Samurai Banners (1969)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Samurai Film, Period Film  |   Run Time - 166 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Furin Kazan (AKA Samurai Banners) is based on the bestselling Japanese novel of the same name, written by Yasushi Inove. Toshiro Mifune plays Yamamoto, a physically impaired 17th century Samurai, whose wife and child have been massacred in a war. He signs on to advise a warlord, believing that the fellow has the strength to kill off all of the rival leaders and unify the nation, but he quietly objects to the man's pompous arrogance, sadism and self-centeredness. The assignment succeeds triumphantly as the men, working together, vanquish every competitor across the land. The warlord then approves his request to wipe out a neighboring ruler with whom they've made a pact; Yamamoto kills him, and then stops the man's princess daughter from committing seppuku. He falls in love with the heiress, and she with him, but the warlord wants her as a concubine. Yamamoto agrees to this request out of devotion to his leader, and even convinces the young woman to obey the request. After she conceives an illegitimate child with the warlord, Yamamoto devotes himself and his life to strengthening the power and reach of Japan and spreading the belief that the child is the rightful heir to the throne. He thus ensures that the baby will grow up to become the ruler of a unified nation.



Samurai, rival, warlord, daughter, love-triangle, Japan