Bushido seppuku
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Bushido & Seppuku. by: Aleks Krachanko, Mitchel Prunty, Kim Arnold, Nicole Pearce, Carlie Tomajko. Introduction.

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Bushido & Seppuku

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Bushido & Seppuku

  • by: Aleks Krachanko, Mitchel Prunty, Kim Arnold, Nicole Pearce, Carlie Tomajko


  • “A samurai should always be prepared for death-whether his own or someone else’s.” -Stan Sakai. The life of a Samurai is one of honor, respect, and loyalty. By living their lives by Bushido up to their valiant deaths, they portray all of these traits. Although the samurai are now “extinct,” the legend of the samurai forever changed the lives of citizens of Japan.

1. What does bushido mean?

  • Bushido means “The Way of the Warrior.”

  • Bushido by definition is the code of he Samurai, stressing unquestioning loyalty and obedience and valuing honorable life.

2. Identify the 'ideals' or 'values' associated with bushido. In what ways did bushido influence or dictate the behaviors of a samurai?

  • The seven virtues of Bushido are:

    • Gi - Rectitude

    • Yu - Courage

    • Jin - Benevolence

    • Rei - Respect

    • Makoto - Honesty

    • Meiyo - Honor

    • Chugi - Loyalty

3. What is seppuku? In what situations was seppuku performed by a samurai?

  • Seppuku is ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword; practiced by Samurai in traditional Japanese society.

  • Seppuku would be committed when a Samurai loses his honor and feels too much shame to live.

4. Why did a samurai stab himself in the stomach as part of the rital of seppuku? Why not wound themselves in a more lethal area?

  • It shows more honor to have a painful death and it keeps a samurais respect

  • It is commonly believed in japanese culture that the soul is housed in the stomach

5. Why do you think honorable death in the West does not include a seppukku - like element?

  • Committing suicide in the west is considered weak.

  • Honorable deaths have to serve a better purpose.

6. Identify two scenes in the film The Last Samurai in which seppuku is depicted.

  • When the samurai defeat the imperials in the beginning of the movie, the imperial general commits seppuku.

  • Katsumoto commits seppuku in the end of the film.

7. Do you feel that The Last Samurai accurately conveyed the ideals and values of bushido? What characters do you feel best embodied the code of bushido?

  • It conveyed respect and honor among Samurai as well as many of the bushido ideals.

  • Katsumoto best embodied “The Way of the Warrior.”

8. What role does Tom Cruise's character, Captain Algren, play in developing the audience's understanding of bushido and seppuku?

  • The audiences understanding is developed at the same time that Captain Algren’s is developed.

9. Do you think that Captain Algren would have been so easily accepted into the samurai village and their way of life? Why or why not?

  • No, for many reasons.

    • He is not Japanese

    • In Japanese culture, he was dressed like a merchant.

    • He was fighting against the Samurai earlier on in the movie.

10. In what ways does the code of bushido conflict with the modernization and westernization of Japan in the late 1800's?

  • The West did not believe in suicide. They found it to be a waste of time and looked down on Seppuku and how Bushido enforced it.

  • Modernizing would require unhonorable actions.

11. What is your opinion on the ending scenes of the movie?

  • Carlie - I think that Algren shouldn’t have committed seppuku.

  • Nicole - I think that Algren should have committed seppuku because he greatly portrayed the way of the warrior in the end, even though he was not a samurai. Also because if he doesn’t commit seppuku, if he didn’t he though it would show disgrace.

  • Aleks - I think that Algren should not have committed seppuku. I say this because he is not Japanese, and he also wasn’t a samurai.

11. What is your opinion on the ending scenes of the movie?

  • Kim - I don’t think that Algren should have committed seppuku. I say this because I believe that Algren had too much to live for to commit seppuku.

  • Mitch - I don’t think Algren should have committed seppuku because he was not a samurai and I don’t believe in the Algren and the Katsumoto scene because he was too high in class to have talked to Algren, let alone take his advice.

Captain Algren thanks you for your time and attention

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