A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food.
Down-on-his-luck veteran Tsugumo Hanshirō enters the courtyard of the prosperous House of Iyi. Unemployed, and with no family, he hopes to find a place to commit seppuku—and a worthy second to deliver the coup de grâce in his suicide ritual. The senior counselor for the Iyi clan questions the ronin’s resolve and integrity, suspecting Hanshirō of seeking charity rather than an honorable end. What follows is a pair of interlocking stories which lay bare the difference between honor and respect, and promises to examine the legendary foundations of the Samurai code.
Akira Kurosawa's lauded feudal epic presents the tale of a petty thief who is recruited to impersonate Shingen, an aging warlord, in order to avoid attacks by competing clans. When Shingen dies, his generals reluctantly agree to have the impostor take over as the powerful ruler. He soon begins to appreciate life as Shingen, but his commitment to the role is tested when he must lead his troops into battle against the forces of a rival warlord.
A nameless ronin, or samurai with no master, enters a small village in feudal Japan where two rival businessmen are struggling for control of the local gambling trade. Taking the name Sanjuro Kuwabatake, the ronin convinces both silk merchant Tazaemon and sake merchant Tokuemon to hire him as a personal bodyguard, then artfully sets in motion a full-scale gang war between the two ambitious and unscrupulous men.
Japanese peasants Matashichi and Tahei try and fail to make a profit from a tribal war. They find a man and woman whom they believe are simple tribe members hiding in a fortress. Although the peasants don't know that Rokurota is a general and Yuki is a princess, the peasants agree to accompany the pair to safety in return for gold. Along the way, the general must prove his expertise in battle while also hiding his identity.
Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.
Returning to their lord's castle, samurai warriors Washizu and Miki are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit's prophecy comes true, Washizu's scheming wife, Asaji, presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit's prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place. Director Akira Kurosawa's resetting of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in feudal Japan is one of his most acclaimed films.
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?
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.
Aspiring to an easy job as personal physician to a wealthy family, Noboru Yasumoto is disappointed when his first post after medical school takes him to a small country clinic under the gruff doctor Red Beard. Yasumoto rebels in numerous ways, but Red Beard proves a wise and patient teacher. He gradually introduces his student to the unglamorous side of the profession, ultimately assigning him to care for a prostitute rescued from a local brothel.
Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Kurosawa's tightly paced, beautifully composed "Sanjuro." In this companion piece and sequel to "Yojimbo," jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan's evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a proper samurai on its ear.
Ichi is a blind entertainer that travels the countryside with her traditional Japanese guitar and walking stick. She’s 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.
Ryunosuke, a gifted swordsman plying his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule, has no moral code and kills without remorse. It’s a way of life that leads to madness.
A tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
Japan, 1159. Moritō, a brave samurai, performs a heroic act by rescuing the lovely Kesa during a violent uprising. Moritō falls in love with her, but becomes distraught when he finds out that she is married.
The background to and depiction of a watershed battle in Japanese history, at Sekigahara in 1600, when Tokugawa Ieyasu's Army of the East defeated the Army of the West of Ishida Mitsunari. The story includes the intrigues and shifting loyalties of the various retainers, family members, and samurai.
Blind traveler Zatoichi is a master swordsman and a masseur with a fondness for gambling on dice games. When he arrives in a village torn apart by warring gangs, he sets out to protect the townspeople.
Returning to the village where a year before he had killed Hirate, a much-admired opponent, Zatoichi encounters another swordsman and former rival in love.
A look at the relationship between a young blind samurai and his wife, who will make a sacrifice in order to defend her husband's honor.
The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur and master swordsman. Zatoichi targets a yakuza-controlled village, because war with a neighbouring town's smaller gang is brewing.