Last Sunday I watched Samurai Banners (Furin Kazan). This movie is a samurai historical drama based on the sengoku period battle strategist Yamamoto Kansuke, a general for the great warlord Takeda Shingen. The movie stared Toshiro Mifune who played Kansuke. Furin Kazan means "wind, forest, fire and mountain" and was the battle standard of Takeda Shingen. It comes from Sun Tzu's The Art of War and essentially means "Move as swift as a wind, stay as silent as forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain."
The ruthless yet brilliant strategist Kansuke advises Shingen on much of his battle strategy and helps the Takeda to expand their power and control over various neighboring clans. However, the movie culminates with the famous 4th Battle of Kawanakajima against Uesugi Kenshin in which Kansuke makes a fatal error in strategy. The blunder nearly causes defeat for the Takeda. Although the Takeda were not defeated, they also failed in their long quest to crush Kenshin's armies and to march into the Uesugi territory of Echigo.
This was another good samurai movie even though there is actually relatively little samurai action. Most of the action takes place in the final battle at Kawanakajima. The movie included the famous account of Uesugi Kenshin breaking through the Takeda lines and personally attacking Takeda Shingen as Shingen sits on his camp stool. Shingen calmly thwarts Kenshin's sword attacks with his battle fan. Kenshin was unable to take Shingen's head but as Kenshin retreats, he looks back at Shingen with a smile. There is doubt among many historians as to whether this confrontation between two of the most famous samurai warlords actually took place, but it was still a cool scene nonetheless.