Edmund Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac, transplanted to Japan. A poet-warrior with an oversized nose (matched only by his great heart) loves a lady. But she sees him only as a friend, so ... See full summary »
In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
Mohei is a wandering swordsman. He arrives in the city of Osaka, where the Toyotomi clan accepts him and comes to depend upon his courage and his battlefield skills. Those skills are sorely... See full summary »
The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi tracks the spy Nojiri, while a mysterious figure named Sakon leads a band of men on their own quest for the wily Nojiri. Soon no one knows just who is ... See full summary »
Japanese police detective Saburo Fujioka is suspected of corruption, demoted, and sent to the city of Kojin. Kojin is the scene of fierce fighting between rival gangs. Fujioka is assigned ... See full summary »
Soldiers Hayatenosuke Sasa and Kagami Yaheiji leave their besieged castle on a secret mission into the enemy camp. Hayatenosuke has left behind his lover, Kano. In the camp, Hayatenosuke is... See full summary »
Lord Taro must deliver a money chest but is robbed by brigands led by Jibu. One of Jibu's men, Rokuro, steals the money from Jibu, but after meeting and befriending Taro, Rokuro decides to ... See full summary »
Edmund Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac, transplanted to Japan. A poet-warrior with an oversized nose (matched only by his great heart) loves a lady. But she sees him only as a friend, so he helps another man to woo her by giving him the poetry of his own heart. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
When Komaki (Toshirô Mifune) is telling Lady Ochii of the recent events at the end of the film, he mentions that on April 13th Miyamoto Musashi defeated Kojiro Sasaki in a duel. Mifune actually played Musashi in 4 different films: Kanketsu Sasaki Kojiro - Ganryu-to Ketto, Miyamoto Musashi, Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijôji no kettô and Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kettô Ganryûjima (the last 3 movies comprising the Samurai trilogy). See more »
Yes, I did not tell you today's news. "And finally, on April 15, Heiachiro Komaki was murdered by Shogunate officers."... I vowed to die honorably, by a hero's sword. Yes, but behold me now: caught and killed in a trap set for me. So ends the life of a clown.
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Yes, it works! With Toshiro Mifune at his magnificent best it works remarkably well. Edmund Rostand's Cyrano was translated into Japanese early in its life. Consequently, it became a part of Japanese culture. That means that the more the Japanese sample and absorb from other cultures, the more fundamentally Japanese they become.
Toshiro Mifune is totally original and compelling as the Cyrano character. No, his nose does not proceed him by a quarter hour, like Rostand's French original. In Japan, large noses are relatively flat and spread out across the face. This Cyrano writes haiku and duels in classic Samurai style. Mifune is scruffy, earthy and throroughly engaging.
Some understandable liberties have been taken with Rostand's plot in order to make it consistent with Japanese culture. However, the climax remains absolutely consistent. It is as deeply felt and as moving as any Cyrano you will ever see. It is set in a a walled cherry orchard. As Mifune is dying, the cherry blossoms fall like snowflakes. Cyrano's dying words, "I fight on...", need no translation.
For fans of Cyrano; or Toshiro Mifune; or Samurai films; or great romantic stories; or even if you've never particularly liked any of them, this is one you don't want to miss.
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