Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

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Duel At Ichijoji Temple
Samurai II Duel at Ichijoji Temple poster.jpg
Original Japanese film poster
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Jun Fukuda (assistant director)
Produced by Toho
Kazuo Takimura (producer)
Boku Morimoto (production manager)
Written by Hiroshi Inagaki
Tokuhei Wakao
Based on a novel by Eiji Yoshikawa and a play by Hideji Hōjō.
Starring Toshiro Mifune
Kōji Tsuruta
Music by Ikuma Dan
Cinematography Jun Yasumoto
Edited by Hideshi Ohi
Production
company
Distributed by Toho Studios
Release dates
  • 12 July 1955 (1955-07-12) (Japan)
  • 20 October 1967 (1967-10-20) (United States)
Running time 103 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Duel at Ichijoji Temple (続宮本武蔵 一乗寺の決闘 Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijōji no Kettō?) is a color (Eastmancolor) 1955 Japanese film directed by Hiroshi Inagaki starring Toshiro Mifune. It is the second film of the Samurai Trilogy. 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 first part of the trilogy is Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto and the third is Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island.

Production designer was Kisaku Itō, set decoration was made by Makoto Sono, consultant of art department was Kisaku Itō, sound technician was Chōshichirō Mikami, lighting technician was Shigeru Mori and choreographers were Tokuho Azuma and Yoshio Sugino.[1][2]

Alternate Japanese poster of the film

Plot[edit]

Following Takezo's (Toshiro Mifune) capture by the Buddhist priest Takuan Sōhō, and stay in Himeji Castle. Takezo is granted his samurai name 'Musashi Miyamoto.' and leaves to search for enlightenment, leaving two messages for Otsu: "Soon I will be back" and "Forgive me." He goes to learn the way of the samurai and find those who will help him learn. But his first duel is with a challenger with a chain and a sickle who he fights and wins. After years on the road establishing his reputation as Japan's greatest fencer, Takezo travels to Kyoto. The now married Matahachi and Oko are settled there with Akemi. Otsu, having heard a rumor that Takezo is in Kyoto, has also travelled there to look for him. He meets Otsu who is in love with him but he tells Otsu he must follow what he loves more than her, the sword of the samurai.

He begins a series of duels against the Yoshioka School and earns their ire. Musashi challenges Yoshioka Seijūrō, master of the Yoshioka School, to a duel. Seijūrō accepts, and they agree to a duel, but an ambush is prepared by followers of Seijuro. Matahachi (Rentarō Mikuni) returns and confronts Otsu, who declares that he betrayed her and that she no longer loves him but loves Musashi. Matahachi tries to kill her but is stopped by Sasaki Kojirō who happens to come by. Otsu runs to find Musashi, but she finds him with Akemi who is declaring her love for Musashi and warns him of the ambush prepared by followers of Seijuro.

Seijuro and his followers have assembled a force of archers, musketeers and swordsmen. Seijuro challenges Musashi to a duel outside Kyoto, near Ichijō-ji Temple. Musashi breaks his habit of arriving late, and comes to the temple hours early. Hidden by heavy underbrush, Musashi sneaks up and assaults the force waiting in ambush, and then escapes while being attacked by dozens of his victim's supporters. To escape and fight off his opponents he was forced to draw his second sword and defend himself with a sword in each hand. This was the beginning of his niten'ichi sword style. Finally he comes face to face with Seijūrō who shows up. They face off, and Musashi strikes Seijūrō on the left shoulder, knocking him down, and crippling his left arm. Otsu finds Musashi after the duel, bloodied and battered, and takes care of him.

Cast[edit]

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