The Dagger of Kamui (1985)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Western  |   Sub-Genres - Anime  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Emru Townsend

In mid-1800s Japan, a young boy named Jiro comes home to a horrible sight: His adoptive mother and sister, murdered. Found kneeling over the bodies and holding the murder weapon -- the dagger his parents left with him as a baby -- the villagers accuse him of murder and chase him out of the village. Jiro is rescued by Bishop Tenkai, the head monk of the Tengen temple of the Ezo (now Hokkaido) region. Under Tenkai's guidance, Jiro undergoes rigorous ninja training -- until he discovers that Tenkai was behind his mother and sister's murder, and manipulated him into killing his biological father. Fleeing Tenkai's temple and pursued by a cadre of ninjas equally deadly and bizarre, Jiro discovers that Tenkai charged his father with finding the lost treasure of Captain Kidd. Tenkai plans to use the money to help bolster the shogun's control over Japan and cut off its nascent contact with the outside world, but all he knows is that the key to finding the treasure is somehow linked to Jiro's dagger. As Jiro embarks on a journey that takes him to Russia and the western United States before returning him to Japan, he finds himself becoming further enmeshed in Tenkai's web -- as events push him close to the treasure, Tenkai and his people are never far behind. (American release in 1993.)