Talk:Samurai cinema

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Tokugawa Era[edit]

I would consider clarifying the statement "Historically, the genre is usually set during the Tokugawa era". A fair few films are set in the early Meiji period, when samurai have become masterless due to the fall of the shogunate. And films about the Shinsengumi, although set in the Tokugawa era, are really driven by its imminent demise. What do you reckon? Ninquerinquar (talk) 01:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Weak Opening Sentence[edit]

"While earlier samurai period pieces were more dramatic rather than action based, samurai movies post World War II have become more action based, with darker and more violent characters."

The first sentence jumps straight into debatable fine distinctions, rather than explaining the topic in broad and simple terms for those who might not even know what samurai films are. I just don't think the first sentence should be so uncertain. If only I knew anything about samurai films I'd change it myself. (talk) 02:47, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Akira Kurosawa[edit]

Kurosawa films like Rashomon, Throne of Blood, Kagemusha, and Ran should not be included on this page as they are not samurai genre pictures. Samurai were a level of the class system in feudal japan so of course you're inevitably going to see samurai in a period film. When people discuss samurai films as a genre, they mean stuff like Yojimbo and Sanjuro or the Zatoichi series. Jonas.E.B. 07:14, 11 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonas.E.B. (talkcontribs)

This just illustrates the general foolishness of the notion behind the page more than anything. JoshuSasori (talk) 16:06, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Change definition?[edit]

The existence of "samurai cinema" as a separate postwar genre is unjustified. There are no Japanese film critics or scholars who make that distinction, and most foreign critics (Desser, Spalding, etc.) may at best put postwar work into a separate era within a larger samurai film genre that includes the postwar. The term "samurai cinema" itself is problematic because there is also a page for jidaigeki, and chanbara (which redirects to "samurai cinema") can feature non-samurai heroes. (The term "samurai eiga" is thus not really used in Japan.) Some recognition must be made of this.(Michitaro (talk) 07:33, 6 December 2009 (UTC))

Is Wikipedia edited only by imbecils and advertisers?[edit]

  • Zatoichi is not a samurai
  • Zatoichi is not even a ronin (the US audience does have the level of thought - if he wields a sword he must be a ronin, the Kill Bill fan type of idiot)
  • Zatoichi movies can be put into Yakuza films category if you need inventing categories
  • Ken Watanabe, besides working with the Hollywood has nothing relevant. It's a disgrace to have that null ahead of Toshiro Mifune for example
  • That whashed out two bit Daniele Steel romance of a movie called the Last Samurai has nothing to do with the gerne, unless you are the Kill Bill kind of moron and in that case there is no cure for your illness.

So do the page right or kill it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:28, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

The tone of the language is not appreciated, but some of the points are valid. There are significant problems with not only this page, but also many of the other pages covering Japanese film genres on Wikipedia. Many use definitions of genres that have little basis in actual Japanese genre definitions but have simply appeared for various reasons amongst Western critics and fans. The term "samurai film" is one. I noted above the problem of this page largely defining it as a postwar phenomenon and mostly ignoring prewar examples. But as this person notes, it is odd to put Zatoichi in a genre called "samurai cinema" when he is neither a samurai nor a ronin. This is not Wikipedia's fault: people like Alan Silver started this mess a long time ago. Should we then put Zatoichi in the yakuza genre (after all, Ichi calls himself a yakuza)? But that genre is also a mess as Westerners throw together films that Japanese would never put in the same genre. Perhaps the problem is unsolvable, but I for one would prefer changing the name of this page to "chanbara." That at least allows for films like Zatoichi, since chanbara does not imply the class status of the hero.--Michitaro (talk) 01:44, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the original poster in this thread is a banned user, the HarveyCarter sockpuppet. His edits may be deleted/reverted at will, without explanation, regardless of merit. I'll leave them here because they result in some valid points from the responder. Monkeyzpop (talk) 07:45, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, a lot of this page should be deleted. JoshuSasori (talk) 14:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Suggest removing list of notable samurai films[edit]

This list should be removed, it is inherently biased, and essentially original research or just wikipedia editor's opinion of what is notable. Please speak up if you disagree or I will remove it. JoshuSasori (talk) 14:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Actually the whole page should probably be deleted, it is all just crap. JoshuSasori (talk) 14:47, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it is all crap, but there is a lot that is poorly sourced, extraneous, or even mistaken. Someone needs to go over it with well sourced material, but since much of what is written in English is poor, that would have to involve use of Japanese materials. There is also the basic problem of what to call this genre. It is an unfortunate fact that the term "samurai film" has become the consensus term in English, even though it is wrong. Some scholars have tried to resist that, with Thornton using the term "period film" (to correspond with jidaigeki), or Desser trying out terms like "sword film" (corresponding to the Japanese "kengeki"), but it is hard on Wikipedia, which is ruled by both consensus and common usage, to simply assert a new term. With regard to the list, I think it should not be deleted, but rather redone on the basis of good sources. Using KineJun lists or films chosen in published books, it is possible to collate the "notable" films using reliable sources. This has been done on other lists in Wikipedia. Michitaro (talk) 15:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I withdraw that, I don't want to do any work on this article at all, I am not interested in this topic, but somehow I feel like I have to protest about it. It's just a shoddy article based on a shoddy notion, but I don't have the will to do anything about it. JoshuSasori (talk) 16:04, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


Is this really an example of "exploitation"? E.g. "Seven Samurai" is an exploitation movie? Unless someone wants to justify that, I'll remove it. JoshuSasori (talk) 23:16, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I second removing it. While one could argue that Ishii Teruo's violent/erotic jidaigeki are exploitation films, that's only a small fraction of the genre. Michitaro (talk) 00:41, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I doubt anyone else will contribution to this discussion so I have removed it already. JoshuSasori (talk) 05:11, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Ippo, ippo, kakujitsu ni... or, One step, one step, with determination...[edit]

Qualification; though it has been many years since I lived in Japan, I recall being told by several people I worked with there that chanbara or chambara was a metaphor of the onomatopoetic sort that characterizes the sound of swords clashing and suggests sword fighting much as gun smoke might suggest gun play in American westerns. There is no English cognate that translates directly and completely. The later reference to Akira Kurosawa as being responsible for, “stylized and exaggerated death and violence in samurai epics”, is demonstrably specious at best when 20th century Japanese cinema is considered in the context of the much older Kabuki. As for the statement; “His samurai, and many others portrayed in film, were solitary figures, more often concerned with concealing their martial abilities, rather than bragging of them…”, again, this ignores the even older traditions of Noh and its notions of reserve and refinement. As an American expat’ living as a gaijin it was remarkable to me that subtracting the 500 years of European influence in North America from written Japanese history still leaves over 2000 years. I revere Akira Kurosawa as much as anyone, but you can not credit him with inventing Japanese tradition and culture. He remains one of the best screenwriters that we have ever known. As I read further on this page it seems to me that most of the input here has not come from Japanese persons. I do not agree that the page should be removed since even if it is less that totally factual, it promotes discussion in an area I find quite interesting.

June 23rd, 2013 Sign me, Phil Studge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 24 June 2013 (UTC)