The film stars Takaaki Nomi, a Shinjuku bartender who has appeared on the variety show “Hataraku Ossan Gekijo”, as a samurai named Kanjuro who decided to give up his sword after refusing to use it in a fight.
Based on a story by the late Shuhei Fujisawa (The Twilight Samurai, Sword of Desperation), the film revolves around a samurai named Inui Sakunosuke (Noriyuki Higashiyama) who is given a mission of vengeance from his clan. However, his assassination target is a man named Sakuma Morie, the husband of his younger sister, Tazu (Rinko Kikuchi).
"Sakura Sakura" (Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms) is a biopic about Dr. Jokichi Takamine (1854-1922), the late biochemist known for successfully crystallizing and isolating adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine.
Dubbed the father of modern biotechnology, Takamine also produced Takadiastase, a digestive enzyme still used as an ingredient in medicines.
"Taiheiyo no Kiseki: Fox to Yobareta Otoko" ("Oba, the Last Samurai") is the dramatic story of a Japanese captain who led 46 soldiers and hundreds of civilians into the mountains of Saipan where they resisted an invasion of 45,000 U.S. soldiers at the closing of World War II.
With little food, their resistance lasted 16 months, including about three months after the war ended in August 1945.
"Gakko wo Tsukuro" (Let's build a school) is based on the true story of the founders of Senshu College during modern Japan's emergence after the 1868 Meiji Restoration.
Winner of Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (1954) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.
The supplemental features included with this release are: audio commentary with popular scholars and critics David Desser, Joan Mellen, Stephen Prince, Tony Rayns, and Donald Richie; audio commentary with Japanese film expert Michael Jack; the documentary "Akira Kurosawa - It Is Wonderful to Create"; video interview with Akira Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima; the documentary "Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences"; trailers and teaser; and galleries with production stills and posters.
Toshiro Mifune (April 1, 1920 – December 24, 1997) was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films.
He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo. He is also popular for portraying Musashi Miyamoto in Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy.
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
In 1978, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his career as an actor. He drew attention of the critics when Yukio Ninagawa, a famous Japanese director, chose him for the lead role in one of his plays even though he was still an acting student.
The clan was based in Kanagawa Prefecture, specializing in horseback guerrilla warfare and naval espionage. According to some sources, the family has roots in the 10th century when they served Taira no Masakado in his revolt against the Kyoto government.