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Chushingura (1962)
Starring: Chusha Ichikawa, Yuzo Kayama, Koshiro Matsumoto, Toshiro Mifune
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Category: Foreign, Action / Adventure
Studio: Image Ent.
207 mins



The Loyal 47 Retainers

In March 1701 the era of Japan's great civil wars has been over for a century, but the samurai warrior class lingers on. The new young lord, Asano (Yuzo Kayama), from the fierce country domain of Ako gracefully accepts his initiation into state duties in the capital of Edo. But the old Grand Master of Ceremonies, Kira (Chusha Ichikawa), betrays him when Lord Asano refused to bribe him for his advice on official etiquette. Enraged and humiliated by Kira's merciless greed. Asano draws his sword in the Shogun's palace, a capital offense. Kira suffers only a slight wound, but gloats over the mock trial that condemns Asano to ritual harakiri suicide. Ako's lands are assigned to a new lord, and its warriors become ronin, masterless samurai, with nowhere to go and no ancestral lord to serve. The outrage lives on in their hearts, but they are forbidden to act, under pain of death. Chamberlain Oishi (Koshiro Matsumoto), Asano's wise and loyal chief retainer, calms the others and urges them to obey in silence, as their day of revenge will come. They wait for Oishi's word. The succeeding months of secret fury, humiliation, self-sacrifice, poverty and planning reveal the Japanese virtue of personal loyalty in all its glory. When the faithful 47 arrive at the snowy day to avenge their lord's honor, each individual personality, from the stoical Oishi to the hotheaded, hard-drinking Tawaraboshi (Toshiro Mifune) has become a symbol of the samurai spirit.


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