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The Shogun's Samurai (1978) More at IMDbPro »Yagyû ichizoku no inbô (original title)

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Kinji Fukasaku (writer)
Hirô Matsuda (writer)
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Release Date:
7 December 1984 (USA) See more »
Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
I am not sure I like it See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Kinnosuke Nakamura ... Yagyu Tajima (as Kinnosuke Yorozuya Nakamura)

Shin'ichi Chiba ... Jûbê Yagyû (as Sonny Chiba)
Hiroki Matsukata ... Iemitsu Tokugawa (Older Prince)
Teruhiko Saigô ... Tadanaga Tokugawa (Younger Prince)
Reiko Ôhara ... Okuni (Singer)

Yoshio Harada ... Sanza Nagoya (Flute Player)
Etsuko Shihomi ... Yagyu Akane (Yagyu Sister)
Kentarô Kudô ... Yagyu Matajuro (Yagyu Brother)
Jirô Chiba ... Yagyu Samon (Yagyu Brother) (as Jiro Yabuki)
Hideo Murota ... Sagenta Nogero (Leader of Negoro Clan)
Mayumi Asano ... Mon (Fighter of Negoro Clan)

Hiroyuki Sanada ... Hayate (Fighter of Negoro Clan)
Ichirô Nakatani ... Gyobu Amano (Masterless Samurai)
Tetsurô Tanba ... Ogasawara Gensinsai (Tajima's Rival)
Etsushi Takahashi ... Matsudaira Izu (Iemitsu's Chamberlain)

Isao Natsuyagi ... Shozaemon Bekki (Tadanaga's Retainer)
Mikio Narita ... Ayamaro Karasumasu (Noble)
Sanae Nakahara ... Lady Kusaga (Iemitsu's Aid)
Nobuo Kaneko
Shinsuke Ashida ... Chamberlain Doi (Tadanaga's Chamberlain)
Isuzu Yamada ... Oeyo (Mother)

Toshirô Mifune ... Lord of Owari
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Seizô Fukumoto ... Yukinojo Gensinsai (Ogasawara's Son) (uncredited)
Sen Yano ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Kinji Fukasaku 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kinji Fukasaku  writer
Hirô Matsuda  writer
Tatsuo Nogami  writer

Original Music by
Toshiaki Tsushima 
Cinematography by
Tôru Nakajima 
Art Direction by
Norimichi Igawa 
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yagyû ichizoku no inbô" - Japan (original title)
"Intrigue of the Yagyu Clan" - International (English title) (literal title)
"Yagyu Clan Conspiracy" - USA
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130 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)See more »


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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
I am not sure I like it, 28 January 2011
Author: tiger86-2 from Bulgaria

I love samurai movies. Really. I love history movies. I love adventure movies. And I found this movie... 'Shogun's Samurai' I though it was going to be great. There are great actors here. Etsushi Takahashi, for example. He was amazing in 'Kill!' and 'Akage'. Hiroyuki Sanada is also great. So is Sonny Chiba. I don't mention Toshiro Mifune because his role here is just a cameo.

Well... The movie was barely watchable. There were lots of problems with it. First, there is the story. It is ridiculously complicated but not compelling enough. Many characters appear but they are not developed at all. Hence I didn't care about their deaths at all. You know, it is quite sad, actually. You see somebody dying violently. You know you are supposed to feel sorry about him. But you don't feel anything because this character is a total stranger to you. I felt sorry for not feeling sorry about the characters.

And here is the second problem with this movie - it is filled with pointless death. Many people die. Men get killed. Women get killed. Kids get killed. Why? Nobody knows. I am not afraid of a little violence but this was just pointless. The story would be absolutely the same without so many killings. And since you don't know the characters at all their deaths have absolutely no emotional impact on you. The character's deaths can only disgust you.

The next problem with this movie is the fights. You know, that's what many people are watching samurai films for - sword fighting and action. But... Some of the fights are really nicely choreographed, there are some incredible moves and so on. But... Most of the fights are actually quite messy due to the bad camera work. The camera is shaking constantly and you can't see anything. It is not like Paul Greengrass directed the movie but still it isn't what one would expect from a samurai movie.

The camera work is a bit strange in my opinion. Sometimes you may see amazing landscapes. There are some very nice shots. Yet when it comes to fighting or some dynamic scene you can barely see anything. Yes, it is a problem. A big problem.

On the other hand there is the acting. It is excellent. Really. A few of the characters are actually well developed and you can care about them. It is mostly because of the actors. They did a really good job with what they are given.

But that's not enough because they are not given much. 5/10. And I really wanted to like the movie.

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