Description February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled Japan for 300 years. They suspect a traitor in their midst, and their suspicions fall on Niiro, an impoverished ronin who dreams of samurai status, and Kurihara, an aristocratic samurai who befriends Niiro. Niiro longs to identify his father, knowing he is a high-ranking official who will disclose himself only if Niiro achieves samurai status. With American ships in Japan's harbors, cynicism among the assassins, and change in the air, Niiro resolves to reach ends that may prove ephemeral.
Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri.
A humble and simple Takezo abandons his life as a knight errant. He's sought as a teacher and vassal by Shogun, Japan's most powerful clan leader. He's also challenged to fight by the supremely confident and skilful Sasaki Kojiro. Takezo agrees to fight Kojiro in a year's time but rejects Shogun's patronage, choosing instead to live on the edge of a village, raising vegetables. He's followed there by Otsu and later by Akemi, both in love with him. The year ends as Takezo assists the villagers against a band of brigands. He seeks Otsu's forgiveness and accepts her love, then sets off across the water to Ganryu Island for his final contest.
Iemitsu, Tokugawa Shogun III, hates his eldest son Takechiyo; all his love is given to his younger son Tokumatsu. One day, he orders Takechiyo to an initiation rite in Yedo (today's Tokio). Takechiyo lives far away under the surveillance of Hotta Masamori, head of the Skura clan, where he was also raised. Hotta does suspect some kind of treachery, but he can not ignore the direct command of the Shogun. Therefore, he starts on his travel with Takechiyo and seven accompanying samurais. A large army under the command of Iba Shoemon, a vassal of the Shogun, attacks their night camp in the vicinity of a copper mine. Hotta dies in this first battle, but Takechiyo and the samurai manage to escape. They are chased by the army, and several skirmishes between the small force and the larger army follow.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, as the balance of power shifts from Shogunate towards the Emperor, Japan restlessly awaits the dawning of a new age. But not all are content...The Shinsengumi, a small army of samurai, farmers and peasants, band together to do battle against the tide of history. Their leader, Isami Kondo (Mifune) is a man who rises from farmer to fighter to head the fierce Shinsengumi brigade. Using a stern hand and a heart of gold, he rallies his men in defense of the tottering Shogunate. But bloodshed and treachery lurk around every corner.
Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare -- in this lush epic set in the 1870s, which finds Algren learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.
Ichi is a blind entertainer that travels the countryside with her traditional Japanese guitar and walking stick. Sheâs in search for the kind man that brought her up as a child, but because of her beauty she encounters problems every step of the way. Fortunately for Ichi, she is also a gifted swordswoman and carries a lethal blade within her walking stick.
In the 16th century in Chosun dynasty, HWANG Jung-hak and LEE Mong-hak create the âGrand Allianceâ with the united dream of a better world. While the new leader LEE dreams of eradicating this world of all its corruption and becoming king himself, the legendary blind swordsman HWANG who had once been his comrade goes after him with the loss of his good friend at the hands of LEE. Just as the king abandoned his kingdom from Japanese invasion, the two come face-to-face inside the empty palace and begin their last battle they were destined to fight.
Against the backdrop of the Edo treasury devaluing currency and driving many into poverty, Hanzo Itami enforces the law without regard to status. He shows inadequate respect to the treasurer, who wants him dead.
The famous showdown at Kagiya corner has been told many times, but never before with the realism and intensity of this version scripted by Kurosawa Akira and starring Mifune Toshiro as the famed swordsman who must face his best friend as they are forced to take opposite sides in a vendetta caused by the murder of a family member. Told mostly in flashback as the avengers await the arrival of their quarry, this film displays true heroism in the face of fear as most of the combatants, while of the samurai class are not skilled swordsmen. They contrast sharply with the true warriors involved in this battle. Araki Mataemon (Mifune), who was not only a direct student of Yagyu Munenori, but the founder of his own sword style under the Yagyu name is a powerful force ready to assist his brother-in-law against the murderer's allies that include not only another noted sword teacher, but the deadly spear of Katsumi no Hanbei.
