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Jidaigeki (時代劇?) is a genre of film, television, and theatre in Japan. Literally "period dramas", they are most often set during the Edo period of Japanese history, from 1603 to 1868. Some, however, are set much earlier—Portrait of Hell, for example, is set during the late Heian period—and the early Meiji era is also a popular setting. Jidaigeki show the lives of the samurai, farmers, craftsmen, and merchants of their time. Jidaigeki films are sometimes referred to as chambara movies, a word meaning "sword fight", though chambara is more accurately a sub-genre of jidaigeki. Jidaigeki rely on an established set of dramatic conventions including the use of makeup, language, catchphrases, and plotlines.

Types of jidaigeki[edit]

Actor Kotaro Satomi as Mito Kōmon

Many jidaigeki take place in Edo, the military capital. Others show the adventures of people wandering from place to place. The long-running television series Zenigata Heiji and Abarenbō Shōgun typify the Edo jidaigeki. Mito Kōmon, the fictitious story of the travels of the historical daimyo Tokugawa Mitsukuni, and the Zatoichi movies and television series, exemplify the traveling style.

Another way to categorize jidaigeki is according to the social status of the principal characters. The title character of Abarenbō Shogun is Tokugawa Yoshimune, the eighth Tokugawa shogun. The head of the samurai class, Yoshimune assumes the disguise of a low-ranking hatamoto, a samurai in the service of the shogun. Similarly, Mito Kōmon is the retired vice-shogun, masquerading as a merchant. In contrast, the coin-throwing Heiji of Zenigata Heiji is a commoner, working for the police, while Ichi (the title character of Zatoichi), a blind masseur, is an outcast, as were many disabled people in that era. In fact, masseurs, who typically were at the bottom of the professional food chain, was one of the few vocational positions available to the blind in that era. Gokenin Zankurō is a samurai but, due to his low rank and income, he has to work extra jobs that higher-ranking samurai were unaccustomed to doing.

Whether the lead role is samurai or commoner, jidaigeki usually reach a climax in an immense sword fight just before the end. The title character of a series always wins, whether using a sword or a jutte (the device police used to trap, and sometimes to bend or break, an opponent's sword).


Sengoku-jidai (Warring States era setting) is a Japanese genre that has been used as the setting for novels, films, video games, and even anime and manga. It bears some parallels with the Western; Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, for example, was remade in a Western setting as The Magnificent Seven. The anime and manga series InuYasha is set in this period despite some moments that were set in the modern era.

Roles in jidaigeki[edit]

Among the characters in jidaigeki are a parade of people with occupations unfamiliar to modern Japanese, and especially to foreigners. Here are a few.


The warrior class included samurai, hereditary members in the military service of a daimyo or the shogun (themselves samurai). Ronin, samurai without masters, were also warriors, and like samurai, wore two swords; they were, however, without inherited employment or status. Bugeisha were men, or in some stories women, who aimed to perfect their martial arts, often by traveling throughout the country. Ninja were the secret service, specializing in stealth, the use of disguises, explosives, and concealed weapons.


Craftsmen in jidaigeki included metalworkers (often abducted to mint counterfeit coins), bucket-makers, carpenters and plasterers, and makers of woodblock prints for art or newspapers.


In addition to the owners of businesses large and small, the jidaigeki often portray the employees. The bantō was a high-ranking employee of a merchant, the tedai, a lower helper. Many merchants employed children, or kozō. Itinerant merchants included the organized medicine-sellers, vegetable-growers from outside the city, and peddlers at fairs outside temples and shrines. In contrast, the great brokers in rice, lumber and other commodities operated sprawling shops in the city.


In the highest ranks of the shogunate were the rojū. Below them were the wakadoshiyori, then the various bugyō or administrators, including the jisha bugyō (who administered temples and shrines), the kanjō bugyō (in charge of finances) and the two Edo machi bugyō. These last alternated by month as chief administrator of the city. Their role encompassed mayor, chief of police, and judge, and jury in criminal and civil matters.

Ban'ya, Toei Uzumasa Studios

The machi bugyō oversaw the police and fire departments. The police, or machikata, included the high-ranking yoriki and the dōshin below them; both were samurai. In jidaigeki, they often have full-time patrolmen, okappiki and shitappiki, who were commoners. (Historically, these people were irregulars, called to service only when necessary.) Zenigata Heiji is an okappiki. The police lived in barracks at Hatchōbori in Edo. They manned ban'ya, the watch-houses, throughout the metropolis. The jitte was the symbol of the police, from yoriki to shitappiki.

A separate police force handled matters involving samurai. The ōmetsuke were high-ranking officials in the shogunate; the metsuke and kachi-metsuke, lower-ranking police who could detain samurai. Yet another police force investigated arson-robberies, while Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples fell under the control of another authority. The feudal nature of Japan made these matters delicate, and jurisdictional disputes are common in jidaigeki.

Edo had three fire departments. The daimyo-bikeshi were in the service of designated daimyo; the jōbikeshi reported to the shogunate; while the machi-bikeshi, beginning under Yoshimune, were commoners under the administration of the machibugyō. Thus, even the fire companies have turf wars in the jidaigeki.

Licensed quarter on a set at Toei Uzumasa Studios, Kyoto

Each daimyo maintained a residence in Edo, where he lived during sankin kotai. His wife and children remained there even while he was away from Edo, and the ladies-in-waiting often feature prominently in jidaigeki. A high-ranking samurai, the Edo-garō, oversaw the affairs in the daimyo's absence. In addition to a staff of samurai, the household included ashigaru (lightly armed warrior-servants) and chūgen and yakko (servants often portrayed as flamboyant and crooked). Many daimyo employed doctors, goten'i; their counterpart in the shogun's household was the okuishi. Count on them to provide the poisons that kill and the potions that heal.


The cast of a wandering jidaigeki encountered a similar setting in each han. There, the karō were the kuni-garō and the jōdai-garō. Tensions between them have provided plots for many stories.


There are several dramatic conventions of jidaigeki:

  • The heroes often wear eye makeup, and the villains often have disarranged hair.
  • A contrived form of old-fashioned Japanese speech, using modern pronunciation and grammar with a high degree of formality and frequent archaisms.
  • In long-running TV series, like Mito Kōmon and Zenigata Heiji, the lead and supporting actors sometimes change. This is done without any rationale for the change of appearance. The new actor simply appears in the place of the old one and the stories continue. This is similar to the James Bond film series, in contrast with e.g. the British television program Doctor Who.
  • In a swordfight, when a large number of villains attacks the main character, they never attack at once. The main character first launches into a lengthy preamble detailing the crimes the villains have committed, at the end of which the villains then initiate hostilities. The villains charge singly or in pairs; the rest wait their turn to be dispatched and surround the main character until it is their turn to be easily defeated. Swordfights are the grand finale of the show and are conducted to specially crafted theme music for their duration.
  • On television, even fatal sword cuts draw little blood, and often do not even cut through clothing. Villains are chopped down with deadly, yet completely invisible, sword blows. Despite this, blood or wounding may be shown for arrow wounds or knife cuts.
  • In chambara films, the violence is generally considerably stylized, sometimes to such a degree that sword cuts cause geysers of blood from wounds. Dismemberment and decapitation are common.

