Emperor Meiji: I have dreamed of a unified Japan. Of a country strong and independent and modern. We have railroads and cannon, Western clothing. But we cannot forget who we are. Or where we come from.
Algren: Your highness... if you believe me to be your enemy, command me, and I will gladly take my life.
Colonel Bagley: Just tell me one thing, what is it about your own people you hate so much?
Higen: Will you fight the white men, too?
Algren: If they come here, yes.
Algren: Because they come to destroy what I have come to love.
Algren: What do you want?
Katsumoto: To know my enemy.
Algren: I've seen what you do to your enemies.
Katsumoto: The warriors in your country do not kill?
Algren: They don't cut the heads off defeated, kneeling men.
Katsumoto: 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.
Algren: How's your poem coming?
Katsumoto: The end is proving difficult.
Katsumoto: What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?
Algren: Dead to the last man.
Algren: There is Life in every breath.
Katsumoto: That is, Bushido.
Omura's Companion: He's rude.
Omura: That's how it is here. A land of cheap traders.
Emperor Meiji: Ambassador Swanbeck, I have concluded that your treaty is not in the best interests of my people.
Ambassador Swanbeck: Sir, if I may.
Emperor Meiji: So sorry, but you may not.
Algren: There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea, no past, no future.
Algren: My thanks, on behalf of those who died in the name of better mechanical amusements and commercial opportunities.
Algren: There was once a battle at a place called Thermopylae, where three hundred brave Greeks held off a Persian army of a million men... a million, you understand this number?
Katsumoto: I understand this number.
Katsumoto: When I took this, you were my enemy.
Algren: This is Katsumoto's sword. He would have wanted you to have it. He hoped with his dying breath that you would remember his ancestors who held this sword, and what they died for. May the strength of the Samurai be with you always.
Katsumoto: Many of our customs seem strange to you. And the same is true of yours. For example, not to introduce yourself is considered extremely rude, even among enemies.
Algren: I will miss our conversations.
Nobutada: Father, let me stay. It is my time.
Katsumoto: I have introduced myself. You have introduced yourself. This is a very good conversation.
Simon Graham: I came over with the British trade mission, oh, years ago. I was soon relieved of my position. I had a rather 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.