Kendo and Kendo Armor where not produced until the early 1900's.
Corrected entry: Katsumoto has been ordered to go to the Emperor. In the scene where he, Algren and the Samurai are entering the city, there is a shot of them taken from the rear. Was it my imagination or were there a plethora of utility/telephone poles to be seen, on their left, in this shot?
Corrected entry: The scene where Katsumoto is being rescued at the bridge shows a Japanese soldier firing a bolt action rifle, something not available until some years later.