THE AKO RETAINERS (Ako Roshi)
1961 – Color – 151 minutes – Remastered Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)
Starring: KATAOKA Chiezo,
ICHIKAWA Utaemon, NAKAMURA Kinnosuke
Directed by: MATSUDA Sadatsugu
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While the story of the Ako Clan's vendetta has been told countless times, never before has there been an array of major motion picture stars to bring new life to this timeless tale. Starting with the corrupt practices of Lord Kira and Yanagisawa, the shogun's secretary, which in essence led to the incident of Lord Asano's attacking Kira in the Pine Corridor of the Shogun's Palace, this is the definitive version. Asano Takumi no kami was a young lord with high scruples, who refused to join in the general corruption and bribery which ran rampant in the capital at that time. By not giving bribes, he angered Kira Kozuke no suke the elder lord in charge of protocol at the Palace. Refusing to teach the younger man, and giving him false instructions was only the beginning. Insults followed, and a man of honor had no choice but to draw his sword in anger. This massive story is told in two parts, and features one of the most exciting swordfights in the history of film. Forty seven former samurai of Ako are willing to give their lives to avenge their lord. Nothing could match the courage of these warriors as they show that truly the sword is the soul of the samurai, and the samurai is the soul of Japan.