Proverbs and catchphrases[edit]

Authors of jidaigeki work pithy sayings into the dialog. Here are a few:

  • Tonde hi ni iru natsu no mushi: Like bugs that fly into the fire in the summer (they will come to their destruction)
  • Shishi shinchū no mushi: A wolf in sheep's clothing (literally, a parasite in the lion's body)
  • Kaji to kenka wa Edo no hana: Fires and brawls are the flower of Edo
  • Ōedo happyaku yachō: "The eight hundred neighborhoods of Edo"
  • Tabi wa michizure: "Travel is who you take with you"

In addition, the authors of series invent their own catchphrases called kimarizerifu that the protagonist says at the same point in nearly every episode. In Mito Kōmon, in which the eponymous character disguises himself as a commoner, in the final swordfight, a sidekick invariably holds up an accessory bearing the shogunal crest and shouts, Hikae! Kono mondokoro ga me ni hairanu ka?: "Back! Can you not see this emblem?", revealing the identity of the hitherto unsuspected old man with a goatee beard. The villains then instantly surrender and beg forgiveness. Likewise, Tōyama no Kin-san bares his tattooed shoulder and snarls, Kono sakurafubuki o miwasureta to iwasane zo!: "I won't let you say you forgot this cherry-blossom blizzard!" After sentencing the criminals, he proclaims, Kore nite ikken rakuchaku: "Case closed."

The kimarizerifu betrays the close connection between the jidaigeki and the comic-book superhero.[citation needed]

Famous jidaigeki[edit]


