Wakayama Tomisaburo

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THE MUTE SAMURAI
SERIES

The elder brother of Katsu Shintaro, and perhaps the strongest swordsman in the history of Japanese films, Wakayama Tomisaburo is best known internationally for his definitive portrayal of Ogami Itto (Lone Wolf, Assassin With Child) in the Baby Cart film series. In addition, he also starred in many other films and TV series, always showing his amazing prowess with weaponry. Never using doubles for his stunts or swordplay, he has risked life and limb to create some of the most memorable moments in the world of the Samurai Film. No other film star could match his ‘Iaido’ (Quick Draw Sword technique), or his ability to spin spears and staffs as he cut down scores of foes. In his final years at Toei Films, Wakayama starred in 2 unique series, in the first he played Shinkai, the Wicked Priest, a wandering Buddhist Priest who engages in all things forbidden, including drinking, gambling, and fighting. In the other series he starred in at the time, KILLER’S MISSION, Wakayama played Shikoro Ichibei, a professional assassin with a wide array of weapons who answers only to the Shogun. Of even more interest, after the Lone Wolf series ended, three of the greatest names in Japanese film, Wakayama Tomisaburo, his brother Katsu Shintaro, and the noted director Gosha Hideo, collaborated to create THE SILENT SAMURAI a television series unlike anything before, featuring violence and swordplay that far surpassed any previously shown on the small screen.

 

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UPDATED:10 Jan 2010



THE LAST SWORDSMAN (Okita Soji)
Taikoki
NOBUNAGA - TV



THE MUTE SAMURAI - Volume 13

Episode 25: ”A Man To Man Promise”
(Otoko to Otoko no Yakusoku)
Original airdate 3/24/74

Directed by: KOBAYASHI Masao

Mute Samurai Kiichi Hogan’s hope to avenge the murders of his father and mother appear within reach as he is able to find a Spanish sea captain willing to smuggle him out of Japan on the next ship to Spain for a fee of one thousand gold coins. With time running out, he is short by only 200 ryo but must contend with a plot against his benefactor Tokaiya Shinbei, the merchant who arranged his passage on the ship. Will he be able to make the final payment and catch the ship before it sails, or will the forces of fate and destiny line up against him and deny him the one opportunity to carry out his vendetta against the brutal slaughter that has haunted him all these years?

Guest stars: OKI Minoru, NARITA Mikio



Episode 26: ”Duel At Kanei-ji Temple”
(Kanei-ji no Ketto)
Original airdate 3/31/74

Directed by: MISUMI Kenji

He is neither alive nor dead. Cutting off all tender human feelings, burning with his one desire for revenge while keeping his personal misfortune deep within his heart, Mute Samurai Kiichi Hogan has pressed on for the past 18 years seeking vengeance against the Spaniard who murdered his parents and cut his throat thus robbing him of his voice forever. Will destiny finally reward him with the chance to carry out his vendetta and end this painful quest for good? Meanwhile, his younger brother Lord Sagara, the ‘Foreigner Magistrate’ has risen in the government to a position of power that may be endangered by the vendetta against Gonzales, who is now a high ranking Spanish official and a favorite of that nation’s Queen. The tension mounts to a fever pitch as the forces of destiny finally present the ‘Mute Samurai’ with a chance to meet his mortal enemy face to face or will he cause an international incident that could cause war between the two nations?


Guest stars: KATSU Shintaro
MATSUO Kayo, OKI Minoru, Judy ONGG


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THE MUTE SAMURAI
BOX SETS
 
All 13 volumes
(26 episodes)

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Box 1 Volumes 1- 7
(14 episodes)

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Box 2 Volumes 8- 13
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 1

Starring: Wakayama Tomisaburo, Katsu Shintaro, Taichi Kiwako

Episode 1

THE MAN WHO LOST HIS ABILITY TO SING

Directed by: Katsu Shintaro

Kiichi (The Demon) Hogan is a bounty hunter trying to raise enough money to journey to Spain so he can avenge the murders of his parents by Gonzales, the Spaniard skilled in swordsmanship who also cut the young man's throat, thus robbing him of his voice forever. Kiichi Hogan meets a mysterious ronin known as 'Manji', a man with a price on his head.

