Samurai Trilogy

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The Samurai Trilogy
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Produced by Kazuo Takimura
Written by Hideji Hōjō (play)
Hiroshi Inagaki
Tokuhei Wakao
Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
Starring Toshiro Mifune,
Rentarō Mikuni
Music by Ikuma Dan
Production
  company
Toho Studios
Distributed by Toho Studios
Release date(s) 1954–56
Running time 303 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

The Samurai Trilogy is a film trilogy directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring Toshiro Mifune as Musashi Miyamoto and Koji Tsuruta as Kojirō Sasaki. The films are based on the novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, about the famous duelist and author of The Book of Five Rings.

The three films are:

Together, they are a trilogy following the character growth of Musashi from brash—yet strong—young soldier to thoughtful and introspective samurai, culminating in Musashi's duel with the greatest opponent he would ever face.

The choreography for the films was by Yoshio Sugino of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū.

Reception and influence[edit]

Samurai I won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The trilogy also became an influence for future films. In Kill Bill, for example, The Bride kills O-Ren Ishii with exactly the same swallow's tail move that Kojirō Sasaki uses to try to kill Musashi Miyamoto, and the filming for this scene is almost identical as well with the same parallel run, blood splash, and unknown victor until the faces are revealed. Bill himself references the ending to Samurai III when he suggests an "old school" duel on the beach at sunrise.

External links[edit]