Title Director Notable cast Released Notes
Kōchiyama to Nao-zamurai Ichitarō Kataoka, Matsunosuke Onoe, Kijaku ōtani 1916 Based on the play of the same name.
Nao-zamurai Jiro Yoshino Shirogoro Sawamura 1922 Based on the play of the same name.
A Diary of Chuji's Travels Daisuke Itō Denjirō Ōkōchi 1927 Awards: 1 Kinema Junpo Award
Sword of Penitence Yasujirō Ozu Saburo Azuma, Kunimatsu Ogawa, Kanji Kawahara, Shoichi Nodera 1927
Jobless Samurai Masahiro Makino Kōmei Minami, Tōichirō Negishi, Tsuyako Okajima 1928 Awards: 1 Kinema Junpo Award
Jirokichi the Rat Daisuke Itō Denjirō Ōkōchi, Naoe Fushimi, Nobuko Fushimi 1931
Chûshingura - Zempen: Akahokyō no maki Teinosuke Kinugasa Tomio Aoki, Juzaburo Bando, Kōtarō Bandō 1932
Chûshingura - Ninjō-hen; Fukushû-hen Daisuke Itō Shinpachirō Asaka, Satoko Date, Sannosuke Fujikawa 1934
The Million Ryo Pot Sadao Yamanaka Denjirō Ōkōchi, Kiyozo, Kunitarō Sawamura 1935
Daibosatsu tōge: dai-ippen - Kōgen itto-ryû no maki Hiroshi Inagaki Fujiko Fukamizu, Ranko Hanai, Takako Irie 1935
The Avenging Ghost of Yokinojo, Parts 1 and 2 Teinosuke Kinugasa Kazuo Hasegawa, Tokusaburo Arashi, Akiko Chihaya 1935
The Avenging Ghost of Yukinojo, Part 3 Teinosuke Kinugasa Kazuo Hasegawa, Tokusaburo Arashi, Akiko Chihaya 1936
Daibosatsu tōge: Suzuka-yama no maki - Mibu Shimabara no maki Hiroshi Inagaki Fujiko Fukamizu, Kobunji Ichikawa, Momonosuke Ichikawa 1936
Humanity and Paper Balloons Sadao Yamanaka Chojuro Kawarazaki, Kanemon Nakamura, Shizue Yamagishi 1937
Chikemuri Takadanobaba Hiroshi Inagaki, Masahiro Makino Tsumasaburō Bandō, Tokuma Dan, Komako Hara 1937
Chushingura, Part One Kajirō Yamamoto Denjirō Ōkōchi, Kazuo Hasegawa, Yatarō Kurokawa 1939
Chushingura, Part Two Kajirō Yamamoto Denjirō Ōkōchi, Kazuo Hasegawa, Yatarō Kurokawa 1939
Singing Lovebirds Masahiro Makino Chiezō Kataoka, Takashi Shimura 1939
The Color Print of Edo: Hatamoto to Machiyakko Kazuo Mori Shinpachirō Asaka, Utaemon Ichikawa, Yaeko Kumoi 1939
The 47 Ronin Kenji Mizoguchi Chojuro Kawarasaki, Kanemon Nakamura, Kunitaro Kawarazaki, Yoshizaburo Arashi, Daisuke Katō 1941
Kikuchi sembon-yari: Shidonî tokubetsu kōgeki-tai Tomiyasu Ikeda, Sentarō Shirai Kanzo Yoshii, Utaemon Ichikawa, Kusuo Abe 1944
A Tale of Archery at the Sanjusangendo Mikio Naruse Kazuo Hasegawa, Kinuyo Tanaka, Sensho Ichikawa 1945
Utamaro and His Five Women Kenji Mizoguchi Minosuke Bandō, Kinuyo Tanaka, Kōtarō Bandō 1946
Surōnin makaritōru Daisuke Itō Tsumasaburō Bandō, Ryūtarō Ōtomo, Kusuo Abe 1947
Waga Koi wa Moenu Kenji Mizoguchi Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito, Kuniko Miyake 1949
Ore wa yojinbo Hiroshi Inagaki Chiezō Kataoka, Ryūnosuke Tsukigata, Achako Hanabishi 1950
Senritu Hideo Sekigawa Utaemon Ichikawa, Haruyo Ichikawa 1950
Wakasama samurai torimonochō: nazo no nōmen yashiki Nobuo Nakagawa Yatarō Kurokawa, Denjirō Ōkōchi, Seizaburō Kawazu 1950
Rashomon Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyō, Takashi Shimura 1950
Kanketsu Sasaki Kojirō: Ganryû-jima kettō Hiroshi Inagaki Tomoemon Otani, Toshiro Mifune, Hisako Yamane 1951
Five Men of Edo Daisuke Itō Tsumasaburō Bandō, Utaemon Ichikawa, Isuzu Yamada 1951
Vendetta of a Samurai Kazuo Mori Toshirō Mifune, Yuriko Hamada, Takashi Shimura 1952 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award, 1 Mainichi Film Concours
The Life of Oharu Kenji Mizoguchi Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirō Sugai, Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura 1952
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail Akira Kurosawa Denjirō Ōkōchi, Susumu Fujita, Kenichi Enomoto 1952
Sword for Hire Hiroshi Inagaki Rentarō Mikuni, Danshirō Ichikawa, Shirley Yamaguchi 1952
Tsukigata Hanpeita Kokichi Uchide Hiroshi Aoyama, Masao Aoyama, Michiyo Azuma 1952
Ugetsu Monogatari Kenji Mizoguchi Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyō, Kinuyo Tanaka 1953 Based on the novel of the same name.
Gate of Hell Teinosuke Kinugasa Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyō 1953 Awards: 2 Academy Awards, 1 Golden Leopard, 1 New York Film Critics Circle Award, Palme d'Or,
Sansho the Bailiff Kenji Mizoguchi Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyōko Kagawa, Eitarō Shindō 1954 Awards: 1 Silver Lion
Seven Samurai Akira Kurosawa Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune 1954 Awards: 2 Jussi Awards, 1 Mainichi Film Award, 1 Silver Lion
Akō gishi Ryohei Arai Yatarō Kurokawa 1954
Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Rentarō Mikuni 1954 Awards: 1 Academy Award
The Crucified Lovers Kenji Mizoguchi Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyōko Kagawa, Eitarō Shindō 1954 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award
The Playful Fox and the Thousand Cherry Trees Torajiro Saito Takashi Wada, Yumiko Hasegawa 1954
Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji Tomu Uchida Chiezo Kataoka, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata, Chizuru Kitagawa 1955 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award
Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Kōji Tsuruta 1955
The Lone Journey Hiroshi Inagaki Ryō Ikebe, Mariko Okada, Akihiko Hirata 1955
Tales of the Taira Clan Kenji Mizoguchi Narutoshi Hayashi, Raizō Ichikawa, Tatsuya Ishiguro 1955 Awards: 1 Mainichi Film Concours
Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Kōji Tsuruta 1956
Akō Rōshi: Ten no Maki, Chi no Maki Sadatsugu Matsuda Harue Akagi, Ryûtarō Aoyagi, Ushio Akashi 1956
Yagyū Ren'yasai: Hidentsuki Kageshō Katsuhiko Tasaka Raizo Ichikawa, Shintaro Katsu, Yataro Kurokawa, Ryosuke Kagawa 1956
Ghost of Hanging in Utusunomiya Nobuo Nakagawa Hiroshi Ogasawara, Akemi Tsukushi, Tetsurō Tanba 1956
Dandy Sashichi Detective Story: Six Famous Beauties Nobuo Nakagawa Tomisaburō Wakayama, Keiko Hibino, Misako Uji 1956
Throne of Blood Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura 1957
Yagyu Secret Scrolls Hiroshi Inagaki Toshirō Mifune, Kōji Tsuruta, Yoshiko Kuga, Mariko Okada, Denjiro Okochi, Kyoko Kagawa 1957
The Idle Vassal: House of the Snake Princess Yasushi Sasaki Utaemon Ichikawa 1957
Adauchi sōzenji baba Masahiro Makino Ryūtarō Ōtomo 1957
Sword in the Moonlight Tomu Uchida Chiezo Kataoka, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Yumiko Hasegawa 1957 Awards: 1 Mainichi Film Concours
Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate Yuzo Kawashima Frankie Sakai, Yōko Minamida, Sachiko Hidari, Yujiro Ishihara 1957 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award, 1 Kinema Junpo Award, 1 Mainichi Film Concours
A Matter of Valor Tatsuyasu Osone Ineko Arima, Junzaburō Ban, Minosuke Bandō 1957
