Based on the novel by Tsumoto Yo, "Tsukahara Bokuden-The Legendary Swordsman" is a 7-part Japanese NHK mini-series from 2011. As the title suggests, the series deals with the life of an early-16th century master swordsman Tsukahara Bokuden as he travels around Japan on a warrior's pilgrimage (musha shugyo) in order to spread the fame of his 'Sword of Kashima' in an attempt to raise funds to rebuild the shrine of Kashima. Accompanied by his faithful servant Yamazaki Samon, ShinEmon (Bokuden's name earlier in life) takes on several weapons masters to test the strength of his own Kashima style. From Genki Maki with his frog stance to powerful ninja Enchin, Naginata master NanEi to the Hosokawa's undefeated sword master Oona Hidetaka, Bokuden must attempt to overcome his various opponent's techniques while absorbing elements of their fighting style into his own. Sakai Masato takes the lead role in an excellent historical drama which also features some famous characters of the period including Hojo Soun and Yamamoto Kansuke. Well worth a watch.
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