MASTER SWORDSMAN HIRATE MIKI
1951 – B&W – 62 min. – REMASTERED Academy Standard (4:3)
Starring: YAMAMURA So
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Screenplay by: HASHIMOTO Shinobu
Directed by: NAMIKI Kyotaro
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With a fate eerily similar to America’s Doc Holliday, Hirate Miki suffered with tuberculosis and became known as the fallen hero in the legendary battle fought in 1844 between two yakuza gangs at the Tonegawa River. This battle spawned many books and motion pictures including the first film in the Blind Swordsman series where Zato Ichi and Hirate Miki form a close friendship, although they are on opposite sides. After mastering swordsmanship at the dojo of Chiba Shusaku, and unable to serve a clan due to his illness, he became a ronin who wound up as bodyguard to Shigezo of Sasagawa leading up to the epic battle. With a screenplay by the great Hashimoto Shinobu (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Hara Kiri, Tenchu, etc) this exciting film brings Japanese history to life!