EPIC CHUSHINGURA VOLUME 2
(Daichushingura Episodes 3-4)
1971 - Color - 90 min. REMASTERED Academy Standard (4:3)
Episodes 3-4 of the amazing yearlong series that set the standard for Japanese samurai history.
The tale of the 47 Ronin is Japan's most famous historical event, and the subject of many films and television shows. This is the ultimate version, with each episode basically a mini-movie from the same people who made most of KUROSAWA Akira's classic films.
Starring: MIFUNE Toshiro
Music by: TOMITA Isao
Swordfight Choreography by: KUZE Ryu
EPIC CHUSHINGURA (Daichushingura) is a television dramatization of the events of the 47 Ronin. The first episode aired on January 5, 1971, and the 52nd and final episode appeared on December 28 of the same year. The NET network broadcast it in the Tuesday evening 9:00–9:56 prime-time slot in Japan.
The series featured an all-star cast. The central actor was MIFUNE Toshiro, who portrayed Oishi Kuranosuke; with TSUKASA Yoko as his wife Riku; ONOE Kikunosuke as Asano Takumi-no-kami.
ICHIKAWA Chusha VIII took the part of Kira Kozukenosuke Yoshinaka, but died after the filming of episode 47; his brother Kodayu replaced him. The co-lead in the production (and Oishi's main adversary) Uesugi clan's chief councilor Chisaka Hyobu was played by the great TANBA Tetsuro.
Among the ronin and their allies were WATARI Tetsuya as Horibe Yasubei, TAMURA Masakazu as teenage Yato Emonshichi, and Frankie SAKAI as Akabane Genzo. WAKABAYASHI Go and SAKAGAMI Jiro also appeared in the series.
Many actors appeared as guest stars in only a few episodes. Among them were many known to audiences outside of Japan. These included: NAKAMURA Kinnosuke as Wakisaka Awaiji-no-kami, SHIMURA Takashi, and superstar KATSU Shintaro.
Music was composed by the brilliant TOMITA Isao, and the swordfighting scenes were handled by KUZE Ryu, who had most notably done the same for KUROSAWA Akira's Yojimbo and Sanjuro. Every moment of this dynamic series is filled with gripping drama, which then explodes into exciting action. The production values in this series are clearly of motion picture level.
As Oishi Kuranosuke makes plans for the vendetta, his biggest problems lie with those former members of the Ako clan who lack patience and seek to attack Kira Kozukenosuke immediately, while at the same time holding off the assassins sent by the central government. Tension mounts while the plan is put together amid assassination attempts and other efforts to thwart the revenge sought by the remaining ronin. As time passes, will Kira let down his guard or continue to maintain a high level of security and perhaps fortify his residence against an attack.