The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »
Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.
During peace in 1725, aging swordsman Isaburo is living a henpecked life when his clan lord requests that Isaburo's son marry the lord's mistress, with whom he's displeased, even though she's born him a son. Isaburo wants to refuse, but his son Yogoro accepts the woman, Ichi, and they fall deeply in love. Their love renews Isaburo, so when the clan lord's elder son dies and the lord sends for Ichi to return to his side as mother of his heir, Isaburo opposes his lord. Yogoro and Ichi, who now have a baby daughter, stand with him. The clan orders their suicide, then sends soldiers to kill them. Isaburo's only hope is to take his case to Edo to expose the clan's cruelty. Can he? Written by
Toshiro Mifune, trapped in a loveless marriage and bored with his position within his clan, would just like to enjoy his grandchild and see his sons have a happier life than he. But the same forces that conspired to trap him in his situation--duty to family and obligations to the clan and feudal chain of command--now threaten his son, daughter-in-law and granddaugher. Under great pressure, he resists the persuasion of his wife's family and his clan to bow to "duty". The tension builds--perhaps at one point a little too drawn out-- to an exciting climax.
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