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Samurai One - Musashi Miyamoto (1954) - Color - 93 min

Samurai 1, also known as Musashi Miyamoto, is the first part in the epic trilogy by legendary Japanese film director Hiroshi Inagaki. The village wild man, Takezo grows up and learns the way of the Samurai and eventually becomes - Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest Samurai warrior in Japan. Meanwhile, Takezo's best friend, Matahachi makes some bad decisions that ruin his life. At one time he was betrothed to the lovely Otsu, but he ends up marrying a nasty witch named Oko and his life becomes hell. This is part one - the rest of the trilogy will be available soon!

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Samurai One - Musashi Miyamoto
Directed by - Hiroshi Inagaki

(1954) - Color - 93 min
Toshiro Mifune, best known for his lead roles in countless films by the great Akira Kurosawa, plays Takezo (Musashi Miyamoto). He is simply awesome in his role, and his character develops from the wild young Takezo, to the mature and wise Musashi. His romance with Otsu is also wonderful - make sure you check out the rest of this 5 hour trilogy as it becomes available. This is a great epic saga - of the life of Japan's greatest samurai warrior - Musashi Miyamoto.

Part one
Intro, color, credits, etc. A battle between east and west is brewing in 17th century Japan. Boyhood friends Takezo, played by Toshiro Mifune, and Matahachi, played by Rentaro Mikuni, watch as the assembled troops bravado through their village on their way to battle. Takezo, unruly, lawless and orphaned by his family due to his wild ways, decides to join the warriors and begin his quest for samurai. Matahachi, well-to-do son of village leaders, is more reluctant to commit to the fray due to his social standing and his betrothal to the lovely temple child, Otsu. But in the middle of the night both young men steal away to join in the battle of Sekigahara where their forces are routed and Matahachi is badly wounded. Takezo retreats into the mountains with his wounded friend and, close to exhaustion and collapse, wander upon the house of Oko (Ono!) and her beautiful 16 year old daughter, Akemi. Did you hear the one about the travelling salesman whose car broke down in the remote mountains of medieval Japan?

Toshir? Mifune stars as Takezo, a.k.a. Musashi Miyamoto

The Evil One - Oko, Akemi's mother, and Matahachi's wife, played by Mitsuko Mito

Part two
We join the wannabe samurai duo two months later still residing with Oko and Akemi. As it is today, so it was in 17th century Japan. Women love the rugged, brutal, dangerous type animal and Akemi falls for Takezo who thinks only of his future as a notorious samuai warrior. Matahachi, still recovering from his wounds, makes a pass at Akemi in the cowshed, is sternly denied and then grieves deeply over his beloved Otsu back in Miyamoto Village and the dishonor he has now done her. When bandits come for the gold that Oko and Akemi have stripped from dead samurai, Takezo single-handedly sends the survivors running. This excites Oko to the point of shamelessly throwing herself at Takezo which repulses him to the point of having to run off and keep running. As Matahachi, Akemi and Oko pack to escape the returning marauders, Oko tells them that Takezo will not be coming back because he had tried to rape her but that she had rebuffed him. Akemi is inconsolable.

the lovely Otsu, at first she's Matahachi's betrothed - but after she gets betrayed, she falls for Takeszo, Matahachi's best friend

Part three
Word spreads throughout the region that there is a wild-eyed murdering rapist on the loose and roadblocks go up throughout the region to catch the wild-eyed murdering rapist ... Takezo. His family back in Miyamoto Village are taken into custody to be held hostage until he is captured. Every man available is assembled into huge hunting parties which scour the forest for Takezo. He manages to get back to Miyamoto Village in order to tell Matahachi's mother that her son is not dead. She invites him in for something to eat and a hot bath and then procedes to betray him to the local officials who come to capture him. He, after killing a few, of course, escapes into the night.

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Samurai One - Musashi Miyamoto
Directed by - Hiroshi Inagaki

Starring - Toshir? Mifune as Takezo (Musashi Miyamoto), Rentaro Mikuni as Honiden Matahachi, Kaoru Yachigusa as Otsu, Mariko Okada as Akemi, Mitsuko Mito as Oku, Matahachi's wife, Kuroemon Onoe as Takuan Osho (the priest), Akihiko Hirata as Seijuro Yoshioka, Kusuo Abe as Temma Tsujikaze, Akira Tani as Kawarano-Gonroku,

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The lovely Akemi, played by Mariko Okada

Part four
Reinforcements from the castle arrive and the hunt continues. Otsu receives a letter from Kyoto. Matahachi's wife has written to tell her to forget about him, that he will not be returning. Otsu is inconsolable. The large numbers of men hunting for Takezo are having no success, perhaps because they bang a gong and beat a drum ahead of themselves as they scour the countryside. The priest, deciding that one holy man can do what a multitude cannot, sets out to find Takezo. Otsu goes with him. At the campfire that night Otsu plays the bamboo flute in order to heal her sorrow and unwittingly lures Takezo to their campsite. The priest wears him down with his Buddhist rhetoric and Takezo agrees to remand himself into the custody of the temple. The priest convinces the local authorities to let him deal with Takezo in his way first before handing him over and, binding him up, suspends him from the tallest tree in the temple block.

Matahachi's wife Oko and Matahachi lounging

Part five
Otsu begins to have feelings for the poor, suspended Takezo and one dark and stormy night manages to untie the rope and lower him to the ground, sustaining severe rope burns to her hands in the process. They escape together into the wilderness where Otsu confesses her love for him. They are soon found by a hunting party. Otsu is captured and taken to Himeji Castle but once again Takezo escapes. Back in Miyamoto Village Matahachi's mother decides that in order to save their family's reputation, she and her husband must go and behead the unfaithful Otsu and the "Lawless One" Takezo.

Otsu - played by Kaoru Yachigusa

Part six
Priest Takuan intercepts Takezo as he is trying to rescue Otsu from the Castle tricking him into returning to the temple where he locks him in the attic with stacks and stacks of books. He let's him know that he will be not be released (physically or spiritually) until he has learned all that is to be learned from the holy books. He informs Otsu of what has happened to Takezo and Otsu vows to wait for him until his education is complete. Meanwhile, back in Kyoto, we look in on Matahachi who's life is a mess. He is married yes, not to Akemi as you would have thought, but to her shrewish, conniving mother, Oko. She and her chubby extra-marital lover conspire to sell Akemi to a wealthy bachelor so they can live in luxury and leave Matahachi staring off into the distance thinking of Otsu and how badly things turned out. Three years later, Takezo has completed the first phase of his samurai training, been given the new name "Musashi Miyamoto" and ordered by the high priest to travel and train himself. The newborn samurai cannot help but go to Otsu before he begins his journeys and confesses his love for her. She begs him to take her with him to which he finally agrees. Otsu rushes off to prepare, leaving Musashi standing on the bridge but when she returns ... no Musashi. Only a message carved in the handrail of the bridge and the final shot of Musashi walking alone into the sunset. To be continued ....... check out the next part, Samurai Two, Duel at Ichijoji Temple.

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Takezo learns the ways of the Samurai and becomes Musashi Miyamoto, played by Toshir? Mifune

Matahachi, Matahachi's wife Oko, and Oko's daughter Akemi.

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