"ABE ICHIZOKU"
― Loyalty or the aesthetics of a samurai... The great battle over the death of the Hosokawa clan, and it's last moment. ―

『ABE ICHIZOKU』

Director:Kinji Fukasaku

Screenplay:Motomu Furuta

Cast:Tsutomu Yamazaki, Koichi Sato, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keizo Kanie

Music:Jyun Nagao


Country:Japan

Year:1995

Runtime:94min

Presented by SHOCHIKU Co., Ltd.

Story

Spring, 18th year of Kanei. Tadatoshi Hosokawa, the feudal lord of Higo dies of illness. While fighting his illness, Tadatoshi forbade his vassals from following his death, but as they end up committing seppuku one after the other, the son Mitsunao, the new lord, sent another order to stop self-immolation. Yaichiemon Abe was the only one who obeyed Tadatoshi's order and stayed alive, but was then treated as a coward, so ends up deciding to commit seppuku in front of his clan. Mitsunao, angered that he was disobeyed, divides the Abe clan's dominion within the 5 sons. The eldest son Gonbe expresses his objection at the first anniversary of Tadatoshi's death by cutting off his hair, but ends up being executed. The second son Yagobe and the rest of the Abe clan, takes back their brother's head and shuts themselves inside their grounds to try and protect their reputation...

Highlight

A true tragedy that happened within the Hosokawa clan during the early Edo era. The film captures various human reactions and the subtleties of the samurai's code. Director Kinji Fukasaku takes on the megaphone to turn Mori Ogai's historical novel into a piece of period entertainment. Tsutomu Yamazaki, Keizo Kanie and Koichi Sato take on the role to play out the tragedy of a vassal struggling to serve loyalty at the death of his lord. A masterpiece with a luxurious cast of veterans including Noboru Nakaya, Hiroyuki Sanada and Renji Ishibashi.