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 ...
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Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his ... See full summary »
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzawmon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, ... See full summary »
An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
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 »
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
The area where this movie is set is the fictional Unasaka domain. It was created by the novelist Shuhei Fujisawa. It resembles the real area of Yamagata prefecture which is in the Northern part of Japan. 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 »
Is that what you command... sir?
Yes. That is my command.
If it's your command, then I have no choice but to obey.
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The tale of a samurai who is reluctant to draw his sword
I originally went to this film at the Palm Springs International Film Fest expecting lot of samurai action. What I did get was a thoughtful, well directed drama about a samurai who had never drawn his sword and was coming to terms with the changes in his country during the 1800's. The actors do a masterful job, and the main character really makes you feel the conflict in his heart.
There is very little swordplay in the film. Pretty much only in one scene toward the end. It plays out in a gut wrenching way for the main character. It took courage to tell the story of a Samurai who is reluctant to fight. The film deals with a very complex moral question: When is it okay to kill? The main character is put in a moral quandary when he's forced to do something that he is morally against. I felt director showed us a part of Japanese life that we're not used to seeing. The every day, domestic details of a honest, good samurai.
If you get the chance to see it, please do.
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