The Prodigal Son Hiromichi Horikawa Senjaku Nakamura, Ganjirō Nakamura, Eiko Miyoshi 1957
Momotarō-zamurai Kenji Misumi Raizō Ichikawa, Yōko Uraji, Seizaburō Kawazu 1957 Based on the novel of the same name.
Ohtori-jo hanayome Sadatsugu Matsuda Harue Akagi, Ushio Akashi, Hideo Azuma 1957
Akadō Suzunosuke: Tsukiyo no kaijin Bin Kado Masaji Umeiwa, Narutoshi Hayashi, Tamao Nakamura 1957
Akadō Suzunosuke: Shingetsu-to no yōki Bin Kado Masaji Umeiwa, Narutoshi Hayashi, Tamao Nakamura 1957
Yagyu Secret Scrolls, Part II Hiroshi Inagaki Toshirō Mifune, Kōji Tsuruta, Yoshiko Kuga, Mariko Okada, Nobuko Otowa, Eijirō Tōno 1957
Emperor Meiji and the Great Russo-Japanese War Kunio Watanabe Kanjûrō Arashi, Kusuo Abe, Minoru Takada 1958
The Loyal 47 Ronin Kunio Watanabe Kazuo Hasegawa, Shintaro Katsu, Kōji Tsuruta, Raizō Ichikawa, Machiko Kyō 1958
The Ballad of Narayama Keisuke Kinoshita Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yuuko Mochizuki 1958 Awards: 3 Kinema Junpo Awards, 3 Mainichi Film Concours
The 7th Secret Courier for Edo Kazuo Mori Raizo Ichikawa, Michiko Ai, Tokiko Mita 1958
The Hidden Fortress Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara 1958 Awards: 1 Silver Bear Award
Akadō Suzunosuke: Mitsume no chōjin Kazuo Mori Masaji Umeiwa, Narutoshi Hayashi, Yatarō Kurokawa 1958
Hibari torimonocho: Kanzashi koban Tadashi Sawashima Hibari Misora, Kōtarō Satomi, Chiyonosuke Azuma 1958
Doku-ganryu Masamune Toshikazu Kōno Kinnosuke Nakamura, Keiko Ogawa, Yoshiko Sakuma 1959
Life of an Expert Swordsman Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Tsukasa 1959
The Ghost of Yotsuya Nobuo Nakagawa Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi 1959
Kagero ezu Teinosuke Kinugasa Raizō Ichikawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Osamu Takizawa 1959
Shoretsu shinsengumi - bakumatsu no doran Ko Sasaki Chiezo Kataoka, Tomisaburō Wakayama, Yatarō Kurokawa 1960
The Story of Osaka Castle Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Kyōko Kagawa, Akihiko Hirata 1961
Akō Rōshi Sadatsugu Matsuda Kusuo Abe, Kyōko Aoyama, Chiyonosuke Azuma 1961
Yojimbo Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yoko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada 1961
Miyamoto Musashi Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Akiko Kazami, Wakaba Irie 1961
Hangyakuji Daisuke Itō Kinnosuke Nakamura, Haruko Sugimura, Chiyonosuke Azuma 1961 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award, 1 Mainichi Film Concours
Hatamoto kenka taka Nobuo Nakagawa Utaemon Ichikawa, Ryûji Shinagawa, Atsushi Watanabe 1961
Sanjuro Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yuzo Kayama 1962 Sequel to the 1961 film Yojimbo.
In Search of Mother Tai Katō Kinnosuke Nakamura, Hiroki Matsukata, Michiyo Kogure 1962
The Tale of Zatoichi Kenji Misumi Shintaro Katsu, Masayo Banri, Ryuzo Shimada, Hajime Mitamura, Shigeru Amachi 1962
Harakiri Masaki Kobayashi Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentarō Mikuni, Shima Iwashita, Akira Ishihama 1962
The Tale of Zatoichi Continues Kazuo Mori Shintarō Katsu, Yoshie Mizutani, Masayo Banri, Tomisaburō Wakayama 1962
Chushingura Hiroshi Inagaki Matsumoto Hakuō I, Yūzō Kayama, Toshiro Mifune, Chūsha Ichikawa, Akira Kubo 1962
Miyamoto Musashi: Showdown at Hannyazaka Heights Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Wakaba Irie, Isao Kimura 1962
Shiro Amakusa, the Christian Rebel Nagisa Oshima Hashizō Ohkawa, Ryūtarō Ōtomo, Satomi Oka 1962
Shinobi no Mono Satsuo Yamamoto Raizō Ichikawa, Yûnosuke Itō, Shiho Fujimura 1962 Based on the novel of the same name.
Sen-hime to Hideyori Masahiro Makino Hibari Misora, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Ken Takakura 1962
Shinsengumi Chronicles Kenji Misumi Shigeru Amachi, San'emon Arashi, Saburō Date 1963
An Actor's Revenge Kon Ichikawa Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto 1963 Remake of the 1935 film "An Actor's Revenge".
The New Tale of Zatoichi Tokuzo Tanaka Shintaro Katsu, Mikiko Tsubouchi 1963
Escape from Hell Kazuo Inoue Keiji Sada, Mariko Okada, Takahiro Tamura 1963
Sengoku Yaro Kihachi Okamoto Yûzō Kayama, Yuriko Hoshi, Makoto Satō 1963
Seventeen Ninja Yasuto Hasegawa Kōtarō Satomi, Jûshirō Konoe, Yuriko Mishima 1963
Bushido Tadashi Imai Kinnosuke Nakamura, Eijirō Tōno, Kyōko Kishida 1963
Brave Records of the Sanada Clan Tai Kato Kinnosuke Nakamura, Misako Watanabe 1963
Zatoichi the Fugitive Tokuzo Tanaka Shintaro Katsu, Miwa Takada, Sachiko Murase 1963
Shinobi no Mono 2: Vengeance Satsuo Yamamoto Raizō Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura 1963 Based on the novel of the same name.
Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel Against Yagyu Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Wakaba Irie, Isao Kimura 1963
Zatoichi on the Road Kimiyoshi Yasuda Shintarō Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Ryûzō Shimada 1963
The Lost World of Sinbad Senkichi Taniguchi Toshirō Mifune, Tadao Nakamaru, Mie Hama 1963
Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Chinese Jade Tokuzō Tanaka Raizō Ichikawa, Tamao Nakamura, Shinobu Araki 1963
13 Assassins Eiichi Kudo Chiezo Kataoka, Kō Nishimura, Ryōhei Uchida 1963
Bloody Record of the Shinsengumi Shigehiro Ozawa Utaemon Ichikawa, Takeshi Katō, Kei Satō 1963
Shinobi no Mono 3: Resurrection Kazuo Mori Raizō Ichikawa, Ayako Wakao, Saburō Date 1963
Castle of Owls Eiichi Kudō Ryūtarō Ōtomo, Minoru Ōki, Hizuru Takachiho 1963
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Adventure Kenji Misumi Raizō Ichikawa, Kōichi Aihara, San'emon Arashi 1964
Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold Kazuo Ikehiro Shintarō Katsu, Shōgo Shimada, Mikiko Tsubouchi 1964
Three Outlaw Samurai Hideo Gosha Tetsuro Tamba, Isamu Nagato, Mikijiro Hira, Yoshiko Kayama 1964
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Full Circle Killing Kimiyoshi Yasuda Raizō Ichikawa, Kyooko Azuma, Ryonosuke Azuma 1964
Assassination Masahiro Shinoda Tetsuro Tamba, Shima Iwashita 1964
Shinobi no Mono 4: Siege Tokuzo Tanaka Raizō Ichikawa, Saburō Date, Midori Isomura 1964
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Seduction Kazuo Ikehiro Raizō Ichikawa, Michiko Ai, Akira Amemiya 1964
Fight, Zatoichi, Fight Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Nobuo Kaneko, Gen Kimura 1964
Adauchi Tadashi Imai Kinnosuke Nakamura, Takahiro Tamura, Tetsurō Tanba 1964
Onibaba Kaneto Shindo Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satō 1964
Kwaidan Masaki Kobayashi Rentarō Mikuni, Keiko Kishi, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai 1964
Adventures of Zatoichi Kimiyoshi Yasuda Shintarō Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki 1964
