Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside.Written by
Cinematographer Akira Mimura recollected in his diary the outdoor scene of Yano fighting the jujitsu men by the riverside, claiming near zero temperatures forced the men thrown into the river to one by one be immediately pulled out of the water and driven to the hotel to warm up. See more »
Although originally released in Japan at 97 minutes, it was re-edited and re-released in Japan in 1952 at 80 minutes. This 80-minute version is all that is currently available, and it includes some slight changes in the film's structure as well as its running time. See more »
The modernization of Japan began with the Meiji era in 1867. Mutsuhito, who proclaimed himself Emperor Meiji (loyalty to the rule) to ascend the throne, began a series of significant changes included the abolition of privileges, granted the right to wear a name (hitherto exclusive to samurai and the nobility) and opened the voting for the election of governors, among other measures that began the decline of more than 250 years of feudalism, to make way for the Meiji democracy would go until 1912, and that would open the way for Japan to begin to become a society, certainly more balanced.
Sugata Sanshiro proudly carries his name. Man of the people, attending a school of Jiu Jitsu, a martial art which derive Judo, a risky way to debug the techniques, paradoxically, called "art of softness". But when he meets the skill of the master judoka Yano, Sanshiro decides to become his student and then faced the challenges that will give him a place in the new institute.
What follows then are the circumstances of life that prove the man to his ideals and give opportunity to specify the strength of their inclinations. For it is with chiselases which are polished gems and it is with fire that demonstrates the strength of the metal. But there are things that weigh in man, as love is born and who never wants to hurt, and then, when man is forced to the difficult choice between self- interest or what benefits the group.
I think, "Sugata Sanshiro", was a good start for the master Kurosawa. The film denotes human sense, defending the rules and the collective interest, as it should be, but also understands the meaning of love and compassion, and rejoices as they deserve. The director shows fairly distanced with the scenes of violence, and although I'm sure weighed and weighed now more than ever, this gives a clear account of its central goal was the feeling and no physical force. After all, is in being and not in the domination, as a man can know himself, and as the teacher Yano says:"The way is the search for truth that governs the nature of man, as this is what will give us a peaceful death."
It must have been that this first film was well received at the box office since, two years later, the third Akira Kurosawa film, continue the story with the title "Soku Sugata Sanshiro". There is only regrettable that so valuable a work, with moments of undeniable beauty plastic, and is committed to a positive outlook on life, Japan's clumsy censorship of the time (¿perhaps there will not be clumsy censorship?), has cut about 600 feet, which may never recover and leave the film in some way unfinished.
Against all, I think any fan of the great Japanese filmmaker, should be deprived of seeing this remarkable debut.
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