Love and Honor
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|Love and Honor
Bushi no Ichibun
|Directed by||Yoji Yamada|
|Produced by||Junichi Sakamoto
|Written by||Yoji Yamada
Shūhei Fujisawa (original story - The Blind Sword: Echo Of Vengeance)
Bandō Mitsugorō X
|Music by||Isao Tomita|
|Edited by||Iwao Ishii|
|Distributed by||Japan Shochiku
Love and Honor (武士の一分 Bushi no Ichibun?, literally "Warrior's Honor") is a 2006 film set in Japan of the Edo period. It is the final film in Yoji Yamada's acclaimed Samurai Trilogy (Twilight Samurai (2002) and The Hidden Blade (2004)).
Shinnojo, a low level samurai, lives with his pretty, dutiful and loyal wife Kayo. He has come to find his position in a castle as a food-taster for a feudal lord to be boring and pointless, and talks about opening a kendo school open to boys of all castes where he can teach the use of the sword. Before he can act on his dream he becomes ill with a fever after tasting some sashimi made from shell fish, but an investigation reveals that the poisoning was not due to a human conspiracy, but a poor choice of food out of season. After three days he awakes but finds that the toxin from the food has blinded him. Kayo is summoned by Shinnojo's family to explain how the couple will survive. His uncle laments that he no longer knows anybody with influence in the castle, and asks Kayo if she knows of anybody. She relates how Toya Shimada, the chief duty officer in the castle and a samurai of high rank, offered to help and they tell her to act upon his offer of assistance. A message from the castle brings the good news that Shinnojo's stipend of rice will remain the same, and for life but his aunt tells him that Kayo was seen with another man. He has Tokuhei, his faithful servant, follow her. Kayo notices that she is being followed, and although Tokuhei offers to cover for her, she reveals to Shinnojo that Shimada offered to help but with a price, shown when he forced himself upon her. He then solicited three additional trysts by threatening to tell Shinnojo about the first. An enraged Shinnojo divorces her and orders her out of his house. When it is revealed to him that Shimada had nothing to do with maintaining his stipend, but that it came out of gratitude from the lord of the clan himself, Shinnojo seeks to renew his skill with the sword as a blind man to avenge the dishonor of Kayo. Through Tokuhei, he sends a message to Shimada to set up a duel, with the additional message to not underestimate him. The two samurai meet at the stables near the river to decide their destinies. In the subsequent fight Shinnojo cuts off Shimada's arm. He leaves Shimada to live a horribly disfigured life, telling Tokuhei that he has now avenged Kayo's dishonor. The next day Shinnojo is informed that the injured Shimada refused to tell anyone what had happened or who injured him in the duel. That night Shimada committed seppuku and killed himself, as a samurai cannot live with only one arm. He dies without anyone knowing of his sin against the Mimura family, his violation of Kayo, or his own dishonorable injury by a blinded man. Tokuhei tells Shinnojo he has found a girl to work in the kitchen and cook for him. After one taste of the girl's food, Shinnojo recognizes his wife's cooking, and calls Kayo to come into the house. Shinnojo and Kayo reconcile, with an understanding that they will begin their life together anew.
- Kimura Takuya - Mimura Shinnojo
- Rei Dan - Mimura Kayo
- Sasano Takashi - Tokuhei
- Nenji Kobayashi - Higuchi Sakunosuke
- Ogata Ken - Kibe Magohachiro
- Momoi Kaori - Hatano Ine
- Bandō Mitsugorō X - Shimada Toya
Awards and nominations
- Best Supporting Actor - Takashi Sasano
- Best Cinematography - Mutsuo Naganuma
- Best Lighting - Takeshi Nakasu
- Nomination - Best Film
- Nomination - Best Actor - Takuya Kimura (Declined his nomination)
- Nomination - Best Actress - Rei Dan
- Nomination - Best Supporting Actress - Kaori Momoi
- Nomination - Best Director - Yôji Yamada
- Nomination - Best Screenplay - Yôji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, and Ichirô Yamamoto
- Nomination - Best Editing - Iwao Ishii
- Nomination - Best Art Direction - Mitsuo Degawa
- Nomination - Best Music Score - Isao Tomita
- Nomination - Best Sound - Kazumi Kishida
- 2007 Blue Ribbon Awards
- Best New Actress - Rei Dan
- Nomination - International Competition - Yôji Yamada
- 2007 Kinema Junpo Awards
- 2007 Mainichi Film Awards
- Best Music Score - Isao Tomita
- Official Selection Moscow International Film Festival
- Opening Film Panorama Special Berlin International Film Festival
- Official Selection Hawaii International Film Festival
The film was released on DVD by Funimation in 2008. The release contains both an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track and its original Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track (with English subtitles). In 2010, the film was released on Blu-ray (Region A) by Shochiku exclusively for the Japanese market, containing only a Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track and Japanese subtitles.
- "Love and Honor (2008)". Box Office Mojo. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
- "Love and Honor - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-1-6.
- "Kimutaku Declines Academy Nomination (Japan Zone - Entertainment News from Japan)". Japan Zone. 2006-10-29. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
- "Love and Honor Blu-ray (Japan)". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 12 April 2016.