Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When the Last Sword is Drawn

This movie, by Yojiro Takita, is set at the end of the Edo period in Kyoto, and revolves around Kanichiro Yoshimura, a lone samurai whose sole purpose in life was to make enough money for his family so he joined the Shinsengumi.

His fellow samurai warriors initially viewed him as dishonorable for his mercenary, seemingly greedy approach, especially Saito, another member of the Shinsengumi, guardians of the Imperial capital and the shogun's last samurai corps.

It is here that Kanichiro proves himself time and time again as a master swordsman with great loyalty, eventually earning the respect of Saito and the other samurai.

This 2003 movie won several Japanese Academy Awards including Best Actor. It was a good samurai movie from the period of the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Shinsengumi was the Shogun's last samurai corps dedicated to defending the Shogun. That is what the film is about. How a samurai, who seemed to be only in it for the money, but in the end, he showed his loyalty and courage.

There were many actors in this film that I have seen before recently in Japanese TV dramas, including one that I think was also in the TV drama "Shinsengumi." Overall it was a good movie and I recommend it.


  1. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Funny but true story: When I visited Kyoto in 2005, we drove over a bridge past a pachinko parlor, and our guide told us that right at that spot the Shinsengumi had fought one of their terrible battles against forces. Times sure have changed.

  2. I read several books about the Shinsengumi. They were a pretty bloody organization. Hard to imagine that is what went on in Kyoto in the 1860s.