Bakumatsu zankoku monogatari Tai Katō Sumiko Fuji, Chōichirō Kawarasaki, Isao Kimura 1964 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award
Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel at Ichijoji Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Wakaba Irie, Isao Kimura 1964
Shinobi no Mono 5: zoku kirigakure Saizo Kazuo Ikehiro Raizō Ichikawa, Yukiko Fuji, Shiho Fujimura 1964
Warrior of the Wind Tai Katō Hashizō Ohkawa, Hiroko Sakuramachi, Naoko Kubo 1964
Samurai Assassin Kihachi Okamoto Toshiro Mifune, Koshiro Matsumoto, Yunosuke Ito, Michiyo Aratama 1965
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Fire Kenji Misumi Raizō Ichikawa, Tamao Nakamura, Sanae Nakahara 1965
The Scarlet Camellia Yoshitarō Nomura Shima Iwashita, Yoshi Katō, Sachiko Hidari 1965 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award
Red Beard Akira Kurosawa Toshiro Mifune, Yūzō Kayama 1965
Zatoichi's Revenge Akira Inoue Shintarō Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi 1965
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Satan Kimiyoshi Yasuda Raizō Ichikawa, Michiko Saga, Machiko Hasegawa 1965
Shinobi no Mono 6: Iga Mansion Kazuo Mori Raizō Ichikawa, Kaoru Yachigusa, Isao Yamagata 1965
Muhomatsu no issho Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Ineko Arima, Ken Utsui 1965
Yotsuya Kaidan Shirō Toyoda Tatsuya Nakadai, Mariko Okada, Junko Ikeuchi 1965
Sword of the Beast Hideo Gosha Mikijiro Hira, Go Kato 1965
Miyamoto Musashi: Musashi vs. Kojiro Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Ken Takakura, Wakaba Irie 1965
Akuto Kyoko Kishida Kaneto Shindo 1965
Zatoichi and the Doomed Man Kazuo Mori Shintarō Katsu, Kanbi Fujiyama, Eiko Taki 1965
Zatoichi and the Chess Expert Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi 1965
Samurai Spy Masahiro Shinoda Kōji Takahashi 1965
Shinobi no Mono 7: shin kirigakure Saizo Kazuo Mori Raizō Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Yûko Kusunoki 1966
The Sword of Doom Kihachi Okamoto Tatsuya Nakadai, Yūzō Kayama, Michiyo Aratama, Toshiro Mifune 1966 Based on the novel of the same name.
The Magic Serpent Tetsuya Yamauchi Hiroki Matsukata, Tomoko Ogawa, Ryūtarō Ōtomo 1966
Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Mask of the Princess Akira Inoue Raizō Ichikawa, Yaeko Mizutani, Ichirō Nakatani 1966
Daimajin Kimiyoshi Yasuda Miwa Takada, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Jun Fujimaki 1966
Zatoichi's Vengeance Tokuzō Tanaka Shintarō Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura 1966
Zatoichi's Pilgrimage Kazuo Ikehiro Shintarō Katsu, Michiyo ōkusu, Kunie Tanaka 1966
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Villainy Kenji Misumi Raizō Ichikawa, Shigeru Amachi, Shiho Fujimura 1966
Samurai Wolf Hideo Gosha Isao Natsuyagi, Ryōhei Uchida, Junko Miyazono 1966
Shinobi no Mono 8: A New Beginning Kazuo Ikehiro Raizō Ichikawa, Manami Fuji, Michiyo ōkusu 1966
The Blazing Sword Hirokazu Ichimura Tetsuko Kobayashi, Asahi Kurizuka, Shun'ya Wazaki 1966
Kutsukake Tokijiro: Yukyo Ippiki Tai Katō Kinnosuke Nakamura, Kiyoshi Atsumi, Junko Ikeuchi 1966
Zenigata Heiji Tetsuya Yamauchi Kazuo Funaki, Asao Koike, Akitake Kōno 1966
Band of Ninja Nagisa Oshima Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Toshirō Hayano, Hikaru Hayashi 1967
Samurai Wolf II Hideo Gosha Isao Natsuyagi, Ichirō Nakatani, Bin Amatsu 1967
Samurai Rebellion Masaki Kobayashi Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Tsukasa 1967
Sleepy Eyes of Death: A Trail of Traps Kazuo Ikehiro Raizō Ichikawa, Nobuo Kaneko, Toshio Kimura 1967
Zatoichi the Outlaw Satsuo Yamamoto Shintarō Katsu, Rentarō Mikuni, Kō Nishimura 1967
The Wife of Seishu Hanaoka Yasuzō Masumura Raizō Ichikawa, Ayako Wakao, Hideko Takamine 1967 Based on the novel of the same name.
Eleven Samurai Eiichi Kudo Isao Natsuyagi, Kōtarō Satomi, Kōji Nanbara 1967
Bakumatsu: Tenamonya daizōdō Kengo Furusawa Makoto Fujita, Minoru Shiraki, Kei Tani 1967
Zatoichi Challenged Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Jûshirō Konoe, Miwa Takada 1967
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Hell Is a Woman Tokuzō Tanaka Raizō Ichikawa, Miwa Takada, Yaeko Mizutani 1968
Kuroneko Kaneto Shindō Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kei Satō 1968 Awards: 2 Mainichi Film Concours
Sleepy Eyes of Death: In the Spider's Lair Kimiyoshi Yasuda Raizō Ichikawa, Mako Midori, Maka Sarijo 1968
Botan Dōrō Satsuo Yamamoto Miyoko Akaza, Kōjirō Hongō, Hajime Koshikawa 1968 Based on the short story of the same name.
Kill! Kihachi Okamoto Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, Naoko Kubo, Shigeru Kōyama 1968
The Silent Stranger Luigi Vanzi Tony Anthony, Kenji Ohara, Rita Mura, Lloyd Battista 1968
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Castle Menagerie Kazuo Ikehiro Raizō Ichikawa, Naoko Kubo, Shiho Fujimura 1969
Samurai Banners Hiroshi Inagaki Toshiro Mifune, Yorozuya Kinnosuke, Akihiko Hirata 1969
Bakuto Ichidai Chimatsuri Fudo Kimiyoshi Yasuda Saburō Date, Tatsuo Endō, Takeshi Hamada 1969
Crimson Bat, the Blind Swordswoman Sadatsugu Matsuda Yōko Matsuyama, Chizuko Arai, Jun Tatara 1969
Goyokin Hideo Gosha Tatsuya Nakadai, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tetsuro Tanba 1969 Awards: 2 Mainichi Film Concours
Double Suicide Masahiro Shinoda Kichiemon Nakamura, Shima Iwashita 1969 Based on the play of the same name.
Devil's Temple Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Hideko Takamine, Michiyo Aratama 1969
Hitokiri Hideo Gosha Shintaro Katsu, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yukio Mishima 1969
Retsuden shumei tobaku Keiichi Ozawa Chieko Matsubara, Tatsuya Fuji, Meiko Kaji 1969
Red Lion Kihachi Okamoto Toshirō Mifune, Shima Iwashita 1969
Portrait of Hell Shirō Toyoda Hideyo Amamoto, Yōko Naitō, Tatsuya Nakadai 1969
Tengu-to Satsuo Yamamoto Tatsuya Nakadai, Ayako Wakao, Gō Katō 1969
Shinsengumi Tadashi Sawashima Toshiro Mifune, Keiju Kobayashi, Kinya Kitaoji, Rentarō Mikuni, Yoko Tsukasa 1969
The Fort of Death Eiichi Kudō Kanjûrō Arashi, Hideo Fujimoto, Teruo Fujinaga 1969
Zatoichi meets Yojimbo Kihachi Okamoto Toshirō Mifune, Shintarō Katsu, Ayako Wakao 1970
The Ambush: Incident at Blood Pass Hiroshi Inagaki Toshirō Mifune, Yûjirō Ishihara, Ruriko Asaoka 1970
Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival Kenji Misumi Shintarō Katsu, Reiko ōhara, Pîtâ 1970
Bakumatsu Daisuke Itō Kinnosuke Nakamura, Toshirō Mifune, Keiju Kobayashi 1970
Onna jigoku uta: Shakuhachi benten Mamoru Watanabe Tamaki Katori, Noriko Tatsumi, Rima Aoyama 1970
Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman Kimiyoshi Yasuda Shintarō Katsu, Yu Wang, Watako Hamaki 1971 Awards: 1 Mainichi Film Concours
Miyamoto Musashi VI Tomu Uchida Kinnosuke Nakamura, Rentarō Mikuni, Teruo Matsuyama 1971 Awards: 1 Golden Charybdis
En toiu onna Tadashi Imai Shinjirō Ehara, Shima Iwashita, Yoshi Katō 1971
Inochi bō ni furō (Inn of Evil) Masaki Kobayashi Tatsuya Nakadai, Komaki Kurihara, Wakako Sakai 1971 Awards: 5 Mainichi Film Concours, 1 Taormina International Film Festival Award
Zatoichi at Large Kazuo Mori Shintarō Katsu, Rentarō Mikuni, Hisaya Morishige 1972 Awards: 1 Mainichi Film Concours
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance Kenji Misumi Tomisaburō Wakayama, Fumio Watanabe, Tomoko Mayama 1972
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx Kenji Misumi Tomisaburō Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Akiji Kobayashi 1972
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades Kenji Misumi Tomisaburō Wakayama, Gō Katō, Yûko Hama 1972
Shadow Hunters Toshio Masuda Yûjirō Ishihara, Ruriko Asaoka, Ryōhei Uchida 1972 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Zatoichi in Desperation Shintarō Katsu Shintarō Katsu, Kiwako Taichi, Kyoko Yoshizawa 1972
Shadow Hunters 2: Echo of Destiny Toshio Masuda Yûjirō Ishihara, Ryōhei Uchida, Mikio Narita 1972 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril Takeichi Saitō Tomisaburō Wakayama, Yoichi Hayashi, Michi Azuma 1972
Kogarashi Monjirō Sadao Nakajima Bunta Sugawara, Gorō Ibuki, Takayuki Akutagawa 1972
Kogarashi Monjirō: kakawari gozansen Sadao Nakajima Bunta Sugawara, Etsuko Ichihara, Kunie Tanaka 1972
Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice Kenji Misumi Shintaro Katsu 1972
Hanzo the Razor: The Snare Yasuzo Masumura Shintaro Katsu 1973
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons Kenji Misumi Tomisaburō Wakayama, Michiyo ōkusu, Akihiro Tomikawa 1973
Lady Snowblood Toshiya Fujita Meiko Kaji 1973 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Hanzo the Razor: Who's Got the Gold? Yoshio Inoue Shintaro Katsu 1974
Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell Yoshiyuki Kuroda Tomisaburō Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Junko Hitomi 1974
Ryoma Ansatsu Kazuo Kuroki Yoshio Harada, Yūsaku Matsuda, Renji Ishibashi, Kaori Momoi 1974
The Love Suicides at Sonezaki Yasuzo Masumura Ryudo Uzaki, Meiko Kaji 1978 Based on the play of the same name.
Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron Hideo Gosha Tatsuya Nakadai, Junko Miyashita 1978
Shogun's Samurai Kinji Fukasaku Kinnosuke Yorozuya, Shinichi Chiba, Hiroki Matsukata 1978
Hunter in the Dark Hideo Gosha Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsurō Tanba, Yoshio Harada 1979 Awards: 1 Japanese Academy Award
The Shogun Assassins Sadao Nakajima Hiroki Matsukata, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Ichirō Ogura 1979 Awards: 1 Japanese Academy Award
Swords of Vengeance Kinji Fukasaku Kinnosuke Yorozuya, Sonny Chiba, Hiroki Matsukata, Tetsuro Tamba, Toshirō Mifune 1978
G.I. Samurai Kōsei Saitō Sonny Chiba 1979
Kagemusha Akira Kurosawa Tatsuya Nakadai 1980 Awards: 2 BAFTA Awards, 1 César Award, 2 David di Donatello Awards, 1 Palme d'Or
Tokugawa ichizoku no houkai Kōsaku Yamashita Kinnosuke Nakamura, Hiroki Matsukata, Mikijirō Hira 1980
Shogun Assassin Robert Houston Tomisaburo Wakayama 1980
Shogun's Ninja Noribumi Suzuki Hiroyuki Sanada, Shin'ichi Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi 1980
Sekigahara Shin'ichi Kamoshita, Ichiro Takahashi Hisaya Morishige, Gō Katō, Rentarō Mikuni, Toshirō Mifune 1981 Television film
Kazunomiya sama otome Kenji Sawai Shinobu ōtake, Mitsuko Mori, Kimiko Ikegami 1981 Television film
Eijanaika Shohei Imamura Kaori Momoi, Shigeru Izumiya, Ken Ogata 1981
Shikake-nin Baian Yasuo Furuhata Katsuo Nakamura 1981
Samurai Reincarnation Kinji Fukasaku Sonny Chiba, Kenji Sawada 1981
Edo Porn Kaneto Shindō Ken Ogata, Toshiyuki Nishida, Yûko Tanaka 1981 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award, 1 Hochi Film Award, 2 Japanese Academy Awards, 1 Yokohama Film Festival Award
The Bushido Blade Tom Kotani Sonny Chiba, Frank Converse, Mako Iwamatsu, Laura Gemser James Earl Jones, Toshiro Mifune 1981
The Ninja Wars Kōsei Saitō Hiroyuki Sanada, Noriko Watanabe, Jun Miho 1982 Awards: 3 Japanese Academy Awards
The Ballad of Narayama Shōhei Imamura Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Tonpei Hidari 1983 Awards: 1 Blue Ribbon Award, 1 Hochi Film Award, 3 Japanese Academy Awards, 2 Mainichi Film Concours, 1 Palme d'Or
Legend of the Eight Samurai Kinji Fukasaku Hiroko Yakushimaru, Hiroyuki Sanada, Sonny Chiba 1983
Hissatsu! Masahisa Sadanaga Makoto Fujita, Kunihiko Mitamura, Izumi Ayukawa 1984 Based on the television series of the same name.
Onna goroshi abura no jigoku Ben Wada Yûsaku Matsuda, Tomoko Ogawa, Jiro Sakagami 1984 Television film
Ran Akira Kurosawa Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Mieko Harada 1985 Awards: 2 BAFTA Awards
Gonza the Spearman Masahiro Shinoda Hiromi Go, Shohei Hino, Shima Iwashita 1986 Awards: 1 Silver Bear
Bakumatsu seishun graffiti: Ronin Sakamoto Ryoma Yoshitaka Kawai Tetsuya Takeda, Toshio Shiba, Takuro Yoshida 1986 Awards: 1 Hochi Film Award
Rikyu Hiroshi Teshigahara Rentarō Mikuni, Tsutomu Yamazaki 1989
Shōgun Iemitsu no ranshin - Gekitotsu Yasuo Furuhata Ken Ogata, Norihito Arai, Toshihiro Asari 1989
Death of a Tea Master Kei Kumai Eiji Okuda, Toshirō Mifune, Kinnosuke Nakamura 1989 Awards: 1 Japanese Academy Award, 1 Kinema Junpo Award, 1 Nikkan Sports Film Award, 1 Silver Hugo, 1 Silver Lion
Heaven and Earth Haruki Kadokawa Enoki Takaaki, Tsugawa Masahiko, Asano Atsuko, Zaizen Naomi, Nomura Hironobu 1990
Sengoku Ransei no Abarenbo Saito Dosan Doto no Tenka Tori Eiichi Kudō Kumiko Akiyoshi, Shin'ichi Chiba, Ken Matsudaira 1991 Television film
Journey of Honor Gordon Hessler Sho Kosugi, David Essex, Kane Kosugi 1991
Bakumatsu jyunjyoden Mitsuyuki Yakushiji Ken Watanabe, Riho Makise, Tetta Sugimoto 1991
Mangetsu: Mr. Moonlight Kazuki Ohmori Saburō Tokitō, Bin Amatsu, Leo Morimoto 1991
Gō-hime Hiroshi Teshigahara Rie Miyazawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiya Nagasawa 1992 Awards: 2 Japanese Academy Awards
The Oil-Hell Murder Hideo Gosha Kanako Higuchi, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi 1992
Ihen kaidō Kōsei Saitō Ikkō Furuya, Mariko Fuji, Shōhei Hino 1993 Television film
Kaettekite Kogarashi Monjiro Kon Ichikawa Atsuo Nakamura, Ryōko Sakaguchi, Ittoku Kishibe 1993
Crest of Betrayal Kinji Fukasaku Kōichi Satō, Saki Takaoka, Keiko Oginome, Tsunehiko Watase, Eriko Watanabe 1994
