|MIYAMOTO MUSASHI 1944 Version|
Miyamoto Musashi vs Sasaki Kojiro!
Directed by : MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast : KAWARASAKI Chojuro, NAKAMURA Kanemon, IKUSHIMA Kigoro, TANAKA Kinuyo
This is a story about Miyamoto Musashi, the most famous swordsman in Japanese
history. This movie is one of the greatest to portray Musashi as the great swordsman and
romantic hero that he was in life. Filmed in Showa year 19 (1944) while Japan was
engulfed in World War II facing defeat, yet despite the hardships of the time they still
managed to produce this unforgettable masterpiece.
Unfortunately, many other japanese
films were destroyed during the war.
The time was in Keicho era (1596-1615). Nonomiya Nobuo and Mataichiro (brother and
sister) visit Miyamoto Musashi in Sagano, and ask him to teach them the ways of the
sword, so they can avenge their murdered father.
Musashi declines their request stating
the sword isn't for revenge. However, they don't give up and Musashi finally decides to
accept their request. The brothers Hidarimoto Kurodo and Magoshiro who murdered
Nobuo and Mataichiro's father, learns that the brother and sister are taking lessons from
Musashi. Realizing that they are in trouble, they decided to ask Sasaki Kojiro for help.
Musashi left Nobuo and Mataichiro's hiding place, the Hidarimoto brothers and Kojiro
attacked them, and Mataichiro is brutally killed by Kojiro. A devastated Nobuo again visits
Musashi and reports of Mataichiro's death, now pleading for Musashi's immediate help.
Once Musashi hears of this, he summons the code of bushido within, sets off determined
to destroy his arch-enemy Sasaki Kojiro, once and for all!
(The famous duel took place at
Ganryu Island in the year 1612).
The director, Mizogushi Kenji has perfectly adapted the literary classic written by
It was unusual for Mizoguchi to embrace the theme of "Bushido" in a film
like this, yet the portrayal of Musashi remarkably showed his warm-hearted personality.
With it's great timeless story, great action, and direction by one of the greatest Japanese
masters it's not an understatement to call this movie a real collectors treasure. And it's
probably one of the "oldest" surviving samurai films available now with English Subtitles.
Because of the age of this film, some film elements such as grain/lines and washed out
scenes are present, but overall very nice, enjoyable and highly recommended!
1944 - Black & White - Fullscreen
NTSC Region Free Japanese with English subtitles.