I just saw this for the first time, having recently finished the book. The book is rich with detail, even in translation, but the movie is a thin veneer and re-wrote the story until it was only a backdrop for the scenery, in my opinion, of course. I would talk about the (lack of) wisdom of Chinese actors as Japanese but even that's not so important right now. This reminds me of many movies with special effects. They spend so much money and so much time on the special effects that they have forgotten the story. Perhaps, it's just that it's an American film about Japan but anyone who remembers the Shogun mini-series would affirm that it can be done correctly. Adaptations are always difficult and I've heard people complain loads about how shallow the Harry Potter films became in contrast to the books. Am I alone in thinking that care should be taken long before anything is committed to film?