6 user 9 critic

Rikyu (1989)

Legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu is faced with his warmongering lord's unrealistic pretensions.


Genpei Akasegawa, Yaeko Nogami (novel) | 1 more credit »
11 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rentarô Mikuni ... Rikyu
Yoshiko Mita ... Riki, his wife
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Kyôko Kishida ... His wife
Tanie Kitabayashi ... His mother
Ryô Tamura Ryô Tamura ... Lord Hidenaga, his brother
Kôshirô Matsumoto Kôshirô Matsumoto ... Lord Oda
Kichiemon Nakamura ... Lord Ieyasu
Yasosuke Bando ... Mitsanari
Akira Kubo Akira Kubo ... Geni
Keishi Arashi Keishi Arashi ... Orike, Rikyu's friend
Hisashi Igawa ... Soji
Ichirô Zaitsu Ichirô Zaitsu ... Abbott Kokei
Hideo Kanze ... Rikyu's brother in law
Masao Imafuku ... Ceramist


Late in the 1500s, an aging tea master teaches the way of tea to a headstrong Shogun. Through force of will and courageous fighting, Hideyoshi becomes Japan's most powerful warlord, unifying the country. Rikyu, through the tea ceremony and floral arrangements, tempers his lord, helping Hideyoshi focus on a single flower or be in a simple room where the shape of a cup is of most importance. But other forces fuel Hideyoshi's ambitions: the Portuguese bring a globe and guns, and he believes he can conquer Korea and China. When Rikyu raises doubts about invading China, Hideyoshi demands an apology, and Rikyu himself must find courage in the way of tea. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama | History


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Did You Know?


Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 62nd Academy Awards in 1990. See more »


Followed by Gô-hime (1992) See more »

User Reviews

exquisite meditation on Japanese tea ceremony and it's importance to social and political status in medieval Japan.
19 October 1999 | by stan-74See all my reviews

This is a very Japanese and Zen Buddhist film. The observations are almost painfully clear and intense, there is great attention to detail, it is highly ritualized and formal, and moves very slowly. To be appreciated, it must be viewed as a totality, rather than as a linear story with a beginning and an end. It is a snapshot stretched over 2 hours, and very much "there". It's a lot like a Zen garden, and most Americans will probably find it boring, but if you're into the peculiar Japanese view of time, it's such a beautiful film, it almost hurts.

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Japanese | Portuguese

Release Date:

18 January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rikyu - teemestari See more »

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