Episode 2

A SILENT PRAYER FOR A LITTLE BOY

Directed by: Yasuda Kimiyoshi

When a little boy left in his care is orphaned, Kiichi Hogan must avenge the death of the boy's father and help a woman who may be willing to raise the child safely. In the first 2 episodes we not only meet the “Mute Samurai”, but also find the mysterious ronin known as Manji, dogging his trail.

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Volume 1
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 2

Starring: Wakayama Tomisaburo, Hama Yuko 

Episode 3

THE DANGEROUS HIGHWAY

Directed by: Misumi Kenji

An entire village is held hostage by brigands who have taken over the water supply during a terrible drought. Led by a beautiful woman, these vicious killers can only be stopped by one man, the 'Silent Samurai' Kiichi Hogan.  

Episode 4

A BRIDGE TO THE DARK WORLD

Directed by: Yasuda Kimiyoshi 

A wanted man who speaks Dutch is holed up on an island of fugitives, and Kiichi Hogan has to decide if he wants the bounty or help from this man in his search for Gonzales.

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Volume 2
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 3

Starring: Wakayama Tomisaburo, Matsuo Kayo, Hama Yuko

Episode 5

THE FATEFUL ENCOUNTER

Directed by: Wakayama Tomisaburo

Kiichi Hogan's past catches up with him as he has a bittersweet reunion with O-Kiku, his former fiancée. Her brother leads a merciless group of cutthroats who are terrorizing a village, and murdering women and children. This is the episode in which Wakayama as director almost lost his life when doing a dangerous stunt, the signals to rescue him went unheeded.

Episode 6

A WHIRLWIND OF BLOOD
Directed by: Ozu Hitoshi

Kiichi Hogan, the Mute Samurai has a reunion with O-Ran, a former enemy who has turned a new leaf. Has she truly cut ties with her villainous past, and will he help her as she tries to rescue her sister from a terrible fate?

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The Mute Samurai Volume 3
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 4

Starring: Wakayama Tomisaburo, Narita Mikio

Episode 7

A SILENT PARTING OF THE WAYS

Directed by: Mori Issei

Assuming that a captured criminal will be rescued by members of his gang, Kiichi Hogan stays in the shadows so he can get the bounty when the escape is made, and he re-captures the killer. Complications arise when an innocent mute girl gets in the way.


Episode 8

THE CAPTURE AT THE STREAM

Directed by: Kuroda Yoshiyuki

A woman sent by her clan with a secret letter must outwit the notorious Shogunate Spy, Fujimaki Samon, a man who will stop at nothing to get his way. Is the vile Samon too skillful for Kiichi Hogan to defeat?

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The Mute Samurai Vol. 4
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 5

Episode 9

THE GIRL WITH BLUE EYES
(Aoi Me no Shojo) original airdate 12/2/73

Co-star: ABE Toru, Silvia WALKER
Directed by: MISUMI Kenji

When a little Caucasian girl who was shipwrecked in Japan befriends the leader of a band of pirates who have been marauding along the coastline, Kiichi Hogan has to overcome his feelings towards foreigners in order to find out the truth behind the pirate's hidden treasure.


Episode 10

A WIDOW'S STRENGTH
(Hoeta Toge no Onnagokoro) original airdate 12/9/73

Co-star: NAKAMURA Tamao
Directed by: SAITO Buichi 

The widow running a delivery service tries to survive against all odds as her company is continually attacked by a rival shipping contractor. Kiichi Hogan has to decide which side to work for, as a bidding war for his sword skills opens up.

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The Mute Samurai Vol. 5
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 6

Episode 11:
"Two Brothers In A Raging Sea"

Doto no Kyodai) Original airdate 12/16/73


Co-star: KATSU Shintaro, ISHIBASHI Renji
Directed by: KURODA Yoshiyuki

Kiichi Hogan has gone to Yokohama which had just opened to foreign trade in an attempt to book passage to Spain so he can hunt down his mortal enemy, Gonzales. While there he runs afoul of Mr. Gaspar and his vicious henchmen who try to frame him for murder. Is this how it all ends? Will he be able to cheat death and finally get his revenge? A powerful episode filled with surprises!


