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Jan 24 05 7:38 AM
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Feb 2 05 6:54 AM
Loyal Retainer (Registered User)
Feb 2 05 7:28 AM
Feb 2 05 8:36 AM
Quote:Poor old Motome was more of a scholar than a warrior.
Quote: He was of samurai class but not mentality. That's not a criticism, by the way. He found it easy to sell those fundamental accessories of the samurai, his swords. His family didn't know: either he knew how serious it was to sell his blades, or didn't think it worth mentioning. He was hungry, desperate and worried about his sick family. So far, I'm on his side.
Quote:The Ii clan had been fortunate enough not to be abolished by a shogunate that seemed to take pleasure in keeping the daimyo and their men off-balance. Were they smug about this? They probably existed on the same knife edge as the other clans. Ultimately, they face being inundated with desperate men seeking employment or a handout, and rather than accept this deluge of poor, scruffy (and frequently ignoble and unpleasant) ronin, they decide to set an example. You cannot set an example by being half-hearted about it. And they have a cruel streak, but I can't fault their logic. It's unfortunate they picked poor old Motome to be the example, and that he'd already sold his blades, because he was a decent man, if a lousy samurai. And of course there is no way that they should have forced him to carry out seppuku with bamboo blades. But I maintain that they had every right to insist that he carry out his promise. So I'm not unsympathetic.
Quote:If Motome had run away, or had managed to tell his story and get a reprieve, he would be seen as nothing more than a weakling, not worthy of death. The way you die is just as important as the fact of your death, and by attempting seppuku with the bamboo blade, and biting off his tongue to complete the task, he proved to everyone but the Ii clan that he was, ultimately, worthy to be samurai.
Feb 2 05 3:05 PM
Feb 2 05 3:23 PM
Feb 2 05 3:43 PM
Quote:They [the samurai] knew the protocol and every aspect of the ritual, it was always a possibility that they would have to perform seppuku and that they would need to mentally prepare for it
Feb 2 05 5:23 PM
Feb 2 05 5:58 PM
Feb 2 05 7:47 PM
Feb 2 05 7:48 PM
Feb 3 05 9:52 AM
Quote:The way Motome was portrayed in the film - to me at least - the whole samurai/bushido/honour/die for your lord/be prepared to commit seppuku at any moment thing seemed to be pretty far from his mind. The idea of going to the Ii clan and asking to be allowed to die in the hopes of a job or enough money to buy medicine, it seemed to be an afterthought to him, not something that came naturally to him, which is why I say he seemed more of a scholar, and happier in that role.
Feb 3 05 12:14 PM
Feb 3 05 1:39 PM
Feb 3 05 3:51 PM
Feb 3 05 11:11 PM
Feb 4 05 3:17 AM
Feb 4 05 11:11 AM
Quote:Lately I have come see more strength in the character of Chijiwa. You see it when Tsugumo encourages him to marry, and again when they are discussing the ronin who gained a position with the Sengoku clan. The implication is that he had thrived under the moral guidance of Tsugumo. He carries himself well, he has become a man.
Quote:I do not, however, believe that he died a warriors death. Frantic as he was to save the life of his child, he died the death of a common man, not that of a bushi. He died as a good man, a strong man who made great sacrifices for his family, but not as a samurai.
Quote:What would Tsugumo have done in the same situation, forced to commit seppuku with a bamboo blade? Would he have thrust the bamboo into his belly? I think not.
Quote:The whole thrust of Tsugumo's realization in the face of Chijiwa's dead body is that family and human happiness had become just as, if not more important than being a samurai. Waiting for Chijiwa to return from the moneylender, he kneels before Kingo, and tells him to be strong, that he and his parents "...have sold all our valubles". The thought that his swords are a commodity that can be sold cannot even enter his mind. Chijiwa's act is a revelation.
Feb 4 05 8:19 PM
Quote:How does one "die as a samurai?" Especially if your lord is dead and you are a lordless ronin? Is it a matter of following the correct procedure, of course having to possess the requisite tools i.e. a steel wakizashi? I don't think so. Can a ronin ever die as a samurai if he has no lord to die for? I do think so.
Quote: I think that this is what Kobayashi and Takiguchi Yasuhiko (the author of the original novel) were questioning and protesting -- this idea that one cannot really be a bushi without the proper employment and equipment.
Quote:It's more than that. Kobayashi and Takiguchi are asking: what really, truly is a "samurai?" Is it clinging on to "useless tokens" at the expense of family? That is one version, the distorted, surface version that the Ii ratainers -- plus many of their contemporaries and those who followed, even to the present day -- would hold on to. Which is the version that Kobayashi and Takiguchi protest as being hollow and false. Instead, I believe that Kobayashi and Takiguchi would hold that (in the absence of one's lord), being a bushi truly would mean devotion to your family and putting them first, ahead of personal pride and prestige.
Feb 5 05 9:12 AM
Quote:Quote:---------------------------------------------------------How does one "die as a samurai?" Especially if your lord is dead and you are a lordless ronin? Is it a matter of following the correct procedure, of course having to possess the requisite tools i.e. a steel wakizashi? I don't think so. Can a ronin ever die as a samurai if he has no lord to die for? I do think so.------------------------------------------------------------Only a samurai can be ronin, and ronin are samurai. That is why most ronin on film are portrayed with daisho. By right, until a ronin becomes a retainer for another clan, his last lord is his lord.
Quote:The ceremony that Chijiwa was subjected to was not seppuku, it was a farcical charade. In that context he was under no moral obligation to follow through. It would have been better for him to attack with his bamboo wakazashi and be cut down like a fish than to give the Ii clan their satisfaction. I'll agree with you though, it took an extreme act of will to do what Chijiwa did. I can see how he might have felt trapped by his attempted "extortion", because there he was definitely in the wrong.
Feb 6 05 4:26 PM
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