by Jack Nilan            email :

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954)

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki

Jack   A

IMDB    7.8



   Miyamoto Musashi is the first film of Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy starring Toshiro Mifune.

   Following the battle of Sekigahara, Takezo (Musashi) and a friend, Matahachi, fin themselves on the run from the victors. After taking refuge with a mother and daughter, Matahachi agrees to escort them to Kyoto. Takezo returns to his village but is a hunted fugitive.

   Takezo is finally captured by a Budhist priest who tries to put him on the right path, but with the help of Matahachi. The priest then capture Takezo again and locks him in a room in a castle for three years.

   At the end of the film Takezo has been given a samurai name Miyamoto Musashi, and he leaves to search for enlightenment.

   The tale may very well be the director's take on the imperial hubris that brought Japan into WWII and the disaster that befell them because of it. The path that Musashi is taking might be the path that the director feels Japan also needs to take (in 1954).

   An excellent movie that was beautifully filmed.