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 »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »
Bored with school, 15-year-old Daisuke Kawashima embarks on a pilgrimage to visit the 7,000-year-old cedar tree on distant Yakushima Island. Through his journey, Daisuke meets a number of ... See full summary »
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 »
Shinnojo, a low level samurai, lives with his pretty, dutiful and loyal wife Kayo. He has come to find his position in a castle as a food-taster for a feudal lord to be boring and pointless, and talks about opening a kendo school open to boys of all castes where he can teach the use of the sword. Before he can act on his dream he becomes ill with a fever after tasting some sashimi made from shell fish, but an investigation reveals that the poisoning was not due to a human conspiracy, but a poor choice of food out of season. After three days he awakes but finds that the toxin from the food has blinded him. Kayo is summoned by Shinnojo's family to explain how the couple will survive. His uncle laments that he no longer knows anybody with influence in the castle, and asks Kayo if she knows of anybody. She relates how Toya Shimada, the chief duty officer in the castle and a samurai of high rank, offered to help and they tell her to act upon his offer of assistance. A message from the ... Written by
In the film it is mentioned repeatedly that the main character of Shinnojo Miura receives a yearly stipend of 30 koku. During the Edo period of Japan a koku was a unit of measure that had the equivalent of one year's worth of rice for a person (approx. 150 kg). For a samurai 30 koku was a small salary and Shinnojo was thus of a low level. Incidentally, the title character from another of Yoji Yamada's films 'The Twilight Samurai' also receives a 30 koku stipend after having 20 koku deducted from his 50 koku salary to pay for his recently deceased wife's funeral. See more »
I love the Zatoichi films and have seen all but the very latest rebooting of the series ("Zatoichi the Last"--which is not available yet in the US). So it's obvious that I am a fan of the movies. However, I will also be the first to admit that they are completely ridiculous. After all, a completely blind swordsman who is able to take on dozens of opponents in each film and win is completely impossible...at least on this planet! Because of this, it's great to see "Love and Honor"--a Japanese film with a blind swordsman that is actually believable!!
The film begins with Shinnojo Mimura working for his lord as a food taster. One day, the unthinkable happens and Shinnojo is poisoned. While this ends up saving his master's life, it also ends up nearly killing Shinnojo and leaving him blind! And, as sometimes occurs in the tough feudal society, Shinnojo is left without a purpose and the prospect of losing his income. Some thanks for service to his master, huh?! However, uncharacteristic of many samurai films, soon Shinnojo learns that his master has not forgotten him and will keep giving him his original salary. So how does this end up resulting in Shinnojo fighting someone even though he's blind?! Well, I don't want to ruin the story--just watch this one.
The film has many, many strengths. It is a wonderful story, has a very thrilling conclusion and a touching love story--albeit an odd one! Well performed all around and one of the better samurai films I have seen--and I have seen quite a few. Well worth your time.
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