Farmer Abare Goemon is confronted by brigand-like samurai. He raises an army of farmers to fight them and does so brilliantly. When Lord Asakura sees the success Goemon has achieved, he attempts to recruit him to fight in a conflict between Asakura and another clan. Goemon refuses, and Lord Asakura sets out to destroy him.
Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his family to leave for the city in search of higher pay to support them.
Seibei Iguchi leads a difficult life as a low ranking samurai at the turn of the nineteenth century. A widower with a meager income, Seibei struggles to take care of his two daughters and senile mother. New prospects seem to open up when the beautiful Tomoe, a childhood friend, comes back into he and his daughters' life, but as the Japanese feudal system unravels, Seibei is still bound by the code of honor of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedence. How can he find a way to do what is best for those he loves?
The lord of the Oshi fief is killed by his trespassing neighbour, the cruel and despotic Nariatsu, son of the former Shogun. After an investigation, the Oshi clan is blamed for what happened and sentenced to be disbanded. Eleven of the best samurai of the clan refuse the sentence and are willing to give their life for justice.
Years of warfare end in a Japan unified under the Tokugawa shogunate, and samurai spy Sasuke Sarutobi, tired of conflict, longs for peace. When a high-ranking spy named Tatewaki Koriyama defects from the shogun to a rival clan, however, the world of swordsmen is thrown into turmoil. After Sasuke is unwittingly drawn into the conflict, he tracks Tatewaki, while a mysterious, white-hooded figure seems to hunt them both. By taleâs end, no one is who they seemed to be, and the truth is far more personal than anyone suspected. Director Masahiro Shinodaâs Samurai Spy, filled with clan intrigue, ninja spies, and multiple double crosses, marks a bold stylistic departure from swordplay film convention.
Loyal samurai Samanosuke is attacked, mutilated, and left for dead while carrying out a mission for his clan. He recovers but has lost an eye and an arm. Taking a new identity as Tange Sazen, he searches for a stolen urn which has hidden significance to his clan. But Tange Sazen has his own reasons for seeking the urn.
A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.
During the 17th Century roving bands of hatamoto were causing trouble in the new capital city of Edo and constantly fought with the townspeople at every turn. The leader of these ruthless samruai was Mizuno Jirozaemon, who despite his high rank was in deep financial distress, thus leading to a tragedy that shook the very streets of the city.Opposing him was Banzui-in Chobei, the âProtector of the Weakâ who was willing to put his life on the line to save the 808 districts of Edo from the 80,000 hatamoto whose violent behavior threatened to destroy the fabric of society. Starring Bando Tsumasaburo, the first great star of the silver screen along with mega-star Ichikawa Utaemon, this is a story not to be missed. Torn from the pages of history, this true story has been told many times, but never as powerfully as this!
The Medieval and Renaissance blade, a profound and beautiful object handcrafted by master artisans of old. An object of great complexity, yet one with a singular use in mind- it is designed to kill. The truth of the sword has been shrouded in antiquity, and the Renaissance martial arts that brought it to being are long forgotten. The ancient practitioners lent us all they knew through their manuscripts. As gunslingers of the Renaissance they were western heroes with swords, and they lived and died by them. Yet today their history remains cloaked under a shadow of legend.
In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set on stealing shogunate gold that's soon to come over the pass. When the Ronin's assignment becomes clear, to help the gang, he's ordered to kill the inn's residents, including a woman he's rescued from an abusive husband. He's reluctant to murder innocent people; then he learns that the gold shipment is a trap and he's part of a double cross. How he sorts through these divided loyalties tests of his samurai honor, and perhaps of his love for a woman.
Following "Clans Of Intrigue"'s success, director Chu Yuan, novelist Ku Lung, and superstar Ti Lung re-teamed for another adventure featuring sexy knight Chu Liu-Hsiang. This time, he travels to the mysterious Island Of The Bats, where he encounters treacherous monks, beautiful women, and a strange Prince. The movie is also a significant milestone in the amount of female flesh revealed on screen, proving that Shaw movies can balance the yin of cheesecake with the yang of beefcake.
