YojimboSeptember 13, 1961
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.
Sword of the StrangerFebruary 5, 2009
Pursued by formidable Chinese assassins, young Kotaro and his dog run into No Name, a mysterious stranger who gets pulled into the chase. The unlikely companions form a bond over saving the dog from a poison attack, but chaos erupts when the assassins find Kotaro, and No Name must face his past before a horrible fate is met again.
UgetsuSeptember 7, 1954
In 16th century Japan, peasants Genjuro and Tobei sell their earthenware pots to a group of soldiers in a nearby village, in defiance of a local sage's warning against seeking to profit from warfare. Genjuro's pursuit of both riches and the mysterious Lady Wakasa, as well as Tobei's desire to become a samurai, run the risk of destroying both themselves and their wives, Miyagi and Ohama.
KagemushaApril 26, 1980
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.
RanSeptember 26, 1985
With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare's King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa's late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.
Throne of BloodJanuary 15, 1957
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.
SanjuroMay 7, 1963
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.
The Life of OharuJanuary 1, 1952
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.
Samurai RebellionSeptember 24, 1967
Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord's mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family’s surprise, the young couple fall in love. But the lord soon reverses his decision and demands the mistress’s return. Against all expectations, Isaburo and his son refuse, risking the destruction of their entire family. Director Masaki Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.
Hanzo the Razor: Sword of JusticeDecember 30, 1972
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.
HanaMay 5, 2007
In a poor district of Edo lives a young samurai named Soza. He has been sent by his clan to avenge the death of his father. He isn't an accomplished swordsman however, and he prefers sharing the life of the residents, teaching the kids how to write etc. When he finally finds the man he is looking for, he will have to decide whether he follows the way of the samurai or chooses peace and reconciliation.
Memoirs of a Lady NinjaJuly 25, 2009
Blowing like a wind and a cloud, a blue-eyed female ninja with a painful destiny has arrived! A blue-eyed ninja, Hijiri, is a fierce and cold-blooded assassin. She encounters a thief after the scroll of esoteric immortality from the treasure house of a Christian daimyo, Rokusha, and she gets into a sword fight with him. In the close battle, she is wounded, but is rescued by a Christian named Seitaro, and they begin falling for each other. But her happy days don’t last. Openly critical of Christianity, “a bad foreign religion”, the Dainichi Shinkyo weaves dark intrigues to kill Hijiri and Christians.
DemonsFebruary 13, 1971
Gengobe Satsuma, an exiled samurai cast out as an Asano clan retainer is given a second chance to join his brothers in arms to become the 48th Ronin against the Shogunate. His faithful servant gathers the 100 ryo required for his acceptance. Gengobe is also in love with a greedy geisha named Koman. About to be sold to another man, Gengobe learns that for him to keep her, her debt is exactly 100 ryo.
Sword of the BeastSeptember 18, 1965
Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Gosha's 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 shogun’s gold, and, with the aid of another swordsman, gets a chance not just at survival but to recover his name and honor.
Lupin the Third: The Elusive FogJuly 27, 2007
On the ocean floor, Lupin is once again seeking a treasure hoping to get on Fujiko's good side. As Zenigata chases them on sea and land, people around the gang begin to vanish mysteriously. The fog rolls in and Mamo Kyosuke appears in a burst of light; he claims to be from the future and seeks revenge on Lupin III for what Lupin XIII has done to him. Mamo hurls Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, and Zenigata 500 years into the past; as two warring factions fight over a legendary shrine dedicated to time travel, Lupin must find a way to survive the past to ensure his future.
The Rickshaw ManMay 3, 1960
The story of Muhōmatsu, a rickshaw man who becomes a surrogate father to the child of a recently widowed woman. 1958 remake of a 1943 film (same title, same director)
Wrath of DaimajinDecember 21, 1966
The tyrannical Lord Danjo Mikoshiba covets the rich, fertile lands surrounding Lake Yakumo. During a memorial ceremony for the late Chigusa lord, Mikoshiba launches an attack, overthrowing the honorable Lord Juro. Just when all seems lost, Daimajin rises from Lake Yakumo to settle a score of his own.
Return of DaimajinDecember 10, 1966
In a mountainous region of Japan, Lord Arakawa kidnaps the men of nearby villages to use as slave labor, producing gunpowder from his sulfur pits. A band of young boys decide to rescue their enslaved fathers, but with the roads guarded by soldiers the only option is a cross-country route across the snowy peaks of Daimajin's mountain.
The River FuefukiOctober 19, 1960
In a time of continuous civil wars ravaging the fields of feudal Japan, the eldest son of a very poor peasant family, living alongside the bridge over the Fuefuki river, decides to serve a warlord to escape his miserable condition, being soon followed by his younger brothers. Although not all the men of the family take this tragic path of death, women of the family will be doomed to endure the pain of loss during the next five generations.
Japan: Memoirs of a Secret EmpireMay 26, 2004
Japan blossomed into its Renaissance at approximately the same time as Europe. Unlike the West, it flourished not through conquest and exploration, but by fierce and defiant isolation. And the man at the heart of this empire was Tokugawa Ieyasu, a warlord who ruled with absolute control. This period is explored through myriad voices-- the Shogun, the Samurai, the Geisha, the poet, the peasant and the Westerner who glimpsed into this secret world.