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The Bushido Blade (1981)

R | | Action, Drama, History | 1981 (USA)
A steel samurai blade that was to be given to the American ambassador by the Emperor of Japan is stolen. American sailors and Japanese samurai are sent to find it.


(as Tom Kotani)




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Complete credited cast:
Commodore Matthew Perry
Shogun's Commander
Bos'n Cave Johnson (as Michael Starr)
Midshipman Robin Burr (as Timothy Murphy)
Captain Lawrence Hawk
William Ross ...
Perry's Aide
Bin Amatsu ...
Baron Zen
Prince Ido (as Sony Chiba)
Iwae Arai ...
Mayumi Asano ...
The Prisoner
Kin Ômae ...
Sumo (as Kin Omai)
Lord Yamato


A steel samurai blade that was to be given to the American ambassador by the Emperor of Japan is stolen. American sailors and Japanese samurai are sent to find it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the land of the Shogun... See more »


Action | Drama | History


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bloody Bushido Blade  »

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| (TV premiere)

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Did You Know?


Richard Boone's final film. See more »

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User Reviews

Epic Japanese/US dealing with Commodore Matthew C. Perry and a group of sailors to retrieve a stolen blade
25 November 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

The picture develops the true tale of commandant Perry (Richard Boone's final show) -along with his underlings- who during the nineteenth century is sent by the US President to Japan to serve as the first U.S. As in 1852 , Perry was assigned a mission by American President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade , through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary Consul-General to that country . Perry (considered father of the Steam Navy) finally reached Uraga at the entrance to Edo Bay in Japan on July 8 , 1853 . In the meantime , the Japanese government was paralyzed due to the incapacitation by illness of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyoshi and by political indecision on how to handle the unprecedented threat to the nation's capital . Later on , a steel samurai blade that was to be given by the Japanese high authority (Toshiro Mifune) to the American ambassador from the Emperor of Japan is stolen . After that , American sailors : Bos'n Cave Johnson (Mike Starr), Midshipman Robin Burr (Timothy Patrick Murphy) , Captain Lawrence (Frank Converse) and Japanese samurai (Sonny Chiba) are sent to find it . They discover enormous hostility to foreigners, as well as dangers and risks . There Robin finds romance with a gorgeous girl and Captain Lawrence meets a samurai woman (Laura Gemser) . Meanwhile , they confront the Shogun army , and Lord Yamato (Tetsurô Tanba) . The Japanese attackers follow the Bushido code , it means honor but also revenge , bloodshed and violent death! . The Bushido blade cuts to the heart of courage .

Richard Boone becomes the first Ambassador from the Western world is this oriental adventure . The film deals with conflicts between the radical conservatism and modernism ; upon relation of the West and East World . In addition , a sweeping , human drama with all the ingredients : adventures , betrayal , romance , inter-racial love story , emotions , breathtaking battles , spellbound scenarios and results to be pretty interesting . Stunning images illuminate the full-blown feats of a bunch of sailors under impressive Japanese sets . It's an acceptable epic in medium budget , including an agreeable statement about honor , tradition and futility of war . Glimmer and colorfully cinematography shot on location in London , England, UK and Tokyo , Japan ; though a perfect remastering is necessary . Evocative and appropriate score , including a catching leitmotif , by Maury Laws . Panned by the critics , the movie was a flop at box office in USA , receiving awful reviews . However , nowadays is best deemed . The motion picture was professionally directed by Tom Kotani , though it has some gaps as well as flaws and uneven pacing .

This costumer picture is based on historic events . As Perry returned in 1854 with ten ships and 1600 men and he carried out the Opening of Japan , as called The Perry Expedition: 1852–1854 . After initial resistance by the Japanese , Perry was permitted to land at Kanagawa, near the site of present-day Yokohama where after negotiations lasting for around a month , the Convention of Kanagawa . Perry signed as American plenipotentiary, and Akira signed for the Japanese side. Perry departed , mistakenly believing the agreement had been made with imperial representatives , not understanding the true position of the Shogun, the de facto ruler of Japan . As Japan was dominated for a dynasty occupied by the Togugawa family from century XVI until 1868 and characterized by ruling ¨Daimios ¨ , confronting occidental people and shunning the opening imposed by Admiral Perry in 1863 ; he was the first foreigner in Japan who undergoes a culture shock . Being dead emperor Komei , succeeded in 1867 , Mutsu Hito , one time crowned as emperor Meiji , he abolished the Shogun . Matsu Hito carried out various changes, as a liberal cabinet , creating a Duma or Parliament and following actual models and modern spirit . Anti-reforms riots to return old values , traditional way of life and code Bushido were realized by the Samurais a type of medieval knight for preventing of occidental life style . These events have been developed in various films as ¨Barbarian and Geisha¨ by John Huston , considering John Wayne is horribly miscast that resulted to be one of the worst of his bad films , ¨The last Samurai¨ by Edward Zwick with Tom Cruise , Ken Watanabe , Billy Connolly , Tony Goldwyn and the magnificent TV series ¨Shogun¨ (1980) with Richard Chamberlain . Although ¨The Bushido blade¨ was derided as an attempt to copy the hit TV mini-series "Shogun", it was actually made in 1980, before "Shogun", though it wasn't released until after that series had aired .

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