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The Hidden Blade (2004)
"Kakushi ken oni no tsume" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  30 October 2004 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,497 users   Metascore: 76/100
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During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Masatoshi Nagase ...
Munezô Katagiri
Hidetaka Yoshioka ...
Samon Shimada
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ...
Yaichirô Hazama
Tomoko Tabata ...
Shino Katagiri
Chieko Baishô ...
Mrs. Katagiri
Kunie Tanaka ...
Kanbê Katagiri
Toshiki Ayata
Hiroshi Kanbe
Sachiko Mitsumoto ...
Mrs. Iseya
Reiko Takashima ...
Hazama's Wife
Satoko Yamamura
Nana Saito ...
Bun (as Nana Saitô)
Kazuhiko Kasai
Ryôta Satô


During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan (Unasaka) to take an important position within the shogunate in far away Edo. Munezo has lived modestly with his mother and sister Shino after his father was forced into suicide after the failure of a bridge project. Kie, a farm girl serves them as a maid in their house. As time passes, Munezo's sister marries Samon, his mother dies, Kie is married into a merchant family, and he is required to learn western methods of warfare such as the use of artillery and firearms from an official sent from Edo. Learning that Kie is ill due to abuse, he rescues her from her husband's family. Although sharing mutual affection and respect, a marriage between Munezo and Kie is still impossible due to different castes, and when he, now a bachelor, is criticized for her serving in his house, Munezo sends her back to ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent material | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Hidden Blade  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,466 (USA) (23 June 2006)


$38,147 (USA) (29 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is the second installment to director Yôji Yamada Samurai trilogy. 'The Twilight Samurai' being the first, 'Love and honor' being the third. See more »


When Hazama is shot by a rifleman, it blows his arm off. A rifle bullet, particularly one of that era, does not have enough power to cleanly sever a limb in the manner shown. See more »


[repeated line]
Kie: Is that what you command... sir?
Munezo Katagiri: Yes. That is my command.
Kie: If it's your command, then I have no choice but to obey.
See more »


Follows The Twilight Samurai (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Japanese idea of love is very touching
30 July 2005 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

While this movie is set in a samurai period, it's definitely not all sword fights and battle. In fact, there is little to none (sorry all you samurai-anime fans!). But if you would like to get a very good insight into the ideals of Japanese romance and love, I recommend this. It may move slow for people who aren't too in to romance in general, but both men and women can enjoy the relationship that unfolds between the two main characters, with the political sub-plot and climatic fight scene blending in perfectly, and not overrunning the love story. I would also like to add that while younger audiences can enjoy this movie, the fight scene is a bit gory...

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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similarites to Twilight Nujabes
Arm severing mrblank91
Something happen to release? jsilkwor
Why Wasn't Munezo's Head Shaved? Herreken
how did the film end ? gabgarri
The marching band was hilarious Y_On
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