the last Samurai

“The Last Samurai” Quotes

Plot – The young Emperor of Japan assigns Captain Nathan Algren the task of educating a new conscript army that will flank the Samurai, the dynasty of warriors at the service of the country. When the king’s counselors try to kill the Samurai to establish a westernized government, Algren himself is unexpectedly fascinated and influenced by their ideas, because they remind him of the man he used to be.

Plot: plan, story line Emperor: monarch

assign somebody a task/role: to give someone a particular job or make them responsible for a particular person or thing

conscript somebody into something: to make someone join the army, navy etc

Flank: the side of an army in a battle, or a sports team when playing

warriors: soldier, combatant, fighter, gladiator, man-at-arms counselor: adviser

westernized:  using the customs, behaviour etc typical of the US or Europe fascinated: charmed


“The Last Samurai” Quotes


Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny? - Nathan Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

Destiny: fate, fortune, kismet

Reveal: show

Conceal :hide



“We must resist the Western powers by becoming powerful ourselves. Our army and our economy must be strong.

Resist: oppose, battle, combat, stand up to



Katsumoto: I will die by the sword. My own, or my enemy's.

- Nathan Algren: Then let it be your enemy's.

Sword: a weapon with a long pointed blade and a handle



Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.

a handful of something :a very small number of people or things

E.g. There were only a handful of people there.



Katsumoto: I like this General Custer.

- Nathan Algren: He was a murderer who fell in love with his own legend. And his troopers died for it. Custer : a US soldier who first became famous in the American civil war. He was killed, with all the men he was in command of, by Native Americans

Murderer: killer

Legend: myth

Trooper : a soldier of the lowest rank in the part of the army that uses tanks or horses swear like a trooper swear a lot



The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.



Nathan Algren: What else has she told you?

  • Katsumoto: That you have nightmares.
  • Nathan Algren: Every soldier has nightmares.
  • Katsumoto: Only one who is ashamed ofwhat he has done.

Nightmare: bad dream

  • a recurring nightmare

ashamed of/at : feeling very sorry and embarrassed because of something you have done

  • I felt ashamed of the things I’d said to him


I like to think he may have at last found some small measure of peace, that we all seek, and few of us ever find.

Peace:   calmness, hush, quiet, tranquillity,  serenity e.g.The country is at peace with its neighbours for the first time in years.

Seek:  to look for someone or something Synonym : look for: ● new graduates seeking employment



“I am surprised to learn that the word Samurai means, 'to serve', and that Katsumoto believes his rebellion to be in the service of the Emperor.”

'to serve: help be at sb’s service Rebellion resistance, revolution, rising, uprising



For 500 bucks a month I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I'd happily kill you for free.”

Buck : money to make a buck

something that you should deal with Keep sth in mind: remember

for nothing/for free without having to pay for something that you would normally have to pay for: e.g.He offered to fix the car for nothing.



What does it mean to be Samurai? To devote yourself utterly to a set of moral principles. To seek a stillness of your mind. And to master the way of the sword.”

devote yourself to something: dedicate

  • She devoted herself full-time to her business. utterly : totally

Stillness: peace /silence



There is life in every breath

life goes on you must continue to live a normal life even when something sad or disappointing has happened



Katsumoto: I wish to learn.

  • Nathan Algren: Read a book.
  • Katsumoto: I would rather have a good conversation.

if you wish to do something or you wish to have it done for you, you want to do it or want to have it done Synonym : like wish to do something ● I wish to make a complaint.

Would rather +base form of the verb

Would prefer+infinitive



They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline.”

intriguing :  strange, interesting because of being unusual, mysterious, or unexpected, so that you want to find out more:

  • Their research has produced some intriguing results.

pursue: follow



Many of our customs seem strange to you. And the same is true of yours. For example, not to introduce yourself is considered extremely rude, even among enemies.”



The days of the Samurai had ended. Nations,like men, it is sometimes said, have their own destiny.”



They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan.”

Dip: sink

Pull out : withdraw, depart, leave, quit