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.
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