The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai quotes

29 total quotes (ID: 331)

Katsumoto
Katsumoto and Algren
Multiple Characters
Nathan Algren
Omura


Simon Graham [closing narration]: And so the days of the Samurai had ended. Nations, like men, it is sometimes said, have their own destiny. As for the American Captain, no one knows what became of him. Some say that he died of his wounds. Others, that he returned to his own country. But 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.


Emperor Meiji [about Katsumoto]: Tell me how he died.
Nathan Algren: I will tell you how he lived.

Nathan Algren: What do you want?
Katsumoto: To know my enemy.
Nathan Algren: I've seen what you do to your enemies.
Katsumoto: Warriors in your country do not kill?
Nathan Algren: They don't cut the heads off defeated, kneeling men.
Katsumoto: General Hasegawa asked me to help him end his life. A samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat. I was honored to cut off his head.
Katsumoto: And who was your general?
Nathan Algren: Don't you have a rebellion to lead?
Katsumoto: People in your country do not like conversation?
Nathan Algren: He was a lieutenant colonel. His name was Custer.
Katsumoto: I know this name. He killed many warriors.
Nathan Algren: Oh, yes. Many warriors.
Katsumoto: So he was a good general.
Nathan Algren: No. He wasn't a good general. He was arrogant and foolhardy. And he got massacred because he took a single battalion against two thousand angry Indians.
Katsumoto: Two thousand Indians? How many men for Custer?
Nathan Algren: Two hundred and eleven.
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.
Katsumoto: I think this is a very good death.
Nathan Algren: Well, maybe you can have one just like it someday.
Katsumoto: You have nightmares?
Nathan Algren: Every soldier has nightmares.
Katsumoto: Only one who is ashamed of what he has done.
Nathan Algren: You have no idea what I've done.
Katsumoto: You have seen many things.
Nathan Algren: I have.
Katsumoto: Yet you do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it. Is this not so?
Nathan Algren: Yes!
Katsumoto: I also. It happens to men who have seen what we have seen. But then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember. Like these blossoms, we are all dying. To know life in every breath, every cup of tea, every life we take. The way of the warrior....
Nathan Algren: Who sent those men to kill you? Was it the Emperor? Omura?
Katsumoto: If the Emperor wishes my death, he has but to ask.
Nathan Algren: So it was Omura.
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Nathan Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.
Katsumoto: What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?
Nathan Algren [smiling]: Dead to the last man.
Katsumoto: The Emperor could not hear my words. His army will come. For nine hundred years, my ancestors have protected our people. Now... I have failed them.
Nathan Algren: So you will take your own life? In shame? Shame for a life of service? Discipline? Compassion?
Katsumoto: The way of the Samurai is not necessary anymore.
Nathan Algren: Necessary? What could be more necessary?
Katsumoto: I will die by the sword. My own, or my enemy's.
Nathan Algren: Then let it be your enemy's.

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

Nathan Algren: You want me to kill Jappos? I'll kill Jappos.
Colonel Bagley: I'm not asking you to kill anybody.
Nathan Algren: You want me to kill the enemies of Jappos, I'll kill the enemies of Jappos... Rebs, Sioux, Cheyenne... For 500 bucks a month, I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I'd happily kill you for free.

There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea, no past, no future.

My thanks, on behalf of those who died in the name of better mechanical amusements and commercial opportunities.

[to the Silent Samurai] I know why you don't talk. You're angry. You're angry because they make you wear a dress.

[speaking with the Silent Samurai, after being beaten to the ground by Uijo] I just realized, I've been remiss. Forgive me, I forgot to thank you for looking out for me yesterday. That is your job, correct? Protecting me. Well done 'Bob.' You don't mind if I call you Bob, do you? I knew a Bob once; God, he was ugly as a mule. Are you a ladies man, Bob?

[kneeling in front of Emperor] If you believe me to be your enemy, command me, and I will gladly take my life.

I have introduced myself. You have introduced yourself. This is a very good conversation.

[giving Algren his staff before leaving the samurai village] When I took these from you, you were my enemy...

[last words, about cherry blossoms] Perfect. They... are all... perfect...

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