47 Ronin Kon Ichikawa Ken Takakura, Kiichi Nakai 1994
Sharaku Masahiro Shinoda Hiroyuki Sanada, Frankie Sakai, Shima Iwashita, Tsurutarō Kataoka 1995
Bungo torimono ezu - Harikomi Keiichi Ozawa Hashinosuke Nakamura, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Sayuri Kokushō 1996 Television film
Reborn From Hell: Samurai Armageddon Kazumasa Shirai Hiroyuki Watanabe, Tomorowo Taguchi, Yûko Moriyama 1996 Remake of the 1981 film "Samurai Reincarnation".
Legend of the Devil Masaru Tsushima Masaki Kyōmoto, Atsuo Nakamura, Daisuke Ryû 1996
Samurai Fiction: Episode One Hiroyuki Nakano Morio Kazama, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Tomoyasu Hotei 1998 Awards: 1 Mainichi Film Concours, 1 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival Award, 2 Sitges Awards
Kunoichi ninpō-chō: Yagyû gaiden, Edo-bana jigoku-hen Hitoshi Ozawa Ryûshi Mizukami, Yûko Moriyama, Hitoshi Ozawa 1998
After the Rain Takashi Koizumi Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Shiro Mifune, Mieko Harada, Tatsuya Nakadai 1999
Owls' Castle Masahiro Shinoda Kiichi Nakai, Mayu Tsuruta, Riona Hazuki 1999 Based on the novel under the same name.
Gohatto Nagisa Oshima Ryuhei Matsuda, Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano 1999
Dora-Heita Kon Ichikawa Kōji Yakusho, Yûko Asano, Tsurutarō Kataoka 2000
Gojoe Sogo Ishii Tadanobu Asano, Masatoshi Nagase, Daisuke Ryu, Jun Kunimura 2000 Awards: 1 Hochi Film Award
Kewaishi Mitsutoshi Tanaka Kippei Shîna, Miho Kanno, Chizuru Ikewaki 2001 Awards: 1 Tokyo International Film Festival Award
Onmyoji Yōjirō Takita Mansai Nomura, Hideaki Ito, Hiroyuki Sanada 2001
Chūshingura 1/47 Shunsaku Kawamo Takuya Kimura, Kōichi Satō 2001 Television film. Remake of the 1932 film Chûshingura - Zempen: Akahokyō no maki.
Kikuchi-jō monogatari - sakimori-tachi no uta Takashi Miike Tōru Emori, Renji Ishibashi, Jinpachi Nezu 2001
Zuiketsu gensō - Tonkararin yume densetsu Takashi Miike Mikijirō Hira 2001
Onna kunishuu ikki Takashi Miike Mihoko Abe, Noriko Aota, Ayumi Asakura 2002
Sabu Takashi Miike Tatsuya Fujiwara, Satoshi Tsumabuki 2002 Television film
The Sea Is Watching Kei Kumai Misa Shimizu, Nagiko Tōno, Masatoshi Nagase 2002
Ryoma's Wife, Her Husband and Her Lover Jun Ichikawa Noritake Kinashi, Kiichi Nakai, Kyōka Suzuki 2002 Awards: 1 Nikkan Sports Film Award
The Twilight Samurai Yoji Yamada Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa 2002 Awards: 12 Japanese Academy Awards
When the Last Sword Is Drawn Yōjirō Takita Kiichi Nakai, Kōichi Satō, Yui Natsukawa, Takehiro Murata 2003
Aragami Ryuhei Kitamura Takao Osawa, Masaya Kato, Kanae Uotani, Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki 2003 Awards: 1 Silver Raven
Makai tenshō Hideyuki Hirayama Yōsuke Kubozuka, Kumiko Asō, Tetta Sugimoto 2003
Azumi Ryuhei Kitamura Aya Ueto 2003 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Zatōichi Takeshi Kitano Beat Takeshi, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa 2003
Onmyoji 2 Yōjirō Takita Mansai Nomura, Hideaki Itō, Eriko Imai, Kyoko Fukada, Hayato Ichihara 2003
The Last Samurai Edward Zwick Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe 2003
Warau Iemon Yukio Ninagawa Toshiaki Karasawa, Koyuki, Teruyuki Kagawa, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi 2004 Awards: 2 Asia-Pacific Film Festival Awards, 1 Nikkan Sports Film Award
Werewolf Warrior Tomo'o Haraguchi Ryûji Harada, Nozomi Andō, Tatsuo Higashida 2004
Izo Takashi Miike Kazuya Nakayama, Takeshi Kitano, Bob Sapp 2004
The Hidden Blade Yoji Yamada Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Yukiyoshi Ozawa 2004
Azumi 2: Death or Love Shusuke Kaneko Aya Ueto 2005 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Ashura Yōjirō Takita Somegorō Ichikawa, Rie Miyazawa, Kanako Higuchi 2005 Awards: 1 Hochi Film Award, 1 Kinema Junpo Award, 1 Nikkan Sports Film Award, 1 Yokohama Film Festival Award
Samurai Commando: Mission 1549 Masaaki Tezuka Yōsuke Eguchi, Kyōka Suzuki, Haruka Ayase 2005 Awards: 1 Asia-Pacific Film Festival Award
Hana Hirokazu Koreeda Jun'ichi Okada, Rie Miyazawa, Arata Furuta 2006 Awards: 1 Nikkan Sports Film Award
Love and Honor Yoji Yamada Kimura Takuya, Dan Rei, Takashi Sasano 2006
Kaidan Hideo Nakata Kumiko Asō, Takaaki Enoki, Reona Hirota 2007 Awards: 1 Yokohama Film Festival Award
Sukiyaki Western Django Takashi Miike Hideaki Ito, Kōichi Satō, Yusuke Iseya 2007
Chacha Hajime Hashimoto Ryōko Gi, Mieko Harada, Takehiro Hira 2007
Yamazakura Tetsuo Shinohara Rena Tanaka, Noriyuki Higashiyama, Tetsuya Chiba 2008
Geisha Assassin Gō Ohara Minami Tsukui, Shigeru Kanai, Nao Nagasawa 2008
Ichi Fumihiko Sori Takao Osawa, Haruka Ayase, Shido Nakamura, Yosuke Kubozuka 2008
Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf Kurando Mitsutake Kurando Mitsutake, Jeffrey James Lippold, Domiziano Arcangeli 2009
Ballad: Na mo naki koi no uta Takashi Yamazaki Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Yui Aragaki, Akashi Takei 2009
Castle Under Fiery Skies Mitsutoshi Tanaka Toshiyuki Nishida, Shōzō Endō, Saki Fukuda 2009
Sword of Desperation Hideyuki Hirayama Etsushi Toyokawa, Chizuru Ikewaki, Koji Kikkawa 2010
13 Assassins Takashi Miike Kōji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yūsuke Iseya, Goro Inagaki, Masachika Ichimura, Mikijirō Hira 2010 Remake of the 1963 film "13 Assassins".
Ōoku Fuminori Kaneko Ko Shibasaki, Kazunari Ninomiya, Hiroshi Tamaki 2010 Based on the manga series of the same name.
Sakurada Gate Incident Junya Sato Takao Ohsawa, Kyoko Hasegawa, Minosuke Bandō 2010
Abacus and Sword Yoshimitsu Morita Masato Sakai, Yukie Nakama, Kimimaro Ayanokōji 2010
Scabbard Samurai Hitoshi Matsumoto Masatō Ibu, Jun Kunimura, Itsuji Itao 2010
Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya Nopporn Watin Seigi Ozeki, Kanokkorn Jaicheun, Sorapong Chatree 2010 Awards: 1 Thailand National Film Association Award
The Winter Butterfly Marcus Tozini Sam Aoyama, Ikuma Isaac Fryman, Sharon Gee 2010
At River's Edge Tetsuo Shinohara Noriyuki Higashiyama, Rinko Kikuchi 2011
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Takashi Miike Ichikawa Ebizō XI, Eita, Kōji Yakusho 2011 Remake of the 1962 film Harakiri.
Shinobido Toshiyuki Morioka Aimi Satsukawa, Ryōichi Yuki, Ayaka Kikuchi 2012
Rurouni Kenshin Keishi Ōtomo Takeru Sato, Emi Takei 2012 Based on the manga series of the same name.
The Dry Blade Michael Fredianelli Michael Nosé, Henry Lee, Carl Schreiber 2012
Unforgiven Lee Sang-il Ken Watanabe, Kōichi Satō, Akira Emoto 2013
47 Ronin Carl Rinsch Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki 2013
Masterless Craig Shimahara Adam LaVorgna 2014

