When it comes to a cool subject for a 12 episode mini-series, Three Generations of the Yagyu Sword has to be up there with the best. The focus of the series are the contrasts between the outlooks of the fathers and sons from Sekishusai to Munenori & Munenori to Jubei. The series begins with Sekishusai in charge of his own dojo teaching the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu or 'Yagyu New Shadow School' of swordsmanship. He is harsh on his son Munenori who develops his own style, even learning and improving the Yagyu secret art of 'mutodori' an empty hand technique used for defense against an armed opponent. It is under Munenori that the Yagyu become intertwined with the Tokugawa dynasty of shoguns that brought an end to the Warring States Period in 17th century Japan. His involvement in politics and harsh approach to the subjugation of other clans considered to be a threat to the shogunate is disliked by his own son Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi who goes his own way both philosophically and as a martial artist. Jubei is universally portrayed throughout jidai geki TV shows as one of Japan's greatest ever swordsmen and it is no different here. This is a brilliant, engaging and entertaining series that should not be missed by fans of the genre.
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