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Fantasies of Valor: Legends of the Samurai in Japan and the United States

Author:

Mark Ravina

Emory University
About Mark
Mark Ravina is a historian who has been featured in the popular media because of his book on Saigo Takamori, the inspiration for the character in the 2003 film, The Last Samurai. He is the Director of the East Asian Studies Program and Associate Professor of History at Emory University. With a specialty in eighteenth and nineteenth century Japanese politics, Professor Ravina has written various articles exploring the transnational dimensions of state-building.
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Abstract

I want to talk today broadly about Hollywood, its images of samurai and the Japanese, and how those images contrast with Japanese images of the samurai. But more narrowly, I want to talk about one particular film: the 2003 Warner Brothers film The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise. The reception of this film was so different in Japan and the United States that it seems as though the two audiences were watching two different movies. I think exploring those differences can provide substantial insight into cross-cultural perceptions.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.200
How to Cite: Ravina, M., (2010). Fantasies of Valor: Legends of the Samurai in Japan and the United States. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 18(1), pp.80–99. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.200
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Published on 01 Oct 2010.
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