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The Twilight Samurai (2002)

Tasogare Seibei (original title)
As the feudal Japan era draws to a close, a widower samurai experiences difficulty balancing 2 young daughters, an aged mother, clan loyalties, and the sudden reappearance of his childhood sweetheart.

Director:

Yôji Yamada

Writers:

Shûhei Fujisawa (novels), Yôji Yamada (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hiroyuki Sanada ... Seibei Iguchi
Rie Miyazawa Rie Miyazawa ... Tomoe Iinuma
Nenji Kobayashi Nenji Kobayashi ... Choubei Kusaka
Ren Osugi ... Toyotaro Koda (as Ren Ôsugi)
Mitsuru Fukikoshi ... Michinojo Iinuma
Kanako Fukaura Kanako Fukaura ... Yae Iinuma
Hiroshi Kanbe Hiroshi Kanbe ... Naota
Miki Itô ... Kayano Iguchi
Erina Hashiguchi Erina Hashiguchi ... Ito Iguchi
Reiko Kusamura Reiko Kusamura ... Kinu Iguchi
Setsuko Tanaka Setsuko Tanaka
Kii Mizuno Kii Mizuno ... Tane
Yuuki Natsusaka Yuuki Natsusaka ... Gemba Hattori
Astushi Maeda Astushi Maeda
Tsukasa Sugawara Tsukasa Sugawara
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Storyline

Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japan | samurai | duel | widower | poverty | See All (31) »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

2 November 2002 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Twilight Samurai See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,573, 25 April 2004

Gross USA:

$559,765

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,372,769
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Ito: With a sick wife, two young daughters and an aged mother in his care, my father was unable to drink with his colleagues. He had to hurry home every evening at dusk. I was told the men he worked with gave him the cruel nickname of 'Twilight Seibei'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Kimerareta Rhythm
Performed by Yosui Inoue
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User Reviews

Sanada's Brilliant Performance
7 June 2004 | by artist_signalSee all my reviews

Hiroyuki Sanada (Western audiences may recognize him from his recent turn as Ujio from The Last Samurai, 2003), carries this film with his masterful acting, making the portrayal of "Tasogarei Seibei" (a.k.a. a samurai jokingly called "Twilight" by his colleagues), a poignant and memorable portrayal of a true hero.

Sanada plays Seibei Iguchi, a poor, 50-koku ranked samurai who has to support his two daughters and a senile mother, due to the passing away of his wife. The structure and plot turns of the story are simple, but fascinating to watch unfold, and it is perhaps the simplicity and novelistic grace of the narrative that makes the film so remarkable. Seibei works as a scribe with his fellow samurai, and always has to rush home after work to attend to his duties as a father. He lets hygieine slowly slide into second priority (resulting in rather unkempt clothes and socks), but in general, he doesn't seem to care: his two daughters he treasures above all other things. When a woman named Tomoe, a childhood friend that Seibei was particularly fond of, suddenly re-appers into his life, Seibei makes certain decisions that he ultimately ends up regretting later. The rest of the story is full of very interesting plot develoments, playing with the audience's expectations (especially with the relationship between Tomoe and Seiebi), and although the film is not a traditional samurai film in that it does not have alot of action scenes, the composition of the tale, and its "storytelling" invocation (one of the daughters narrates) is good enough to keep you watching.

Hiroyuki Sanada playing Seibei is really a marvel to watch; he adds a very sensible depth and modesty to the character, and infuses it with some understated comic acting as well. At the end of the film, after the climatic final battle, Sanada is able to make the character of Seibei resonate with a very unconventional but nonetheless strong and beautiful heroism. Sanada is really a very talented thespian, and in this film, you may get to sample the sheer range of his great technique. For the world-class acting work he did in this film, he won a Japanese Academy Award, and the film also got noticed by the Oscars (nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, 2004). If there's a chance your able to catch this film in a local theatre (usually, it plays at Landmark) do so, you won't regret it. You'll be able to watch an excellent story unfold, and also see some of the finest acting in world cinema today.


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