In the movie Last Samurai, Hirotaro has only one line in the whole movie.

I tried some years ago to understand and "decipher" his words, but I couldn't and I blamed it on my lack of knowledge. Now that my 聞き取り is much better, I still fail to grasp what he says. Maybe it is in old language, Samurai dialect of some sort.

Here's the link to it, time marker included: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnzMVisprX8#t=1m26s

The subtitle says "He's mine".

My only guess is that he might have said "儂やる" in a bit twisted manner. No marker is not impossible in 'hard' language, and 儂 (わし) makes sense to be used instead of 私 or 俺, since 儂 is an older form and male term, and the story takes place during 1870-1877. However, what I hear is at best "washi yeru", which is not very encouraging.

Any ideas are welcome.

1 Answer 1


He says 「わしやる。」 ("I'll do it. = I'll behead him.")

The reason that you are not hearing the 「が」 would probably be this:

The nasal allophones of /g/

Note that I specifically mentioned the particle 「が」 in my answer in the thread above.

It seems 鼻濁音{びだくおん} is not too widely taught in Japanese-as-a-foreign-language, I am afraid.

  • 2
    I was aware of the nasal pronunciation of が (from experience listening to dialogues, it is true I never met it while studying Japanese), and I honestly tried to hear a が between the words, but it just didn't seem like he used one. I feel kind of satisfied that I partially sorted it out. Self high five!
    – Dimokratis
    Jun 20, 2018 at 14:03

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