FIVE SAMURAI MOVIES YOU SHOULD WATCH BEFORE YOU DIE

Bushido Films recs

Read more about bushido in the Samurai Series by A. R. Basov

  • In this list you will discover some of the most impressive samurai movies that have ever existed. If you’re looking for films about the samurai, either to spend the weekend or just to watch tonight, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the following masterpieces!

    1. The Hidden Fortress / 隠し砦の三悪人 (1956)
    best samurai movies
    Two Japanese peasants 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 Yuki is a princess and Rokurota Makabe is a general, who insists that she masquarades as a mute farmer, the peasants agree to accompany the pair to safety in return for gold. Along the way, the general must prove his expertise in battle while also hiding his identity.

     “A samurai is born to bring about prosperity for others and must use his power towards this end. All problems should be solved according to giri – the sense of moral duty and honor.”
    A. R. Basov, Spirit of the Warrior

    2. Samurai Rebellion / 上意討ち 拝領妻始末 (1967)
    best samurai movies
    In 1725, during a peaceful period in Japan, Isaburo Sasahara, a veteran samurai, lives placidly with his wife and his son. One day, his honor and moral principles will be at odds with his clan’s. The conflict is inevitable and it will bring unexpected consequences. Samurai Rebellion is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.

    “The family a man is born into is not accidental. By inheriting the traditional occupation or cause of his ancestors, a samurai fulfills his karma. By following The Way he settles his fate.”
    A. R. Basov, Spirit of the Warrior

    miyamoto musashi art ronin
    Takeda Shingen by Tatiana Basova | Purchase print or painting
    | All Artwork

    3. Kagemusha / 影武者 (1980)
    best samurai movies
    In 16th century Japan, Takeda Shingen, a powerful warlord, has become as legendary as the motto emblazoned on his war banners: “Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as the fire, immovable as the mountain.” As he lies dying from his battle wounds, Shingen orders his clan to find a double to replace him – to keep his death secret so that his enemies will not attack. The man chosen for this role is called Kagemusha (the shadow warrior). However, this Kagemusha turns out to be a petty criminal who must somehow transform himself into a great leader and command the allegiance of 25,000 samurai warriors.

    “Strength and courage are valued most in Bushi-Do.
    A samurai knows when to attack and when to retreat. Either way, he is calm, conscious, and courageous.”
    A. R. Basov, Spirit of the Warrior

    4. Ghost Warrior / SFソードキル (1984)
    best samurai movies
    When skiers in Japan come across the frozen body of centuries-old samurai warrior Yoshimita, scientists secretly whisk the corpse to a high-tech laboratory in California, where they bring him back to life. But when Yoshimita escapes onto the mean streets of 1980s Los Angeles, his ancient and strict code of honor gets him both into and out of trouble.

    “If a man leaves home with aspirations, he should not come back without fulfilling them even if he dies in the process. The journey of life is filled with green hills which at any moment can turn into tumuli...”
    A. R. Basov, Spirit of the Warrior

    naginata art
    Samurai: Loyalty by Tatiana Basova | Purchase print or painting
    | All Artwork

    5. The Floating Castle / のぼうの城 (2012)
    best samurai movies
    In the year 1590, the mighty warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi is close to fulfilling his ambition of unifying all of Japan under his banner when he comes across unexpected resistance in the form of a floating fortress known as Oshi Castle. Narita Nagachika, a frivolous hedonistic fellow and unlikely candidate for the position of rebel general, finds himself in charge of defending the castle. His odds? An army of 500 men to combat Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s army of 20,000.

    “Bushi-Do states that in this world of illusions there is nothing worthy of one’s anxiety. A samurai must have cold-blooded confidence in Destiny and face any danger with stoic composure.”
    A. R. Basov, Spirit of the Warrior

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