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UPDATED:25 Jan 2010



THE LAST SWORDSMAN (Okita Soji)
Taikoki
NOBUNAGA - TV

Ooka Echizen TV Series




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Revised: 01/25/2010

 

 

AFTER THE RAIN

Color 2000 91 min.

Screenplay by: Kurosawa Akira

The last screenplay written by Japan's most famous director is a wonderful film which returns to the feeling of Kurosawa's greatest works, films like YOJIMBO and SANJURO. The story concerns a group of travelers stuck at a riverside inn during a torrential rainstorm that closed the river crossing. One of the travelers is a ronin of great ability who catches the eye of a local lord (Mifune Shiro, Toshiro's son) and gets to test for the position of sword instructor for the clan. An out and out great film that was dedicated to the memory of the late master Kurosawa Akira.

DVD
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KURONEKO

One of the great classic ghost/cat stories has finally come to DVD at long last. KURONEKO is the crowning achievement of SHINDO Kaneto, creator of ONIBABA. The story is loosely based on the Japanese folktale "The Cat's Return" A mother and daughter-in-law are raped and murdered by samurai, but return from the dead as vampire cats bent on revenge. As the ghosts lure samurai warriors to their deaths, their surviving son/husband Gintoki is sent to stop their reign of terror.

Newly re-mastered from a stunning anamorphic print, this film is enhanced for widescreen (16:9) televisions. A true work of art from a great auteur, this is Shindo's masterpiece available for the first time in all its glory!

REMASTERED
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OWLS' CASTLE

Famed director Shinoda Masahiro (SAMURAI SPY, DOUBLE SUICIDE) reached the zenith of his career with this remarkable remake of the old Toei Ninja film from the 1960's, "The Castle of Owls". After Oda Nobunaga has destroyed the Ninja of Iga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi has taken over as the most powerful man in all Japan, the
last remaining survivors of Iga are hired to assassinate Hideyoshi, (played by Mako, in his best role since THE SAND PEBBLES). One of the most stunning visual works of art ever created for the motion picture screen, this is a true masterpiece! Shinoda reaches new heights of brilliance having co-written the screenplay from a novel by Shiba Ryotaro. Can these stealthy warriors carry out the impossible mission and reach Hideyoshi, tucked away safely in his fortified castle?


Starring NAKAI Kiichi
with NAKAMURA Atsuo,
TSURATA Mayu, HAZUKI Riona,
NEZU Jinpachi, IWAMATSU Mako


Directed by: SHINODA Masahiro


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BAKUMATSU
(THE DAWN OF THE NEW JAPAN)

Bakumatsu,” which literally means the “end of the Shogunate rule,” or the “end of the Tokugawa Period,” is a truly moving and historic motion picture about the men who devoted their lives to bringing about governmental reform in Japan. From the year 1603 until about 1700, the Tokugawa Shogunate was able to maintain a peaceful and orderly government by exercising strict law enforcement upon the people. Edo and Osaka flourished into great cities; the population also increased rapidly. Moreover, on the cultural side, popular arts such as the theatre, novel, and color prints began to flourish. However, after the first one quarter of the 18th Century, economic disasters combined with numerous other causes led to the weakening of the Shogunal system, until finally on December 9, 1868, the declaration of the new Meiji government brought to an end the historic 250 years of rule under the Tokugawa family. The groups involved in the overthrow of the Shogunate were the Satsuma and Choshu clans of western Japan which joined forces to put an end to the Tokugawa Shogunate and the power that it wielded.

BAKUMATSU depicts the disturbed times in Japan and reveals the attitude of the young men at that time who believed that the real ruler of Japan should be the Emperor. The theme is mainly centered on the wise and magnificent Sakamoto Ryoma, a samurai of the Tosa Clan who removed himself from the feudal duties of a warrior to become a “ronin” or “masterless samurai”. The story of Ryoma’s life is traced from the time he leaves his hometown of Tosa and engages in efforts to unite the Satsuma and Choshu clans, up until the Imperial Restoration.

