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Yagyu Clan Conspiracy (1978)

Yagyû ichizoku no inbô (original title)
Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »


Kinji Fukasaku
5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kinnosuke Nakamura Kinnosuke Nakamura ... Yagyu Tajima-no-Kami Munenori (as Kinnosuke Yorozuya Nakamura)
Shin'ichi Chiba ... Yagyû Jûbê (as Sonny Chiba)
Hiroki Matsukata Hiroki Matsukata ... Tokugawa Iemitsu (Older Prince)
Teruhiko Saigô Teruhiko Saigô ... Tokugawa Tadanaga (Younger Prince)
Reiko Ôhara ... Okuni (Singer)
Yoshio Harada ... Sanza Nagoya (Flute Player)
Etsuko Shihomi ... Yagyu Akane (Yagyu Sister)
Kentarô Kudô Kentarô Kudô ... Yagyu Matajuro (Yagyu Brother)
Jirô Yabuki Jirô Yabuki ... Yagyu Samon (Yagyu Brother) (as Jiro Yabuki)
Hideo Murota Hideo Murota ... Sagenta Nogero (Leader of Negoro Clan)
Mayumi Asano Mayumi Asano ... Mon (Fighter of Negoro Clan)
Hiroyuki Sanada ... Hayate (Fighter of Negoro Clan)
Ichirô Nakatani ... Gyobu Amano (Masterless Samurai)
Tetsurô Tanba ... Ogasawara Gensinsai (Tajima's Rival)
Etsushi Takahashi ... Matsudaira Izu (Iemitsu's Chamberlain)


Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and birthmark which undermine his respect. Iemitsu and his brother Tadanaga become bitter rivals for the shogunate, and the land is split into factions, eventually erupting into warfare. Iemitsu's mentor, his fencing instructor Yagyu, is fixated upon securing Iemitsu the shogunate and ends up betraying everyone, even his own family, in pursuit of the goal. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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This film falls into both the jidaigeki (period drama) and chanbara (sword fighting) genres. See more »


Version of Legendary Swordfights of Yagyu Jubei (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Epic Tale
30 January 2005 | by steve_b33See all my reviews

Kinji Fukasaku was one of Japan's most prolific directors - its ironic that his breakthrough movie in the West was the last one he made before his death at the age of 73 - that being Battle Royale.During the late '60's to the mid '70's he made a series of excellent Yakuza gangster movies then in 1978 turned to the historical epic with fine results.

It is 1624 - Japan after a lengthy civil war which resulted in the Emperor being marginalized and the Shogun running the Government - the current Shogun has died suddenly leaving the succession in doubt - his eldest son Iemestsu should succeed but he is disfigured and stammers - his more handsome younger son Tadanaga has the backing of most of the powerful Lords. Things get complicated very quickly when it becomes apparent that the Shogun was poisoned at the behest of Iemestsu's main supporter Yagyu(Kinnosuka Nakamaru) - Iemestu is as at first appalled by this but as the country get embroiled in the struggle he realises how much he needs Yagyu's support if he is to become Shogun.Meanwhile the Emperor and his courtiers plot behind the scenes to exploit the chaos and return to power.

It is an epic tale with political intrigue,battles,assassination's and some spectacular sword-fights and the question of just how much would you sacrifice to attain power - Yagyu will stop at nothing to install Iemestu and this has appalling consequences for both the country and for him personally but he is willing to commit these - Nakamara is excellent in the role - at first you side with what he is trying to do but at the tragedy unfolds you realize what a monster he is. Sonny Chiba is equally good as his eldest son who bears the brunt of one consequence of his Fathers action and he brings the whole thing to its tragic conclusion with more than a touch of hubris.

It hasn't quite got the epic feel of a Kurosawa but has a much more cynical take on political struggle - highly recommended.

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Release Date:

7 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yagyu Clan Conspiracy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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