Shinnojo, a low level samurai, lives with his pretty, dutiful and loyal wife Kayo. He has come to find his position in a castle as a food-taster for a feudal lord to be boring and pointless, and talks about opening a kendo school open to boys of all castes where he can teach the use of the sword. Before he can act on his dream he becomes ill with a fever after tasting some sashimi made from shell fish, but an investigation reveals that the poisoning was not due to a human conspiracy, but a poor choice of food out of season. After three days he awakes but finds that the toxin from the food has blinded him. Kayo is summoned by Shinnojo's family to explain how the couple will survive. His uncle laments that he no longer knows anybody with influence in the castle, and asks Kayo if she knows of anybody. She relates how Toya Shimada, the chief duty officer in the castle and a samurai of high rank, offered to help and they tell her to act upon his offer of assistance. A message from the ...Written by
In the film it is mentioned repeatedly that the main character of Shinnojo Miura receives a yearly stipend of 30 koku. During the Edo period of Japan a koku was a unit of measure that had the equivalent of one year's worth of rice for a person (approx. 150 kg). For a samurai 30 koku was a small salary and Shinnojo was thus of a low level. Incidentally, the title character from another of Yôji Yamada's films The Twilight Samurai (2002) also receives a 30 koku stipend after having 20 koku deducted from his 50 koku salary to pay for his recently deceased wife's funeral. See more »
It is not stated why, when blinded, he could not continue with his food tasting role, for which sight is not required. See more »
Yoji Yamada's appropriately dubbed 'Love and Honor' is a samurai's story of just that; Takuya Kimura is Mimura, a samurai who is used to test food for poisoning by eating it in order to prevent the lord of his clan from being poisoned. Mimura becomes blind after being fed an off-season food that can become poisonous if not prepared properly. Unable to provide for himself, Mimura becomes suicidal. His loving wife Kayo declares her support for him, offering to follow him into death. Mimura is convinced to continue on living, but with Mimura unable to provide for he and his family, his wife is left to find a way to support them. In this classic tale of love and honor, follow a blind man's struggles to find peace of mind as he tries to follow his samurai code.
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