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Forget Tom Cruise, The Real "Last Samurai" was French

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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 01:36 PM
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Forget Tom Cruise, The Real "Last Samurai" was French
FORGET TOM CRUISE, THE REAL "LAST SAMURAI" WAS FRENCH
= =

TOKYO, Feb 24 (AFP) - The way Hollywood tells it, "The Last Samurai" as portrayed by Tom Cruise was an American mercenary. But the real-life contender for the role was a French artillery officer whose exploits were every bit a match for Hollywood's fiction.
Many commentators have pointed out similarities between Nathan Algren, Cruise's character in Edward Zwick's film and the story of Captain Jules Brunet.
Brunet was sent to Japan as part of a French mission helping to modernize the army of the Tokugawa shogunate, or hereditary military dictatorship, at the time of the 1868 Meiji Restoration of the emperor's primacy.
Like Algren, Brunet fought the emperor's troops against the background of civil war, betrayal and changes of allegiance.
And, also like him, he would emerge, safe and sound from the bloody last stand of his samurai "cadets" and brothers-in-arms whose raison d'etre was doomed by the very modernisation he represented.
But perhaps, even stranger than the Hollywood fiction, Brunet helped found the short-lived 'Ezo Republic' on Japan's northern Hokkaido island, the last redoubt of the die-hard supporters of the former Shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa.
Little-known in France and not much more so in Japan, Brunet, who was born in 1838, was a product of the elite Ecole Polytechnique, a fine soldier and a talented artist.
According to a contemporary description, he was "intelligent, distinguished, alert, gifted when it comes to sketching, and a man of the world."
Photographs and engravings show a tall, slender man with big moustache and a touch of arrogance in his look.
Before being sent to Japan in 1867 as part of France's first military mission after the long-closed country started to open to the rest of the world, Brunet had been part of an ill-fated expeditionary force in Mexico.
The mission was responsible for setting up and training seven infantry regiments, one cavalry battalion and four artillery regiments for the Shogun's army, a total of 10,000 men.




http://www.ttc.org/sa40224a.htm

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Superfly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 01:43 PM
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1. Another problem with the film
Tom Cruise's character arrives in 1876 after the battle of the Little Bighorn. The Samurai revolt was in 1868.
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Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-04 01:46 PM
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2. He wasn't a short, cocky, Scientologist?
LOL
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