Samurai Assassin

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Samurai Assassin
Samurai Assassin 1965.jpg
Theatrical poster for Samurai Assassin (1965)
Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
Produced by Toshiro Mifune
Reiji Miwa
Masao Suzuki
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Jiromasa Gunji (story)
Shinobu Hashimoto
Starring Toshirō Mifune
Keiju Kobayashi
Michiyo Aratama
Yûnosuke Itō
Eijirō Tono
Tatsuyoshi Ehara
Tadao Nakamaru
Shiro Otsude
Yoshio Inaba
Akihiko Hirata
Eisei Amamoto
Ikio Sawamura
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography Hiroshi Murai
Edited by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Distributed by Toho Company Ltd. (Japan)
Toho International Company Inc. (1966, USA)
Release dates
  • 3 January 1965 (1965-01-03) (Japan)
  • 5 March 1965 (1965-03-05) (U.S.)
Running time
123 min.
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Samurai Assassin ( Samurai ?) is a 1965 Japanese movie directed by Kihachi Okamoto and starring Toshiro Mifune, Koshiro Matsumoto, Yunosuke Ito, and Michiyo Aratama.

Samurai Assassin is set in 1860, immediately before the Meiji Restoration changed Japanese society forever by doing away with the castes in society and reducing the position of the samurai class.

The film tells the story of Niiro Tsurichiyo (Mifune) as the illegitimate son of a powerful nobleman, and the way of his life that made him a swordfighter but also a social outcast. He joins forces with the multiple clans against the Lord of Hikone, Sir Ii Kamonnokami Naosuke. Ii is the right hand of the shogunate and brought upon himself the wrath of the Satsuma, Mito, and Choshuu provinces after making an unpopular choice for the appointment of the 14th shogunate. Many critics arouse after the controversial appointment, and Ii initiated the Ansei Purge to quiet critics of his choices. This in turn, lead to an assassination plot hatched by the three provinces in order to remove Li from his position of power. The shoguns also weeding out Ii's spies from the plot. The film is based on a novel, which in turn was inspired by the historical Sakuradamon incident, in which the feudal lord Ii Naosuke was assassinated outside the Sakurada Gate of Edo Castle.


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