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The Twilight Samurai (2002)

Tasogare Seibei (original title)
A 19th-century samurai tries to protect a battered wife.



(novels), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rie Miyazawa ...
Tomoe Iinuma
Nenji Kobayashi ...
Choubei Kusaka
Ren Ohsugi ...
Toyotarou Kouda (as Ren Ôsugi)
Mitsuru Fukikoshi ...
Michinojo Iinuma
Kanako Fukaura ...
Yae Iinuma
Hiroshi Kanbe ...
Miki Itô ...
Kayano Iguchi
Erina Hashiguchi ...
Ito Iguchi
Reiko Kusamura ...
Kinu Iguchi
Setsuko Tanaka
Kii Mizuno ...
Yuuki Natsusaka ...
Gemba Hattori
Astushi Maeda
Tsukasa Sugawara


Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 November 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Twilight Samurai  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,622 (Hong Kong) (23 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kayano Iguchi: Father, If I learn to do needlework someday I can make kimonos. But what good will book learning ever do me?
Seibei Iguchi: Well, it probably won't ever be as useful as needlework. But you know, book learning gives you the power to think. However the world might change, if you have the power to think you'll always survive somehow. That's true for boys and for girls. All right?
Kayano Iguchi: Yes.
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References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »


Kimerareta Rhythm
Performed by Yosui Inoue
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User Reviews

A beautiful, lyrical samurai movie
7 December 2004 | by (Hertford, England) – See all my reviews

I approached director Yoji Yamada's period film anticipating the usual brew of flashing blades, unfathomable codes of honour and majestic arterial sprays but found instead a gently melancholic and beautifully played story of unspoken love and ethical struggle.

Seibei (a mesmerising less-is-more turn from Hiroyuki Sanada) is a low-ranking widowed samurai with a senile mother and two daughters, working in the castle's stores and taking in piecework to get by.

Grief at his wife's death has led him to turn his back on violence but he is confronted with it nonetheless, firstly as a result of the return of a childhood friend for whom he has strong feelings and who is fleeing her abusive marriage and, finally, when the politics of the day overtake his clan and he is ordered to carry out an assassination.

Seibei's struggle is not for outward respect but to find integrity within a social order over which he has no influence, making the bursts of violence all the more jarring.

Yamada's film is rightly compared to Kurosawa's work and its thoughtful, lyrical tone and themes resonate powerfully.

76 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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