IMDb > Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954/I)

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954/I) More at IMDbPro »Miyamoto Musashi (original title)

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Release Date:
18 November 1955 (USA) See more »
Depicts the early life of the legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto; his years as an aspiring warrior, an outlaw and finally a true samurai. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
a good start to a handsomely done, 'old-school' epic trilogy See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Toshirô Mifune ... Musashi Miyamoto (Takezo)
Rentarô Mikuni ... Honiden Matahachi
Kurôemon Onoe ... Takuan Osho
Kaoru Yachigusa ... Otsu
Mariko Okada ... Akemi
Mitsuko Mito ... Oko, Matahachi's wife
Eiko Miyoshi ... Osugi, Matahachi's mother
Akihiko Hirata ... Seijuro Yoshioka
Kusuo Abe ... Temma Tsujikaze
Eitarô Ozawa ... Terumasa Ikeda (as Sakae Ozawa)
Akira Tani ... Kawarano-Gonroku
Seijirô Onda ... Chief Official
Fumindo Matsuo ... Petty Official
Masanobu Ôkubo ... Petty Official
Takuzô Kumagai ... Villager
Akira Sera ... Villager
Yasuhisa Tsutsumi ... Villager
Yutaka Sada ... Soldier
Shigeo Katô ... Soldier
Jun'ichirô Mukai ... Soldier
Kiyoshi Kamoda ... Roving Warrior
Michio Sakurai ... Roving Warrior
Gorô Sakurai ... Roving Warrior
Masao Masuda ... Woodcutter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sôjin Kamiyama
Daisuke Katô
Kanta Kisaragi
Yoshio Kosugi

William Holden ... Narrator in original US version (uncredited)

Directed by
Hiroshi Inagaki 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hideji Hôjô  play
Hiroshi Inagaki 
Tokuhei Wakao 
Eiji Yoshikawa  novel

Produced by
Robert B. Homel .... producer (US version)
Kazuo Takimura .... producer
Original Music by
Ikuma Dan 
Cinematography by
Jun Yasumoto 
Film Editing by
Robert B. Homel (original US version)
Eiji Ooi  (as Hideshi Ohi)
Art Direction by
Makoto Sono 
Production Management
Hidehisa Kuda .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jun Fukuda .... chief assistant director
Art Department
Kisaku Ito .... consultant
Sound Department
Chôshichirô Mikami .... sound
Special Effects by
Eiji Tsuburaya .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Shôji Kameyama .... lighting technician
Shigeru Mori .... lighting technician
Other crew
Minoru Sakamoto .... assistant: Robert Homel (US version)
Minoru Sakamoto .... translator: English (US version)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Miyamoto Musashi" - Japan (original title)
"Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto" - , USA (DVD title)
"Musashi Miyamoto" - USA (video title)
See more »
93 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV)See more »


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
a good start to a handsomely done, 'old-school' epic trilogy, 20 October 2006
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

I watched the first part of the Musashi Miyamoto trilogy, dubbed simply Samurai 1 on the video, thinking that it might be a lot more stylish &/or violent than I was led to believe. It is the first part, but of the second part it is but only up to a point. This is a 1950s style epic tale through and through, and the violence is done in a kind of sweepingly done style, where it goes by fairly quick, no blood at all, though all the while there's the sense of loss that goes with seeing, for example, the big battle sequence early on. This is a trilogy that I saw long ago, but this one, along with some scenes from 2 and 3, sticks out in my mind to this day. There's a lot of touching care taken in what was Hiroshi Inagaki's power as a filmmaker. Like a Hollywood director actually more than a typical Japanese director, one might say, his take on the legendary samurai Miyamoto is one of reverence but wisdom, of production values of the highest standard (of the studio standard of Toho at the time), with brilliant color photography putting the colors in striking displays throughout at a time when Japan was first getting into it.

If it's less than really great, like a Kurosawa film, it's maybe because Inagaki is a little too comfortable at times with what's 'safe' in the story, particularly with the romance between Takezo/Musashi (Toshiro Mifune) and Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa). This actually becomes a little more unbelievable at times in parts 2 and 3, but for the sake of its magisterial, dedicated studio roots, it's not that bad, most notably the final scene at the bridge. Some of the plot on the first viewing may not be completely clear, at least through parts of the middle section involving the betrayals and Takezo's friend Matahachi's relationship with Oko. There are one or two really noteworthy supporting performances, like from Mitsuko Mito as Oko. But it's really Mifune's show here, and he plays Takezo in this film like a more naive but still as ambitious and unruly version of his character in Seven Samurai. He's not altogether, but he has it in him to be more, which of course then leads out into the rest of the trilogy. It's one of his better performances outside of his work with Kurosawa, and it gets better as the films go on.

Of course, it's best to start here with Inagaki's passionate, rousing work, and even if it isn't the best of the three it still has its high points. It's a very good example of an 'old-school', big-budget Toho picture with their brand of excitement and romance. If you're thinking it will be as graphic or darkly comic as Kurosawa's films though, it's not really here (though only in little sparks, as is more Inagaki's straghtforward style).

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