Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Twilight Samurai

Twilight Samurai Movie Poster

The Twilight Samurai night! This was also the first night we tried streaming a movie from Netflix in class, and it was a success!

The movie, set in the mid-19th century before the Meiji Restoration in Japan, focuses on samurai Seibei Iguchi. Seibei, a widower (very uncommon during this time) lives with his two daughters and his senile mother is a poor samurai, though the samurai were the upper class in Japan at this time. Though he is a skilled fighter, he does not enjoy it, but when he is ordered to kill a samurai retainer, he must accept the mission or be removed from the samurai clan. Twilight Samurai displays aspects of daily life as a samurai (yes, they had actual jobs when they weren’t out fighting!). It was filmed in Japan by Japanese filmmakers! So guess what language it’s in! If you said Japanese, you’re right! If you said something else…er…it’s in Japanese.

Keeping in mind that all the (fictional) events in the movie does take place right before the Meiji Restoration, where the Japanese basically got rid of their old social system and caught up with the technology and social systems of the Western World, this film does show that times are changing – this is the twilight of the samurai class. But for World Regions class, this movie meant another opportunity for points.

I couldn’t find a trailer with English subtitles, so here’s a trailer in Japanese instead!

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Lecture: 10-10-2011

Topics for this lecture included:

  • Russia and China veto a “Team West” proposal to condemn violence in Syria – America is MAD!
  • Russian President Medvedev urges Syrian leader al-Assad to make reforms or step down
  • Russia seeks to expand trading diversity with China
  • Angela Merkel and French president Sarkozy meet to rescue banks from collapse
  • The difference between a recession and a depression – what is it?
  • Why Russia invaded Georgia in 2008
  • NATO: its history, what it is now, why Russia’s mad, and how its at its weakest point in its history up to this point