17 user 23 critic

Goyokin (1969)

Goyôkin (original title)
A guilt-haunted samurai warrior attempts to stop a massacre taking place.


Hideo Gosha
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Magobei Wakizaka
Tetsurô Tanba ... Rokugo Tatewaki
Yôko Tsukasa ... Shino
Ruriko Asaoka Ruriko Asaoka ... Oriha
Kunie Tanaka ... Hirosuke
Isao Natsuyagi ... Kunai
Kô Nishimura
Eijirô Tôno
Ben Hiura Ben Hiura ... Rokuzo
Susumu Kurobe ... Omura Sobee
Hisashi Igawa ... Takeuchi Shinjiro
Fujio Tokita Fujio Tokita
Shinnosuke Ogata Shinnosuke Ogata ... Miyauchi Hanzo
Shôji Ôki Shôji Ôki
Yoshitarô Asawaka Yoshitarô Asawaka


Tatsuya Nakadai plays a samurai who is an eyewitness to a massacre of a small village by men of his own clan. Even though he did not participate, and did his best to prevent it, he realizes with guilt that he had been manipulated to enable the massacre. He quits and becomes a ronin; wandering the country he learns of a scheme by his former clan to repeat a similar massacre. Determined to stop them, and with the help of women and men who are loyal to him, he endures great hardships, moral and physical, engaging in incredible battles in the effort to atone for his earlier mistake and help to save the lives of defenseless peasants. Written by <ttetpos@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


This is the first Japanese feature film in Panavision. See more »


Remade as The Master Gunfighter (1975) See more »

User Reviews

One of a kind...
6 May 2004 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

This is a special beast of a samurai film because of several things.

For starters it is often compared unfavorably to "Sword of Doom" (completely nihilist B&W psycho samurai also starring Tatsuya Nakadai as a clone of his Yojimbo character). Quite frankly, Goyokin is far superior in nuance, photography and character depth. It holds that edge and an inherent darkness that is exquisitely explored visually over most samurai films in existence: more poetic than Zatôyichi (2003, Kitano), better filmed and written than Sword of Doom (1966, Okamoto), less remote than Ran (1985, Kurosawa) and darker and deeper than Yojimbo (1961, also Kurosawa); the only samurai to best this is Seven Samurai.

Tatsuya Nakadai comes across as three-dimensional, which is a departure from most chambara film heroes, and tormented but eminently likable. Every character is given sufficient growth and motive. Masaru Sato gives us one of his finest scores ever (the other being that of Yojimbo). The photography defeats any samurai film that could possibly cross your mind (yes, even Ran and by a narrow margin Seven samurai's stark B&W beauty)! The fights have a sincere brutality and make the most of their environment... There is little else to add... well no maybe there is. Don't go in expecting pop-corn entertainment but rather something deeper more complex.

I've heard that Inagaki's Samurai trilogy was Japan's "Gone With the Wind", Red Beard it's "Titanic" and Seven Samurai its ultimate western... if so, "Goyokin" is its "Lawrence of Arabia"!

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Release Date:

1 May 1969 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Steel Edge of Revenge See more »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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