A noble young samurai searches for a thief who has stolen a precious treasure and killed one of his clansmen and meets an older samurai who tries to deter him from the violence of revenge.


Hiroyuki Nakano
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Morio Kazama Morio Kazama ... Hanbei Mizoguchi
Mitsuru Fukikoshi ... Heishiro Inukai
Tomoyasu Hotei Tomoyasu Hotei ... Rannosuke Kazamatsuri
Tamaki Ogawa Tamaki Ogawa ... Koharu Mizoguchi
Mari Natsuki Mari Natsuki ... Okatsu
Taketoshi Naitô ... Kanzen Inukai (as Taketoshi Naitoh)
Kei Tani Kei Tani ... Kagemaru
Fumiya Fujii Fumiya Fujii ... Ryunosuke Kuzumi
Naoyuki Fujii Naoyuki Fujii ... Shintarô Suzuki
Ken Ohsawa Ken Ohsawa ... Tadasuke Kurosawa (as Ken Osawa)
Hiroshi Kanbe Hiroshi Kanbe ... Gosuke
Ryôichi Yuki Ryôichi Yuki ... Ninja Hayabusa
Akiko Monô Akiko Monô ... Ninja Akakage
Taro Maruse Taro Maruse ... Sakyounosuke Kajii
Ramo Nakajima Ramo Nakajima ... Denbei Kimura


Three centuries ago, a precious sword has been stolen by Kazamatsuri -- the sword, which historic and symbolic value is priceless for the clan (Shogun Tokugawa donated it to clan 80 years before that, at the same time that he established them as the local rulers). Lord's counselor's young son Heishiro goes to retrieve the sword himself to protect the clan from the shame or possible demise. He is accompanied with two friends, Shintaro and Tadasuke, and followed by the ninjas of the clan. After Kazamatsuri wounds Heishiro and kills one of his friends, the young aristocrat still wants revenge more than sword itself, but meanwhile have to recover from his wounds, in the small forest house of a lonely samurai and his daughter. At the same time, Kamazatsuri stays in nearby town in the entertainment center run by Okatsu and falls into her. The older samurai tries to dissuade Heishiro from fighting with Kamazatsuri, but is himself gradually drawn into the conflict. Written by zelvopyr

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

samurai | sword | revenge | thief | ninja | See All (17) »


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The sword that is stolen in this film was borrowed from the estate of 'Toshiro Mifune'. It was one of his personal swords. See more »


Kanzen Inukai: Kagemaru!
[Kagemaru drops down from a hatch in the ceiling]
Kagemaru: Hai!
Kanzen Inukai: You don't have to enter through the ceiling, you know.
Kagemaru: I'm sorry, but as an old ninja, I don't really know how to enter from anywhere else.
See more »


Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »


Swanee River
Written by Stephen Foster (as Foster)
Performed by Utaroku Miyakoya and Titi Matsumura
Taken from the album "Kyuukyoku No Nokogiri Ensou"
See more »

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: (DVD) Samurai Fiction (1998)
12 March 2006 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Style and Substance. That's what Samurai Fiction is about. I was surprised at the many MTV-ish stylistic shots incorporated into the movie, without a blatant disregard for the storyline, incorporating very modern rock into its soundtrack.

The Inukai clan had their family sword stolen by a renegade samurai Rannosuke Kazamatsuri. Swearing to get it back, Heishiro Inukai embarks on a journey to hunt down Kazamatsuri. However, his skills are no match for a seasoned warrior who has killed many, and almost had his life ended until he is saved by a hermit Hanbei Mizoguchi.

It's a tale of 3 very diverse samurais, each carrying a theme. The peaceful Hanbei Mizoguchi, highly skilled, but abhors the use of violence. The cool and violent killer without remorse Rannosuke Kazamatsuri, who becomes obsessed with challenging Hanbei to a duel. The inept Heishiro Inukai, who defies his father's wishes to embark on a solo quest to regain their family honour. Thrown into the fray are 2 ninjas on a quest to protect Heishiro and carry out his family's orders on his behalf, and Koharu Mizoguchi, the adopted daughter of Hanbei, with whom Heishiro falls in love with.

The storyline might be pretty ordinary, on one end, the revenge theme, the other, love and peace. But I suppose these are themes that are quite universal, especially in martial arts stories.

The fights are all done very simply. Stylish, but kept uncluttered. Shot in black and white, colours are used sparingly, except for the coating of entire frames in red when someone gets killed. You don't see blood, but you see plenty of varying shots and angles of the fight sequences, done mostly with the help of a crane.

What works for me are the comedic characters like Heishiro's friends, early in the beginning, in their run up (pardon the pun) to catching Kazamatsuri. Also, the soundtrack is totally awesome, unlike the use of traditional music to spice up the fights. You might also know that Ronnosuke Kazamatsuri is played by real life rocker Tomoyasu Hotei, who also did that excellent track Battle Without Honor or Humanity, used in the Kill Bill Vol 1 movie.

It's weird to notice that this movie is actually billed as Episode 1. It's been 8 years and I'm not aware of a sequel or continuation in place. But I guess Samurai Fiction has already told the story it wants to tell, and there shouldn't be a need for a follow up.

Code 1 DVD contains the movie and a making of documentary, and a separate disc containing bloopers, cast biographies, how two scenes actually looked in colour, the trailers, and an entire 1 hour feature on the making of the Samurai Fiction, which showed that a simple movie also has its fair share of difficulties, and Mother Nature did its best to stall production.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1 August 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Samurai Fiction See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed