Enter the Samurai Film Series

Sponsored by 

This series looks to explore AKIRA KUROSAWA’s journey with the samurai as a reflection on his own growth as a filmmaker. A screening of the classic 47 RONIN PARTS 1 & 2 rounds out the series.

Throne of Blood

Throne of Blood

Plays Monday, February 26 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Returning to their lord’s castle, samurai warriors Washizu (TOSHIRÔ MIFUNE) and Miki (Minoru Chiaki) are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit’s prophecy comes true, Washizu’s scheming wife, Asaji (ISUZU YAMADA), presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit’s prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place.

read more

The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress

Plays Monday, March 5 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Japanese peasants Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) and Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) try and fail to make a profit from a tribal war. They find a man and woman whom they believe are simple tribe members hiding in a fortress. Although the peasants don’t know that Rokurota (Toshirô Mifune) is a general and Yuki (Misa Uehara) is a princess, the peasants agree to accompany the pair to safety i

read more

Yojimbo

Yojimbo

Plays Monday, March 12 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

A nameless ronin, or samurai with no master (Toshirô Mifune), enters a small village in feudal Japan where two rival businessmen are struggling for control of the local gambling trade. Taking the name Sanjuro Kuwabatake, the ronin convinces both silk merchant Tazaemon (Kamatari Fujiwara) and sake merchant Tokuemon (Takashi Shimura) to hire him as a personal bodyguard, then artfully se

read more

Sanjuro

Sanjuro

Plays Monday, March 19 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Kurosawa’s tightly paced, beautifully composed “Sanjuro.” In this companion piece and sequel to “Yojimbo,” jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan’s evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a proper samurai on its ear.
Wr

read more

Red Beard (Akahige)

Red Beard (Akahige)

Plays Monday, March 26 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Aspiring to an easy job as personal physician to a wealthy family, Noboru Yasumoto (Yûzô Kayama) is disappointed when his first post after medical school takes him to a small country clinic under the gruff doctor Red Beard (Toshirô Mifune). Yasumoto rebels in numerous ways, but Red Beard proves a wise and patient teacher. He gradually introduces his student to the unglamorous side o

read more

Kagemusha

Kagemusha

Plays Monday, April 2 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Akira Kurosawa’s lauded feudal epic presents the tale of a petty thief (Tatsuya Nakadai) who is recruited to impersonate Shingen (also Nakadai), an aging warlord, in order to avoid attacks by competing clans. When Shingen dies, his generals reluctantly agree to have the impostor take over as the powerful ruler. He soon begins to appreciate life as Shingen, but his commitment to th

read more

Ran

Ran

Plays Monday, April 9 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Akira Kurosawa co-wrote, directed, and edited this adaptation of Shakespeare’s KING LEAR-considered by some to be his “last great masterpiece.” In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other…and him.
Presented in Jap

read more

The 47 Ronin Part 1 & 2

The 47 Ronin Part 1 & 2

Plays Monday, April 16 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan. Part of the “Enter the Samurai” Film Series sponsored by U-M Center for Japanese Studies.

Produced over a two-year period, Kenji Mizoguchi’s version of the oft-filmed Seika Mayama story The 47 Ronin was too big to be confined to a single film. Thus, it was released in two parts, each running between 105 and 115 minutes. The story begins in feudal Japan in December of 1701, when warrior leader Lord Asano is tricked into committing Hara-Kiri. Oishi, Asano’s loyal

read more