Simon Graham: [narrating] They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.
Emperor Meiji: Tell me how he died.
Algren: I will tell you how he lived.
Algren: There is Life in every breath…
Katsumoto: That is, Bushido.
Algren: I will miss our conversations.
Katsumoto: I have introduced myself. You have introduced yourself. This is a very good conversation.
Algren: I killed her husband?
Katsumoto: It was a good death.
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.
Algren: You want me to kill Jappos, I’ll kill Jappos.
Colonel Bagley: I’m not asking you to kill anybody.
Algren: You want me to kill THE ENEMIES of Jappos, I’ll kill THE ENEMIES of Jappos… Rebs, or Sioux, or Cheyenne… For 500 bucks a month I’ll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I’d happily kill you for free.
Algren: How’s your poem coming?
Katsumoto: The end is proving difficult.
Katsumoto: The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.
Algren: There was once a battle at a place called Thermopylae, where three hundred brave Greeks held off a Persian army of a million men… a million, you understand this number?
Katsumoto: I understand this number.
Algren: There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea, no past, no future.
Katsumoto: You do not have to die here.
Algren: I should have died so many times before.
Katsumoto: What happened at the battle of Thermopylae?
Algren: Death to the last man!
Katsumoto: [smiling] Excellent!