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The Meiji Empire By: Adam Robison Gretchen Stewart Janessa Young Morgan Leasure Meiji Reign Meiji Reign means enlightened rule. Dramatically changed Japan into a more Westernized country. This was a major period of change for the Japanese. Tokyo (Edo) was the new capital of Japan. The Emperor The Emperor did not have a lot of control because he was highly influenced by a group of government cabinet members. He also did not directly rule. In the movie, The Last Samurai, he was 24 years old. In the movie he was depicted as very soft, although very powerful. He seemed unsure of his decisions. We feel that in real life he was a very strong and powerful leader that knew what he was doing at all times. Communication The emperor at the time would not have had the communication with the Westerners as he did in the movie. Japan was too isolated during the time period to be able to have this type of communication. Many Westerners would also have not been allowed to enter Japan that easily. Trade The movie depicts that Japan has the upper hand in the trade negotiation. Japan would not have been able to have the upper hand due to the many unequal treaties that the United States created. The United States would have forced the Japanese to sign the treaty. Captain Algren In the scene where Algren presents Katsumoto’s sword to the Meiji Empire, we felt it was reasonable because he owed it back to the empire. In the movie, he criticized the emperor for losing sight and integrity of the Japanese culture. We feel that it was insightful because it showed the emperor that he was forgetting about the people of his land. In real life it would have not been a Westerner reminding the emperor if this. Influence If we did not have any prior knowledge about the Meiji Empire, this movie could have easily influenced us to believe that the Meiji Empire was stronger than it really was and that the United States had less control over Japan.