Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
The cover of the Criterion Collection DVD.
|Directed by||Hiroshi Inagaki|
|Produced by||Kazuo Takimura|
|Written by||Hideji Hōjō (play)
Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
|Music by||Ikuma Dan|
|Distributed by||Toho Studios|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵) (released in the United States as Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto) is a 1954 color (Eastmancolor) Japanese film by Hiroshi Inagaki starring Toshiro Mifune. It is the first film of Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy of historical adventures. The film is adapted from Eiji Yoshikawa's novel Musashi. The novel is loosely based on the life of the famous Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The film won a Special/Honorary Award at the 1955 Academy Awards for outstanding foreign language film.
Following the battle of Sekigahara, Takezo (Toshiro Mifune) and his friend Matahachi (Rentarō Mikuni) find themselves on the losing side. Instead of the grand victory and glory Takezo had anticipated, he finds himself a hunted fugitive. The pair seek shelter with a widow and her daughter. Both women attempt to seduce Takezo but are rejected. The widow then tells Matahachi that Takezo tried to assault her and convinces him to escort her and her daughter to Kyoto. Matahachi agrees even though he loves (and is betrothed to) Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa), a woman from his village.
Takezo returns to his village to tell Matahachi's family that he is still alive. Matahachi's mother doesn't believe him and he is arrested for treason. There is a village wide search for Takezo, organized by the lord. Even after using his relatives as bait, the villagers cannot catch Takezo.
Takezo is finally captured by the Buddhist priest Takuan Sōhō, who tells the lord that he must be allowed to use his methods to control him. The priest believes that he can straighten him out, but Takezo escapes with Otsu's help. Takezo is then captured again by the priest after finding out that Otsu has been taken to Himeji Castle. He is tricked and locked in a room in the castle for three years.
The end of the film shows Takezo being granted his samurai name 'Musashi Miyamoto.' He then leaves to search for enlightenment, leaving two messages for Otsu: "Soon I will be back" and "Forgive me."
- Toshiro Mifune as Miyamoto Musashi aka Takezo
- Rentarō Mikuni as Honiden Matahachi
- Kuroemon Onoe as priest Takuan (Takuan Sōhō)
- Kaoru Yachigusa as Otsu
- Mariko Okada as Akemi
- Mitsuko Mito as Oko
- Eiko Miyoshi as Osugi, Matahachi's mother
- Akihiko Hirata as Seijuro Yoshioka
- Kusuo Abe as Temma Tsujikaze
- Eitarō Ozawa as Terumasa Ikeda
- Akira Tani as Kawarano-Gonroku
- Seijiro Onda as chief official
- Fumito Matsuo as petty official 1
- Masanobu Ôkubo as petty official 2
- Jiro Kumagai as villager 1
- Akira Sera as villager 2
- Yasuhisa Tsutsumi as villager 1
- Yutaka Sada as soldier 1
- Shigeo Kato as soldier 2
- Junichirō Mukai as soldier 3
- Kiyoshi Kamoda as roving warrior 1
- Michio Sakurai as roving warrior 2
- Kyoro Sakurai as roving warrior 3
- Masao Masuda as woodcutter
- Daisuke Katō
- Kanta Kisaragi
- Yoshio Kosugi
- Sōjin Kamiyama
- William Holden as narrator in the original US version (uncredited)
- Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto at the Internet Movie Database
- Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto at allmovie
- Criterion Collection essay by Bruce Eder
- (Japanese) http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1954/cd002800.htm