Akira Kurosawa's RAN

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Akira Kurosawa's RAN In this explication of this movie RAN several items will be discussed. Culturally the movie will be critiqued on how the Japanese culture is shown throughout the movie, and the structure of how the characters progress throughout the movie. The conflict between characters will also be discussed in reference to the obstacles they face and how they deal with them. This movie deals mainly with loyalty and tradition (bushido), and how a traditional Japanese family handles not only their personal problems, but also relating to their society and surroundings. The main character or focal point of the movie is Lord Hidetora Ichimonji. He has bequeathed his is kingdom and his three castles to his three sons: Taro (eldest), Jiro, and Saburo (youngest). With his bequeath he has also given up his authority in society as well as militarily to Taro. With this announcement, Taro and Jiro show great hesitation in this yet Subaro shows defiance claiming this is a foolish mistake. Because of these comments Saburo is banished. This is a good example of loyalty to elders and creates an immediate conflict among family. Kurosowa attempts to show how important loyalty can be in the face of change, and even though Subaro does not agree, having a bit of faith in elders reflects also the loyalty that this culture believes. With retirement at hand, Lord Ichimonji goes to the first castle to visit Taro. Taro shows great disloyalty to his father. Taro has had a rush of power and is now dishonoring his father with contracts to sign and so on. Within this culture, dishonoring one’s father is very humiliating, and, with no power, Hidetora leaves to the second castle to find refuge with Jiro. This conflict with Taro represents shibui in the fact that even though Taro has all this power and greatness, he has loss the love of his father all because he felt threatened by him because of his fathers respect through the land. As Hidetora makes way to seek shelter with Jiro, he finds out that Taro sent orders to Jiro to not help his father in any way and to not allow Hidetora’s men to enter the castle. Even though Jiro is crushed, he follows these orders and dishonors his father. This is the opposite of Bushido because the father has been banished by family and family is a strong bushido trait.

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