Here is a rad museum parody that addresses some of the protestations that I usually make about movies like Last Samurai. Really, if you were a common Japanese person, would you have rooted for Tom Cruise to defeat the government and preserve violent, arbitrary, warlord rule? Of course this sight does the criticism a lot better and deeper. I once found an essay on samurai death culture and how most of it was centered around warriors who never fought and were therefore free to contemplate death, but I can't remember where I read it......curses.
(OH, maybe it is the article linked to by the website. Cheers.)