BAKUMATSU, a Nakamura Kinnosuke production, is a motion picture filled with action, romance, and emotion. It stars Nakamura Kinnosuke in the leading role of Sakamoto Ryoma, and Yoshinaga Sayuri, the Nikkatsu starlet, in the role of Oryu, Ryoma’s beautiful wife. Other notable stars include Mifune Toshiro, Nakadai Tatsuya, Nakamura Katsuo, Eri Chiemi, and Kobayashi Keiju. Directed by the great master Ito Daisuke, this is the true story of how Sakamoto Ryoma’s wisdom and strength found a way to unite a divided Japan.

This is the true story of SAKAMOTO Ryoma (NAKAMURA Kinnosuke) generally considered to be the architect of the "Bakumatsu" (Downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate) as finally engineered by the joining of the Choshu and Satsuma Clans against the Tokugawa power structure. His dream was to allow the opening of Japan to the West in order to learn its technology and then take that same technology to defeat the West in future battles. Considered an outlaw by his own clan, hunted as a rebel by the government, and hated by both supporters of the Shogun, and Loyalists as well. His is a tale cloaked in danger, and powerful in its historical significance. Co-starring NAKADAI Tatsuya as Ryoma's lifelong friend NAKAOKA Shintaro, they share the dream of a modern Japan with a Navy and Army that can stand tall with the rest of the world.
Now in stock: $29.95

16:9 ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN EDITION
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SOULS IN THE MOONLIGHT
(Daibosatsu Toge)

Newly restored Anamorphic Widescreen print, enhanced for 16:9 televisions. One of the greatest early samurai films is now available in a state of the art widescreen print.

Like the USA, Japan has a rich history told through the use of motion pictures. Timeless stories which have been told many times were done as silent pictures, then re-made again and again in each succeeding era. One of the most often filmed stories is that of of Japan’s greatest novel “The Great Bodhissatva Pass”, which tells the story of Tsukue Ryunosuke, a master swordsman with an evil style, reflecting the evil in his heart. His ruthless ways and merciless killings leave behind an unsettled past which eventually catches up to him.

Reprising his role as Ryunosuke from an earlier version of the story, Kataoka Chiezo shows why he was such a huge movie star. He expertly portrays the slightly sad, and sometimes mad swordsman, pursued by the youthful Hyoma (Nakamura Kinnosuke), who is bent on revenge for the slaying of his older brother.

This film is the first of a trilogy, but goes further than the other versions, not stopping with the fire at the Inn, but going well on into the next chapter of the story. Learn what happened to Ryunosuke after the night of blood and flames!!!

Directed by: UCHIDA Tomu

Starring: KATAOKA Chiezo, NAKAMURA Kinnosuke

SOULS IN THE MOONLIGHT
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SOULS IN THE MOONLIGHT 2
(Daibosatsu Toge Dai Nibu)


This is the second installment of the trilogy based on Japan's greatest novel "The Great Bodhisattva Pass", following the life and times of bloodthirsty samurai, Tsukue Ryunosuke. Blinded in an explosion and further injured from a fall, the master swordsman is taken in by Otoyo, a woman who falls in love with him. Under Otoyo's dedicated care, Ryunosuke's physical and emotional wounds seem to heal.
However, deep inside, the demons that drive him to kill yearn to resurface. Meanwhile he is being pursued by Utsugi Hyoma, a young samurai seeking to avenge his brother's death at Tsukue's hands. Hyoma is being aided along the way by the clever thief Shichibei.

Enhanced for Widescreen (16:9) Televisions

SOULS IN THE MOONLIGHT 2
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VENGEANCE IS SUCH A GREAT BUSINESS
(Sukedachiya Sukeroku)

This is the final movie from Okamoto Kihachi, the filmmaker who directed such great movies as “Sword Of Doom”, “Kill”, and “Red Lion”. With an equal mix of violence and humor he has forged a career that spanned over 4 decades and created some of the most memorable films to ever come out of Japan. This is no exception, and the hand of a master is evident in his treatment of this highly entertaining story.

