In the film, The Twilight Samurai, Yoji Yamada reconstructs an ancient Japanese village by the characters demonstration of the same values and customs of the samurai, two other factors that help pull off the illusion of the time period are the architecture and economy. Seibei is nicknamed ‘The Twilight Samurai’ because he is a samurai and every night he returns home from work at twilight he isn’t like the other people he works with who go out after work. The Twilight Samurai is the love story of a low ranked samurai, Seibei, who rises to defeat not only a traitor, but the person who Seibei may later become.
Of the many themes in The Twilight Samurai is light. When Seibei is sent to a fight to the death with Tanaka you see Seibei in the light and Tanaka in the dark. Seibei is a ...view middle of the document...
He tells Seibei how he used to be just like Seibei and he tries to scare Seibei into letting him go by seeing what the people who give them their orders have made Tanaka become. Seibei lets his guard down because he realizes that Tanaka had the same struggles that Seibei has in the present day like trying to keep food on the table for his children and the expenses of a proper funeral and how he had to sell his sword. But as soon as Seibei lets his guard down we see the darkness inside of Tanaka when he begins a fight to the death with Seibei. Tanaka sits in the dark because he is the representation of evil and deceit. Light allows us to interpret who someone really is and what their intentions are.
Another reappearing theme is modernization we see this theme through the guns and the short swords. In the beginning of the film we see men using guns and westerners teaching the Japanese how to use the guns; the concept of the gun is still new to Japan. Seibei must fight Tanaka without his samurai sword because he had to sell it to feed his family. The sword is said to represent the soul of the samurai who owns it. Seibei couldn’t just sell his sword and remain weaponless so he bought a short sword. A short sword breaks away from the traditional long samurai sword and is an example of modernization. But when Tanaka’s sword gets stuck in the wood during his fight with Seibei we see that a short sword was the best option for a sword inside because it is easy to maneuver with. In the end Seibei is killed by a gun which is the worst death for a samurai if a samurai is to die from weaponry it should be from a samurai sword.
Yoji Yamada’s character Iguchi Seibei is good person who realizes the modernization of Japan as he knows it. He said that he noticed the time of the samurai was coming to an end and that is why he sold his sword. The Twilight Samurai is a great example of modernization in the Meiji period and by showing this through economics and the changes in traditions.