Is Iwo Jima truer to the Japanese spirit?
I think so. The Last Samurai is a fiction. But with this film we were very thorough when it came to the historical facts. We paid attention to the smallest detail. What did you learn as you researched your character, Lieut. General Kuribayashi, and the story of Japan’s defense of Iwo Jima? He was a commanding officer, so I was interested in how this war began, how they made such a mistake and ended up on the wrong path. I re-studied the war because I could not understand the thinking process he went through. It was a good chance for me to find out that there were people like Kuribayashi who fought in such a way, to find out how much they suffered. What did you conclude about Kuribayashi’s tactics, which some argue extended the battle of Iwo Jima at great cost to both American and Japanese lives? He knew that Iwo Jima would eventually fall to the United States and that he and his soldiers would all perish. So he worked for the end of the war, so it did not spread to the Japanese islands