by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Chushingara (1962)

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki

Jack   A

IMDB    7.7



   Set in 1701, this movie is a one of the most popular of all Japanese stories. The movie is based on a historical incident in which the shogun placed Asano in charge of a reception of envoys from the royal court. Kira, a protocol official, was in charge of showing Kira what to do. For some reason Asano drew his sword on Kira, and was then ordered to commit seppuku. Asano's lands were confiscated and his samurais became ronin.

   Two years later 47 (or 46) of the ronin avenged their master and took Kira's head. They were then ordered to commit seppuku.

  This version of the movie is often called the Japanese Gone with the Wind. It is 207 minutes long and is beautifully filmed. The movie is a little hard to follow as characters enter and leave very often. The samurai, who took a blood oath, wait two years to avenge their master. In the meantime they are considered cowards and traitors to their master's memory. But, they bide their time and wait until they know they can carry out their plans successfully.

   A really good movie that probably needs to be seen multiple times to appreciate it fully.