Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
The various factions opposing the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1860s Japan did not always work in tandem, as is made clear in this historical drama about the assassination of Ryoma Sakamoto, the head of the important Tosa clan. The Tosa clan worked simultaneously (if not altogether cooperatively) with the Satsuma-Chosu clans to bring about a new form government for Japan, to enable the country to continue resist encroachments by the Europeans. The revolution they engendered is now known as the "Meiji Restoration," for it put titular authority back into the hands of Japan's emperors. The complexity of the plots and counterplots leaves it unclear, by the film's end, whether Ryoma was killed by forces loyal to the Shogun, or by his erstwhile allies, who were worried about his far-reaching ideas for governmental reform.
against-all-odds, against-the-system, assassination, clan, emperor, government, oppression, reform [improve], revolution, war