Video games[edit]

Anime and manga[edit]

Live action television[edit]

Title Network Notable cast Duration Notes
Akakage, The Masked Ninja Fuji TV Yûzaburô Sakaguchi, Yoshinobu Kaneko, Fuyukichi Maki 1967–1968
Ōedo Sōsamō TV Tokyo Tetsurô Sagawa, Takeya Nakamura, Ryô Kurosawa 1970–1980
Hissatsu shikakenin TV Asahi Ken Ogata, Gorô Mutsumi, Sô Yamamura 1972–1973
Kaiketsu Lion-Maru Fuji TV Tetsuya Ushio, Akiko Kujō, Norihiko Umechi, Kiyoshi Kobayashi 1972–1973
Fuun Lion-Maru Fuji TV Tetsuya Ushio, Kazuo Kamoshida, Masaki Hayasaki 1973
Hissatsu shiokinin TV Asahi Tsutomu Yamazaki, Yumiko Nogawa, Makoto Fujita 1973
Tasukenin hashiru TV Asahi Takahiro Tamura, Ichirô Nakatani, Atsuko Sano 1973–1974
Hissatsu hitchû shigotoya kagyô TV Asahi Ken Ogata, Ryûzô Hayashi, Mitsuko Kusabue 1975
Hissatsu shiokiya kagyô TV Asahi Masaya Oki, Katsutoshi Atarashi, Atsushi Watanabe 1975–1976
Hissatsu shiwazanin TV Asahi Makoto Fujita, Atsuo Nakamura, Kin Sugai 1976
Tobe! Hissatsu ura goroshi TV Asahi Atsuo Nakamura, Akiko Wada, Shôhei Hino 1978
Hissatsu shigotonin TV Asahi Makoto Fujita, Gorô Ibuki, Kunihiko Mitamura 1979–1981
Shadow Warriors Fuji TV Sonny Chiba 1980–1985
Takeda Shingen TBS Kôji Yakusho, Sonny Chiba, Ken Watanabe 1990 Television miniseries
Byakkotai TV Asahi Yûko Asano, Aya Enjôji, Taisuke Fujigaya 2007
Fūrin Kazan NHK Yuki Shibamoto, Issei Takahashi, Fusako Urabe 2007
Jin TBS Takao Ohsawa, Miki Nakatani, Haruka Ayase 2009–2011
Taira no Kiyomori NHK Kenichi Matsuyama, Kiichi Nakai, Masaki Okada, Hiroshi Tamaki, Shota Matsuda 2012
Yae no Sakura NHK Hyunri, Russell Totten, Cynthia Cheston 2013

Famous directors[edit]

Names are in Western order, with the surname after the given name.


Star Wars creator George Lucas has admitted to being inspired significantly by the period works of Akira Kurosawa, and many thematic elements found in Star Wars bear the influence of Chanbara filmmaking. In an interview, Lucas has specifically cited the fact that he became acquainted with the term jidaigeki while in Japan, and it is widely assumed that he took inspiration for the term Jedi from this.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Duggan, Jedi M. "History of the Jedi & The Jedi Religion". Jedi Sanctuary. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  2. ^ "Trivia for Star Wars (1977)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  3. ^ "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed". 2007-05-28. about 90 minutes in. The History Channel.

External links[edit]