In a world where vendettas are officially sanctioned, the people sometimes needed help in carrying out their vengeance. Sanada Hiroyuki stars as Sukeroku the Helper, a ‘cool and rambling yakuza’ that has made a business out of helping victims carry out their revenge. When he returns to his hometown to pay a visit to his mother’s grave he meets a deadly ronin who carries a secret which eventually leads him into a vendetta of his own. With terrific performances by Sanada and Nakadai Tatsuya as the mysterious old ronin, this film brings back the golden era of Japanese cinema!



SANADA Hiroyuki, SUZUKI Kyoka, NAKADAI Tatsuya  Music by: YAMASHITA Yosuke Directed by: OKAMOTO Kihachi

Anamorphic (16:9) Widescreen - Color - 88 minutes - 2002
Subtitled Theatrical Trailer

VENGEANCE IS SUCH A GREAT BUSI
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SAZEN (A HERO OF THE LEGEND)

The one-armed, one-eyed swordsman of Japanese legend is back in this humorous, yet exciting action tale.
Tange Sazen is one of Japan's most popular folk heroes, who despite being maimed has become one of the foremost fencers in the land.
Risking his life to help others, he is always a powerful figure. In this new version of the legend, we have an excellent performance by noted actor. Toyokawa Etsushi as he brings a popular figure to life once again!

Starring: TOYOKAWA Etsushi
Sazen
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LOVE & WAR OF A SAMURAI

(Bunshiro & Fuku)

Based on a novel by FUJISAWA Shuhei , who also wrote the source material for Twilight Samurai and The Hidden Blade, KUROTSUCHI Mitsuo's film is a beautiful tale of love and honor. A youth named Maki Bunshiro is asked to bring a young girl named Fuku to a fireworks festival. Their instant attraction will lead to some of the most gripping action and drama in the annals of film.

Featuring plenty of superb swordplay, this tale of the lifelong romance that defied all odds is a brilliant example of Japanese television at its finest. With a great cast that includes such stalwarts as motion picture legend Hira Mikijiro, this is not to be missed.
Awarded the Golden Nymph Prize at the Monte Carlo Film Festival-TV Division.

In part 1 "The Storm", the two young people meet, not having an inkling of their future.
While Maki Bunshiro will grow up to become the area's Magistrate, Maki Sukezaemon, the twists of fate have only begun.

Part 2 "The Trap" brings us closer to the couple and the action which heats up considerably. With martial arts contests and premeditated attacks, this episode bridges the gap between the innocence of youth and the jaded experience that comes with age.

The third and final part, "The Passing Years", features some of the best swordplay in the entire series. Powerful and exciting, the action really heats up as we reach the conclusion. Bunshiro, a true samurai, who survived tragedy in his youth, has become a great swordsman and defender of the weak.

The tale of his valor and the love of his life, Fuku, is a story for the ages!

5 hours+ (315 minutes)

(Bunshiro & Fuku) 3 DISC SET
Price: $22.95
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THE CRUEL STORY (Bakumatsu Zankoku Monogatari)

Re-mastered Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)

This is one of the bloodiest black and white films from the mid-sixties. This film tell the brutal story of a young recruit to the Shinsengumi, the para-military force of ronin led by Kondo Isami, and made famous to the west in Sword of Doom. This is another view of that group without the usual whitewashing of their character. The full translation of the title tells it all. A Cruel Story set during the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It's a powerful indictment of the brutality going on in Japan at the time in the name of keeping the West out of the country. Finally re-mastered from a new superior anamorphic widescreen print with improved subtitles and theatrical trailer, it is a superb motion picture that is not to be missed.

Starring: OKAWA Hashizo, OTOMO Ryutaro, FUJI Junko - Directed by: KATO Tai


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