Episode 12:
"The Flower Of 'Head-Display' Pass"

(Gokumon Toge no Kiku no Hana)Original airdate 12/23/73


Co-star: OKI Minoru, NAITO Taketoshi
Directed by: SAITO Buichi

On the way to meet Tokaiya Shinbei, a man who may be able to arrange passage to Spain, Kiichi Hogan meets one of his former classmates from the dojo in Nagasaki. Samejima Gunjiro has become the Magistrate of Sakai in Oshu. Will he recognize his childhood friend, and how will they solve the mystery of the 3,000 gold coins that were stolen by a ronin wearing a straw hat? They never got a chance to have a match; will they finally have their duel for supremacy now?

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The Mute Samurai Vol. 6
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 7

Episode 13:
”A Dark-Haired Human Sacrifice” (Kurokami Jigoku)
Original airdate 1/6/74
Co-star: MATSUO Kayo, ARASHI Kanjuro
Directed by: YAMASHITA Kosaku

After their chance encounter a few months earlier, Kiichi Hogan’s former fiancee O-Kiku, feeling that he no longer needs her, makes plans to save a young girl by offering herself in marriage to a dreaded foreigner. With her life in the balance, can the Mute Samurai save her from a fate worse than death?

Episode 14:
”The First Performance” (Hana no Butai)
Original airdate 1/13/74
Co-star: KATSU Shintaro, Judy ONGG, KO Nishimura
Directed by: MISUMI Kenji

While searching for a notorious opium smuggler, Mute Samurai Kiichi Hogan again crosses paths with ‘Manji’, the mysterious ronin/high ranking official who is, in reality, his younger brother. There’s another surprise from his past when the girl he helped in the first episode shows up working at a carnival, and acting as the voice for another mute, who may be the fugitive Kiichi Hogan has been hired to capture. Is this an innocent man, and if so, can he be saved in time?

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The Mute Samurai Vol. 7
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 8

Episode 15:
”The Bounty Hunters Who Vanished”

(Kieta Shokin Kasegi)
Original airdate 1/13/74
Co-star: HITOMI Junko, YAMASHIRO Shingo
Directed by: KOBAYASHI Masao


In one of his most dangerous missions, Kiichi Hogan joins up with 7 other bounty hunters who are ordered by the Shogunate to assassinate a renegade Daimyo, whose clan has been officially abolished. Can the 8 bounty hunters find their prey on Mt. Oe and how can they survive against master ninja ”Spider” Gensai who has sworn to protect his lord’s life at all costs?

 

Episode 16:
”Manji, Once Again”

(Manji Futatabi)
Original airdate 1/20/74
Co-star: KATSU Shintaro, NAMBARA Koji
Directed by: YASUDA Kimiyoshi

When the mysterious thief known as “Manji” breaks into Mr. Franco’s mansion in the foreign zone of Shimoda, Kiichi Hogan is asked to help a woman known as the “Goldfish” get secret information illegal smuggling in the area to the proper authorities if she is captured. Can Hogan and Manji find and save her before she is sent off on a foreign ship to a fate worse than death?

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The Mute Samurai Vol. 8
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 9

Episode 17:

“The Peak Of Darkness”

directed by Ozu Hitoshi opens with Kiichi Hogan being hired to bring a renegade religious group the ‘Burenkyo’ to justice after they have robbed the tax money from farmers to use in their attempt to overthrow the government and create a ‘New World Order’. The governor has ordered the farmers to sell their daughters into prostitution, and on his way to carry out his mission against the Burenkyo, Kiichi Hogan saves the women and thus inspires the wrath of the governor. Which side poses the greatest threat to the silent samurai… the rebels or the governor? He may have to fight both sides if he wants to survive!

Episode 18:

“The Bandits And The Children”

directed by Misumi Kenji pits the Demon Magistrate (Kiichi Hogan) against an enormous gang of bandits as they mount an attack on a small town populated only by children and the elderly. It’s shades of “7 Samurai” as Kiichi Hogan teaches the villagers how to fight the ravaging brigands who seek the secret stash of gold that is hidden deep in the mountains. With brilliant direction by major filmmaker Misumi, this episode reaches the heights as Kiichi Hogan must draw his sword in a battle against overwhelming odds!

