7.8/10
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The Hidden Blade (2004)

Kakushi ken oni no tsume (original title)
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A 19th Century samurai, held in low esteem due to an action by his late father, must resolve his history with a maid and with his close friend.

Director:

Yôji Yamada

Writers:

Yôji Yamada (screenplay), Yoshitaka Asama (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masatoshi Nagase ... Munezô Katagiri
Takako Matsu ... Kie
Hidetaka Yoshioka Hidetaka Yoshioka ... Samon Shimada
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ... Yaichirô Hazama
Tomoko Tabata Tomoko Tabata ... Shino Katagiri
Chieko Baishô Chieko Baishô ... Mrs. Katagiri
Kunie Tanaka ... Kanbê Katagiri
Toshiki Ayata Toshiki Ayata
Hiroshi Kanbe Hiroshi Kanbe
Sachiko Mitsumoto Sachiko Mitsumoto ... Mrs. Iseya
Reiko Takashima Reiko Takashima ... Hazama's Wife
Satoko Yamamura Satoko Yamamura
Nana Saito Nana Saito ... Bun (as Nana Saitô)
Kazuhiko Kasai Kazuhiko Kasai
Ryôta Satô Ryôta Satô
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Storyline

During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan (Unasaka) to take an important position within the shogunate in far away Edo. Munezo has lived modestly with his mother and sister Shino after his father was forced into suicide after the failure of a bridge project. Kie, a farm girl serves them as a maid in their house. As time passes, Munezo's sister marries Samon, his mother dies, Kie is married into a merchant family, and he is required to learn western methods of warfare such as the use of artillery and firearms from an official sent from Edo. Learning that Kie is ill due to abuse, he rescues her from her husband's family. Although sharing mutual affection and respect, a marriage between Munezo and Kie is still impossible due to different castes, and when he, now a bachelor, is criticized for her serving in his house, Munezo sends her back to ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1860s | suicide | japan | hostage | clan | See All (31) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hidden Blade See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,466, 25 June 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$38,147, 1 October 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is the second installment to director Yôji Yamada Samurai trilogy. 'The Twilight Samurai' being the first, 'Love and honor' being the third. See more »

Goofs

When Hazama is shot by a rifleman, it blows his arm off. A rifle bullet, particularly one of that era, does not have enough power to cleanly sever a limb in the manner shown. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Kie: Is that what you command... sir?
Munezo Katagiri: Yes. That is my command.
Kie: If it's your command, then I have no choice but to obey.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Love and Honour (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Samurai rescues a maid from her husband's family and prepares to fight a rebel using the dark technique ¨Hidden Blade¨
12 November 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Prestigious recounting marked by evocative production design , unflinching plot , intense drama and fatalistic atmosphere . It is an incredibly detailed vision in its own right . Yôji Yamada masterful retelling of Samurai films transports the tale to XIX Japan and the world of Samurai . It stars a19th Century samurai , held in low esteem due to an action by his late father who committed suicide by seppuku . Well set , as it takes place during the time of change of the mid-19th Century ; as it is set in the fictional Unasaka domain . It resembles the real area of Yamagata prefecture which is in the Northern part of Japan , there Yaichiro (Yukiyoshi Ozawa ) is said goodbye by his fellow samurai Friends Munezô ( Katagiri Masatoshi Nagase) and Samon Shimada (Hidetaka Yoshioka) , as he leaves their clan on the northwest coast of Japan to take a fundamental rank within the shogunate in far away Edo . Munezo has lived modestly with his mummy and sister Shino after his dad was forced into suicide after being caught in a failed political intrigue as well as the failure of a bridge Project . Meanwhile , Kie (Takako Matsu) , a farm girl serves them as a maid at their home . As time passes, Munezo's sister marries Samon, his mother passes away , Kie is married into a merchant family, and he is required to learn use western weapons from an official sent from Edo. Learning that Kie is ill due to mistreating and abuse , Munezo rescues her . But Munezo is a bachelor man and is really criticized for her serving at his home , then Munezo sends her back to her father's farm. Shortly after , an official called Yaichiro falling in disgrace and imprisoned in solitary confinement . Later on , Yaichiro breaks out , Munezo is assigned an unfortunate mission : to kill Yaichiro , as he seeks the help of his old teacher , the sword master Kansai Toda. Swordsman Toda now teaches him a new technique to use , as Munezo prepares to take on Yaichiro who has taken hostages .

The impressive flick blends moving drama , violent fights , emotion , a love story and results to be pretty entertaining , as well as thought provoking, and in which a Samurai must resolve his history with a maid and with his close friend .Dealing with thoughtful themes as impossiblity marriage due to different castes , fidelity , Modern Times with use of methods of warfare such as the utilization of artillery and firearms and mutual affection and respect among people . The film confirmed Yôji Yamada's greatest strength and his innovative handling of the popular Samurai genre and this interesting story was created by the novelist Shuhei Fujisawa . The movie title comes from a Samurai master , an expert swordsman who entrusted the secret of the "Hidden Blade" to starring Munezô Katagiri/Nagase . It is incredibly detailed vision in its own right , as the Deep impact of the action and combats on this provoking Samurai film , whose main representation was ¨Seven samurai¨ by Akira Kurosawa , it opened the floodgates for the huge numbers of samurai films that made fortunes for their producers in the sixties and early seventies . Dramatically staged sword-plays occur on and off throughout the plot . Enough budgeted production , with appropriate setting , lots of mood , and sad atmosphere . Masatoshi Nagase gives an extraordinary acting as the upright lord who receives a difficult mission , as he is ordered to prove his innocence from complicity by killing his old friend . It contains stunning fight scenes , fine performances, adequate sets , exciting drama in which all of the fire , ambition, and doom of the Samurai films come brilliantly to life .

The motion picture was well directed by Yôji Yamada , though slow-moving . He is a good craftsman who in 1969 launched the popular "Tora-san" series, the world's longest theatrical film series. "The Twilight Samurai" (2002) marks his 77th film as well as his 41th year as a director since his first film in 1961: Nikai no Tanin (Stranger Upstairs). This movie is the second installment to director Yôji Yamada Samurai trilogy. 'The Twilight Samurai' being the first, 'Love and honor' being the third.


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