13 Assassins (1963 film)

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13 Assassins
Jūsan-nin no shikaku
13 Assassins (1963 film).jpg
Directed byEiichi Kudo
Produced byKanji Amao
Jun'ichirō Tamaki
Screenplay byKaneo Ikegami
StarringTakayuki Akutagawa
Chiezō Kataoka
Kōtarō Satomi
Music byAkira Ifukube
CinematographyJūhei Suzuki
Edited byShintarō Miyamoto
Distributed byToei Company
Release date
Running time
125 minutes

13 Assassins (Japanese: 十三人の刺客, romaji: Jūsan-nin no shikaku) is a 1963 Japanese jidaigeki (period drama) film directed by Eiichi Kudo.


In 1844, the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan is in a period of transition, and one of the high ranking lords, Lord Matsudaira, has become tainted by his dissolute and reprobate misconduct. Many leaders in the governing community of the current government feel that the code of honor, bushido, of the samurai is being disgraced by Matsudaira. His reprobate, egotistical, and feckless lifestyle is disgusting to those who come into close contact with him. After receiving reports, Sir Doi is convinced that Matsudaira represents a severe threat to the entire code of honor for the samurai tradition. Sir Doi decides, because of the severity of Matsudaira's misconduct, to take a blood oath to assassinate the reprobate Lord Matsudaira. He enlists a troop of assassins to swear a similar blood oath to do away with Matsudaira in order to restore his country's wellbeing and code of honor.



The film was remade in 2010 by Takashi Miike. The remake was met with critical acclaim. BFI, in an assessment of the top ten samurai films, compared the remake of the film to the original version stating: "Set in 1844, 13 Assassins follows the Seven Samurai template, featuring a band of samurais who come together to overthrow a despotic lord for the greater good of society. Miike’s version benefits from a far more generous budget, with a wonderful attention to period sets and costumes and some inventively choreographed fight scenes."[1]


  1. ^ '10 great samurai films' by Jasper Sharp [1], 18 May 2016. BFI Film Review.

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