Orientalism And 47 Ronin Essay

1310 words - 6 pages

Film is one of many Medias to send messages to the world. Numerous examples of movies that insert messages, 47 Ronin is one of them. The movie 47 Ronin is based on true story of Ako Incident and specifically tell us that honor is everything. The image that we discuss in the presentation was taken from the movie 47 Ronin. The image is a representation of a specific Japanese culture, Seppuku. However there are differences in story of Ako incident and 47 Ronin, and these alterations applicable to the term Orientalism.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first evidence of usage the word Orientalism is in 1769 (Merriam Webster). In general Orientalism is an imitation or depiction of the eastern culture made by the western people. One simple example is Fortune cookies, it is made by the western people but it imitates the eccentricity of Asian desert.
In addition, Orientalism also explained in the book “Orientalism” written by Edward Said, a Palestinian post-colonialism scholar. In this book Edward Said explain about history and culture of Asia, Africa, and Middle East, also he explained Orientalism in this book more briefly. Said believe that orientalism has an explicit and implicit sides. Said wrote that connotatively, Orientalism is a tool for the west to get a political influences in the east which means, “It connotes the high-handed executive attitude of nineteenth-century and early- twentieth-century European colonialism.”(Said, 2). Which is the whole point of the book “Orientalism”. Moreover, Said also wrote “Orientalism is a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between ‘the Orient’ and (most of the time) ‘the Occident.’ Thus a very large mass of writers, among whom are poets, novelists (…) and imperial administrators, have accepted the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate theories, epics, novels, social descriptions, and political accounts concerning the” (Said, 2-3). To understand how Orientalism is applicable to the movie 47 Ronin, let me start with the history of Ako incident.
Firstly, how Ako Incident happened. According to the book “The Tale of Japan” written by Algernon Freeman-Mitford, Ako incident occurred in the early of the 18th century, in 1701. At that time Japan was still governed by Shogun. Lord Asano of Ako and Lord Kamei of Tsuwano, were instructed by the Shogun to go to Kira Kotsuke no Suke’s castle in order to know how to do a proper ceremony (Mitford, 6). Kira has a greedy and corrupt personality, every time Lord Asano and Lord Kamei visited him he always wanted an unreasonable presents (Mitford, 6-7). One day Lord Kamei thought about killing Kira since Kira insulted Lord Asano and him, he thought about it clearly, however he is not going to do that since his family and his clans would be ruined if he done that (Mitford, 7). On the other hand, Lord Kamei brought a big amount of money to Kira as a “Thank-you” for teaching him a proper...

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