27 June 2001 | julienboulard
An epic finale for a masterpiece trilogy
This is the 3rd and last episode of the "Miyamoto Musashi" or also called "Samourai" trilogy, from director Inagaki with famous Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. The 1st episode having won the 1956 Oscar award of best foreign movie ! Inagaki's directing is refined and perfect, scenery is beautiful especially the sunset duel, choreography of combats is marvellous. Inagaki's directing and Mifune's great acting bring life to Musashi's legend and depict him with a lot of humanity.
This episode has the most significance for Japanese with the famous combat between Miyamoto Mifune, invincible samourai of more than 60 duels armed with a wooden sword, and Sasaki Kojiro, most formidable adversary and skillful swordsman armed with an extremely long sword, on the beach of Ganryu Island at sunset. The trilogy shows the life of Japan's most famous samourai and one of it's main philosopher, with the "Gorin-no-sho" treaty of 5 rings, with his sword techniques and Budhism life philosophy. In summary, the 1st episode is how he becomes an adult man, the 2nd how he becomes an invincible swordsman and the 3rd how he becomes a legend. Subplots being his relationship with Otsu who sacrifices her life for Musashi.
This trilogy is among Japan's two samourai masterpieces with Kurosawa's "Seven Samurais", mainly because of the directing/acting and Musashi's aura. Other Must-see Sword movies are recent movie Gohatto (or Tabou, 1999), Kurosawa's "Ame agaru" (After the rain, 1999), "Yojimbo" (The bodyguard) and "Sugata Sanshiro" (The Judo saga).