Based on a true historic figure, Yamada Nagamasa, a Japanese adventurer who went to Ayothaya in the 16th century and became a soldier in King Naresuan's army. After the war in Burma it's restless in Ayothaya, because of a mysterious group of men that terrorizes and plunders the city. Yamada goes after them and discovers that the men are rebelious Japanese samurai. Now he has to fight his own countrymen.
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up their fight, joined by two renegades from the magistrate's guard, Sakura and Kikyo. The three outlaws find themselves in a battle to the death.
The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawaâs visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by Sergio Leone and Walter Hill, this exhilarating genre-twister remains one of the most influential and entertaining films of all time.
Fearless Edo-period police inspector Hanzo Itami, nicknamed The Razor, has developed his own unique way of extracting information for his inquiries. His first adventure sees him investigating his superior officer's mistress, whom he suspects of having ties with a reputed criminal on the loose.
A comedy/musical utilizing both new songs and parodies from the original (Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance), as well as references to popular films of the time, including Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In your typical boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy fights girl with swords plot, the story revolves around Mabel ...
In this first film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, adapted from the manga by Kazuo Koike, we are told the story of the Lone Wolf and Cub's origin. Ogami Itto, the official Shogunate executioner, has been framed for disloyalty to the Shogunate by the Yagyu clan, against whom he now is waging a one-man war, along with his infant son, Daigoro.
This is the story of a vagrant samurai â the solitary, savage and scrupulous Kiba â who arrives at a village to defend a beautiful, blind woman against a sinister plot. Her assailants then send against him another samurai, named Sana, who is without scruples. The fight between them will become personal, for the honor and love of the blind woman.
Kon Ichikawa's retelling of the classic true story of Samurai honor. When a young clan lord is forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide), his loyal followers (now Ronin, masterless Samurai) dedicate their lives to avenging his death.
Zatoichi is forced to kill a young man who owes a debt to a yakuza boss. Moments later, his sister Osode arrives with the money she earned (prostituting herself) to pay his debts. The bosses true motives are revealed and he attempts to steal Osode even though the debt is paid. Zatoichi realizes his grievous error and protects the girl from the gang. Osode and Zatoichi are caught in a dilemma as she must rely on her brother's killer for protection and Zatoichi wrestles with the injustice he has caused.
Townsend Harris is sent by President Pierce to Japan to serve as the first U.S. Consul-General to that country. Harris discovers enormous hostility to foreigners, as well as the love of a young geisha.
Blind swordsman/masseuse Zatoichi befriends a young woman returning home with her baby. When gangsters mistake her for Zatoichi and kill her, Zatoichi determines to escort the baby to its father. He gains the reluctant help of a young pick pocket and together they travel to find the baby's father. But they do not reckon on the father's reaction to their arrival, nor on their own growing feelings for the child.
Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Ernest Borgnine, George C. Scott, Rex Harrison, David Hemmings and Charlton Heston costar in this dazzling adventure film adapted from Mark Twain's classic, The Prince and the Pauper.
After the assassination of Tokyo's Governor by Yakuza members, the CIA bureau chief (William Atherton) for Tokyo puts out a call to an agent (Steven Seagal) that had been raised in Japan and trained by ex-Yakuza. Using his former ties, he quickly determines that a war is brewing between old-guard Yakuza members and a young, crazed leader (Takao Osawa) with ties to the Chinese Tong.
Edmund Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac, transplanted to Japan. A poet-warrior with an oversized nose (matched only by his great heart) loves a lady. But she sees him only as a friend, so he helps another man to woo her by giving him the poetry of his own heart.
Ichi travels to the village of Itakura to pay his respects at the grave of Kichizo, a man he killed two years ago. When some tax money is stolen while in transit to the governor he is accused and sets out to find the money and clear his name.
Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Goshaâs Sword of the Beast chronicles the flight of the low-level swordsman Gennosuke, who kills one of his ministers as part of a reform plot. His former comrades then turn on him, and this betrayal so shakes his sense of honor that he decides to live in the wild, like an animal. There he joins up with a motley group who are illegally mining the shogunâs gold, and, with the aid of another swordsman, gets a chance not just at survival but to recover his name and honor.
Huang Rong is taken hostage by Ouyang Feng, who attempts to use her to seize the Nine Yin Manual from Guo Jing. Guo and Hong Qigong rescue Huang Rong and Guo gives Ouyang an "edited" version of the manual, that will eventually cause Ouyang to become insane after he practises the skills in the manual wrongly. Ouyang, Hong and Guo get into a fight, in which Ouyang Ke is injured, and Guo and Hong use the opportunity to escape. However, Hong Qigong is also wounded and he gives Huang Rong his Dog Beating Staff, effectively handing over his leadership of the Beggars' Sect to her. Ouyang Feng and Ouyang Ke pursue Guo Jing and Huang Rong to a deserted town for revenge. Guo and Huang take shelter in an abandoned tavern inhabited by a only a retarded girl called Shagu.
Ichi is staying at an inn when a woman dies. Her dying wish is that Ichi take her son to his father, an artist living in a nearby town. After arriving in the town, Ichi finds out that the father has been forced by a local boss to create illegal pornography to pay off his gambling debts. Ichi makes it his mission to save tha man and reunite the family, even though it brings him into conflict with a samurai he sort of befriended on his way to the town.
Ito, daughter of a clan official, encounters Magoshiro Eguchi. Magoshiro is a low ranking samurai sparks an attraction with Ito. Ito challenges Magoshiro to a sword match using bamboo sticks. Mahoshiro accepts. The pair's duel causes sparks to fly an attraction from both sides. Meanwhile, Ito faces an arranged marriage with Saisuke Katagiri and Magoshiro is with Kayo...
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
The samurai Moritoh Enda (Kazuo Hasegawa) performs a heroic act by rescuing the lovely Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyo) from a violent uprising. The warrior falls in love with Kesa, but becomes distraught when he finds out that she is already married to a man named Wataru Watanabe (Isao Yamagata). Unable to shake his obsession with Kesa, Moritoh grows increasingly unstable and will not stop in his pursuit of her, no matter what the consequences.
Set during the Edo Period, a young man from a noble family meets a young woman under a special tree called "Raiou" (the tree was struck by lightning at one time with the broken part eventually sprouting out cherry blossoms). The young woman lived freely in the mountains after she was abducted as a young child. The couple soon fall in love under the Raiou tree, but become acutely aware of their different social positions & the ramifications it has on their relationship.
A moving, nostalgic portrait of the men behind the golden age of chanbara (sword-fighting dramas and films) that goes behind the scenes of the distinctive film genre for which Japan is most famous, with dominant performance by real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto.
A decapitation at the hands of the shogun's monstrous misbegotten son kicks off the action and draws nomadic Nemuri Kyoshiro (RaizÃ´ Ichikawa) into more sword-fighting adventures when he's blamed for the beheading. Meanwhile, the head-chopper's mother is busy knocking off the shogun's lawful heirs to secure the shogunate for her son.
Ho Li-Chun, a pretty but ruthless swordswoman, and three challengers are participating in an open tournament at Prince Kuei's Palace. A knight, Chen Jo-Yu, is defeated in the tournament. He flees and later returns with knight Tang Ching-Yun who wields a strange sword. They get trapped but Ho deliberately sets both free after seeing Tang's weapon which she recognizes as the same weapon once used by Sun Tien-Chen, a foe of the Ho family. She decides to investigate. She finds out Prince Kuei actually is Sun, who killed the real prince years ago and assumed his identity. Ho joins forces with Chen and Tang. The trio slays Sun in a desperate confrontation at the palace.
A crafty ronin helps a young man and his fellow samurai save his uncle, their lord chamberlain Mutsuta, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt local superintendent.
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