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The Mute Samurai Vol.9
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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 10

Episode 19: ”Who Shall Receive The Bounty” (Shokin Uketorinin)Original airdate 2/10/74
Co-star: KIMURA Isao, BANRI Masayo
Directed by: WAKAYAMA Tomisaburo

When three bounty hunters all are after the same fugitive, their code is very simple. Only one will survive and thereby receive the bounty for capturing or killing the wanted man. This is just such a situation, but with an added twist. The third bounty hunter is a former samurai who was expelled from his clan for speaking out when he shouldn’t have. Can he beat the others to the prize and still take home the money? Exciting and moving, this episode shows another side of Kiichi Hogan as he continues on his quest to raise enough money for his trip to Spain for revenge against Gonzales, the killer of his father.



Episode 20: ”The Maiden Who Chases A Shadow”
(Kage o Ou Hana)
Original airdate 2/17/74
Co-star: KATO Takeshi, AZUMA Michi
Directed by: OZU  Hitoshi



Kiichi Hogan comes to the aid of a woman who is trying to book passage to Spain in order to meet with her fiancé, who left to practice medicine overseas. Having learned the Spanish language, she is in a position to help the Demon Magistrate in his quest to find his mortal enemy, Gonzales. Will fate finally smile on the silent samurai as he attempts to escape Japan and get to Spain in any way he can. Will she be able to teach him enough of the language so that he can fulfill his vendetta? Powerful and surprising with bold action from the master swordsman.

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Mute Samurai Volume 10
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THE MUTE SAMURAI
 
Volume 11

Episode 21: ”A Mother & Daughter’s Crisis”
(Boshizo Muzan)
Original airdate 2/24/74
Co-star: ICHIHARA Etsuko, KOMATSU Hosei
Directed by: KURODA Yoshiyuki

In order to fulfill a dying man’s last wishes, Kiichi Hogan must warn the wife of a high-ranking samurai not to fall into a trap that has been set up to incriminate a rival in the clan. Meanwhile the woman and her daughter have left on their journey to Kyoto where the girl’s real father is unaware of the dangerous plot against him. Will the Mute Samurai be able to stop the villains from taking over the clan and save the women from certain death?

Episode 22:

”A Lad And A Vendetta”
(Shonen to Adauchi)
Original airdate 3/3/74
Co-star: SAKAI Shu
Directed by: KOBAYASHI Masao


While searching for a wanted man, Kiichi Hogan is approached by a youth who had seen his sword in action and requests that the Mute Samurai teach him how to fight so he, too, can avenge his father. In one of the most remarkable episodes in this series, we get to see this master swordsman take the young man under his wing and teach him the skills necessary to cut down the man who had brutally slain his father. Kiichi Hogan sees much of himself in the youth and shows his human side when the much awaited vendetta is about to be carried out. When faced with a life or death choice, what will he do?

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THE MUTE SAMURAI

Volume 12

Episode 23:
”A Camellia In Winter”

(Kantsubaki Bojo)
Original airdate 3/10/74

Directed by: YASUDA Kimiyoshi

While hunting for a wanted criminal Kiichi Hogan turns down a woman’s request to help her with a vendetta against the yakuza boss who framed her father and caused the death of her mother. The silent samurai has an entirely different plan in mind. Playing the role of her fiancé, he is able to infiltrate the band of cutthroats who are responsible for the illegal smuggling of foreign goods into the area and try learn just who the mastermind of the operation is. Will he be able to keep up the charade long enough to find out the truth behind the smuggling operation and the frame-up of an innocent man who has lost the will to live?



Episode 24:
”A Woman’s Tears”
(Kanashii Onna)
Original airdate 3/17/74

Directed by: OTA Akikazu

When Kiichi Hogan meets a man who has been cut down by assassins, he is plunged into an adventure that threatens his very life. The man gives the Mute Samurai his life savings with a final plea to use the money and redeem his daughter from the bordello he sold her to, but upon his arrival the yakuza boss has already sold the girl to a foreigner named Franco who will send her across the ocean to a life worse than death as a prostitute for the hated gaijin. Further complications arise when her lover, a young man named Sokichi attempts to escape with her and elude the deadly knife-thrower who acts as bodyguard for the boss. Can Kiichi Hogan stop Franco from taking the girl out of Japan after he, himself is taken prisoner by the yakuza boss?

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