On a side note of research, I just discovered that the Aizu clan had a Gatling Gun at their disposal during the Boshin War.
There was a reference in the accounts of 'spiral artillery' which I had taken as rifled guns but it seems cutting edge technology (the Gatling gun, still using paper cartridges during the American Civil War and thus less than effective - though 'Beast' Butler tried) had made it to the shores of Japan.
Gatling guns... Now that would have made a difference in the battle scene and ending of "The Last Samurai," wouldn't it? In the movie, the emperor's imperial forces had the Gatling guns and the samurai had arrows, spears and swords. But it did give Ken Watanabe a fabulously over-the-top death scene.