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10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Samurai

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Samurai's Apprentice Books 3 & 4 : Shogun's Apprentice & Samurai Master

Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The film opens with master samurai Kambei Takashi Shimura posing as a monk to save a kidnapped farmer's child.

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Impressed by his selflessness and bravery, a group of farmers begs him to defend their terrorized village from bandits. Kambei agrees, although there is no material gain or honor to be had in the endeavor. Soon he attracts a pair of followers: a young samurai named Katsushiro Isao Kimura , who quickly becomes Kambei's disciple, and boisterous Kikuchiyo Toshiro Mifune , who poses as a samurai but is later revealed to be the son of a farmer. Kambei assembles four other samurais, including Kyuzo Seiji Miyaguchi , a master swordsman, to round out the group.

Together they consolidate the village's defenses and shape the villagers into a militia, while the bandits loom menacingly nearby. Soon raids and counter-raids build to a final bloody heart-wrenching battle. Akira Kurosawa. Mar 1, Toshiro Mifune as Kikuchiyo. Takashi Shimura as Kambei. Yoshio Inaba as Gorobei.

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Seiji Miyaguchi as Kyuzo. Minoru Chiaki as Heihachi. Ko Kimura as Katsushiro. Kuninori Kodo as Gisaku. Kamatari Fujiwara as Manzo. Yoshio Tsuchiya as Rikichi.

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Bokuzen Hidari as Yohei. Yoshio Kosugi as Mosuke. Keiji Sakakida as Gosaku. Jiro Kumagai as Gisaku's Son. Haruko Toyama as Gisaku's Daughter-in-Law. Fumiko Homma as Peasant Woman. Ichiro Chiba as Priest. Tsuneo Katagiri as Peasant. Keiko Tsushima as Shino.

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Toranosuke Ogawa as Grandfather. Noriko Sengoku as Wife from Burned House. Gen Shimizu as Masterless Samurai. Jun Tasaki as Big Samurai. Isao Yamagata as Samurai. Jun Tatari as Laborer. Atsushi Watanabe as Vendor. Yukiko Shimazaki as Rikichi's Wife. Sojin Jr.

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Shimpei Takagi as Bandit Chief. Eijiro Higashino as Bandit. Kichijiro Ueda as Bandit. Akira Tani as Bandit. Haruo Nakajima as Bandit. Takashi Narita as Bandit. Senkichi Omura as Bandit. Shuno Takahara as Bandit. Masanobu Okubo as Bandit. Apr 20, Full Review…. Mar 1, Full Review….

Jun 24, Full Review…. Jun 12, Full Review…. View All Critic Reviews Mar 09, It's hard to heap more superlatives on this film given all those that it's received from countless critics and viewers over the years. It's certainly worthy of them. The story is perfect. The characters and acting are memorable. Director Akira Kurosawa has a fantastic sense of pace, and even at three and a half hours, every scene seems important. We're transported to 16th century Japan, a time when bandits terrorize the countryside and a village of farmers, but the film's themes are timeless.

As epic as the movie is, with a samurai team of six assembled one by one by its leader Takashi Shimura , it would not have been the same without the seventh, a samurai-wannabe played by Toshiro Mifune. He's brash, exuberant, funny, brave, foolish, and heartfelt.

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He's in many brilliant scenes, but my favorite is when he describes what tricks the farmers may be up to, and we gradually understand that he himself was a farmer's son, with a tragic past. His performance is right up there with Brando in terms of intensity and honesty. Kurosawa is smart in so many ways here, one of which is to orient the viewer to the village and its surroundings by showing the leader of the group plan its defense.

In addition to Mifune's character, he also lightens the mood with the forbidden love between the young samurai apprentice Isao Kimura and a young woman masquerading as a boy Keiko Tsushima. Their scene in the woodland flowers is gorgeous. I love how the samurai are as tough as nails, but know they don't need to show it, and instead exude a sense of calm, playfulness, and understanding.

With the exception of an extremely skillful and solemn swordsman Seiji Miyaguchi , they smile in many scenes, and all of them accept the difficulty and danger of their fate. Despite their skill, they do not seek out violence. They are calm in moments of peace, intelligent in planning for battle, and brave and unflinching under attack. While the film and these character types have been emulated many times over the years, the difference between these samurai and western action heroes is still stark, and refreshing.

In this little village and the situation it faces, we see a microcosm of the world. Despite the mythic quality of a small outnumbered band of heroic samurai, the film has an authenticity to it. We see all of the very natural reactions to pressure. There are themes you might expect: honor, duty, discipline, and that sort of thing, but at its core, the message is the need to stand up to evil, and the great debt that we owe to those who have done so. Antonius B Super Reviewer. Sep 22, When it comes to all-time classic films, the title Seven Samurai gets thrown around a lot.