Film Analysis of Twilight Samurai

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Twilight Samurai is a movie that revolves around the live of a samurai, years before the Meiji Restoration. The main issues that the movie looked at include stereotype of samurais, genders and social class differences. Unlike many typical samurai-themed movies which involve fighting, woman and pride, the director of Twilight Samurai focused on the everyday life and difficulties faced by the main protagonist, Iguchi Seibei.

His story was told by her daughter, Ito who narrated the whole movie. Therefore, it can be said that this movie is based on the fond memories of her father. She was still very young when these incidents happened which changed her father’s life irrevocably.

Samurai Stereotype
Unlike other samurais who were concerned about their clans, Iguchi was a man of few words and rushed home every evening to take care of her senile mother and 2 young daughters, Ito and Kayano, instead of joining his colleagues for entertainment or drinking. Thus he was nicknamed Twilight Samurai. After his wife died of consumption (tuberculosis), Iguchi worked hard to make ends meet and thus neglected his physical appearance and often looked unkempt, his kimono was often tattered and soiled. This goes against the common perception of samurais who are often perceived to have their hair tied up neatly in a ponytail, clean-shaven, and donned in kimono. (Refer to appendix)

When Iguchi was summoned by his clan to kill Zenemon Yogo, a clan rebel who refused to commit seppuku, he was not confident of doing the job and said that he had ‘lost the desire to wield a sword’ and it required ‘animal ferocity and calm disregard for one’s life’. This changes the common perception of samurais who are often considered ruthless but loyal, who will be more than willing to serve their clan and carry out any orders given by their leaders. It is obvious that Iguchi is an outcast of the samurais, as he considered himself a “petty samurai” who do not care about the imminent...
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