Multcolib Picks: Samurai! Films for the Japanophile

Samurai I
Samurai I Miyamoto Musashi DVD - 1998 Japanese DVD Foreign SAMURAI1 Available in some locations

Annotation:First in a series of three films depicting the life of Miyamoto Musashi. Starring Toshiro Mifune.

Kagemusha DVD - 2005 Japanese DVD Foreign KAGEMUSHA All copies in use Availability details Holds: 2 on 3 copies

Annotation:A convict is chosen to impersonate a warlord during the civil wars that preceded the Tokugawa era. Directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Tsubaki Sanjūrō
Tsubaki Sanjūrō DVD - 2006 Japanese DVD Foreign SANJURO All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 3 copies

Annotation:A scruffy ronin helps a group of young samurai in their fight against a corrupt official. Starring Toshiro Mifune.

Sanbiki no samurai
三匹の侍 [videorecording] - Sanbiki no samurai DVD - 2012 Japanese DVD Foreign THREE Available in some locations

Annotation:Three wandering samurai become involved in a conflict between suffering peasants and the cruel magistrate who oversees their district. Origin story for a Japanese television show.

The twilight samurai
The twilight samurai Tasogare seibei DVD - 2002 Japanese DVD Foreign TWILIGHT All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:Seibei, a low-ranking samurai, reunites with his childhood love Tomoe, but is then called to perform a dangerous task for his lord.

Jūsannin no shikaku
十三人の刺客 [videorecording] - Jūsannin no shikaku DVD - 2011 Japanese DVD Foreign 13 All copies in use Availability details Holds: 1 on 8 copies

Annotation:A samurai is ordered by the shogun’s advisor to assassinate a viciously cruel lord. Directed by Takashi Miike.

Yabu no naka no kuroneko
藪の中の黒猫 [videorecording] - Yabu no naka no kuroneko DVD - 2011 Japanese DVD Foreign KURONEKO All copies in use Availability details

Annotation:A samurai hero is sent to destroy an evil spirit that rips out the throats of warriors, only to find that he must struggle with his personal demons as well.

The blind swordsman
The blind swordsman Zatoichi ; Sonatine DVD - 2003 Japanese DVD Foreign BLIND All copies in use Availability details Holds: 2 on 2 copies

Annotation:Blind swordsman and masseur Zatoichi contends with warring gangs and ronin bodyguards in this modern version of a classic series. Starring Takeshi Kitano.

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In addition to famous classics such as the Seven Samurai, Ran, and Yojimbo, there are many other notable works in the chanbara and jidaigeki genres of Japanese cinema. Included here are more classics by Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, as well as retellings by Takeshi Kitano and Takashi Miike. This list supplements the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum films shown during their “Samurai Cinema” series in the fall and winter of 2013.

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