The Twilight Samurai

Synopsis: Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Yôji Yamada
Production: Empire Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min

Seibei Iguchi

Hiroyuki Sanada


Rie Miyazawa

Directed by

Yoji Yamada

Not that way

No, no, no!

Thank you. You may go

After a long illness

my mother died...

...when I was five

She had consumption... from when I can remember

I wasn't allowed near her

Thus I have almost no memory

of my mother

Ito... Ito...

You poor little darling!

I am from Unasaka, in the northeast

in what is now Yamagata Prefecture

Before 1868 it was the castle town

of the Unasaka clan...

...a small fief of 70,000 koku

of rice per year

well done, one and all

That's it for today


I've heard there's a good

drinking place in Hakkenmachi...

Oh, you mean 'Hisago'?

Feel like a drink?

A fine idea

Kawanami, will you come?

I will


For a change?

Not me, thanks

we can't twist your arm?

If you'll excuse me...

Twilight's not very exciting

is he

with a sick wife, two young daughters

and an aged mother in his care... father was unable

to drink with his colleagues

He had to hurry home

every evening at dusk

I was told the men

he worked with...

...gave him the cruel nickname

of 'Twilight Seibei'




Up you go!

Your face is dirty

Father's back!

Welcome home

Codfish stew tonight, Kayano?

Don't drop it

I'm home, Mother

How are you this evening?

Of what household are you, sir?

I am Seibei Iguchi of the

Unasaka Clan, Castle Stores

I see...

She's getting worse. She doesn't

even know her own son!

Kayano, I've simmered

some burdock. Take some

Thank you. You're always

so kind to my daughters

Naota... you can go home now


Good evening

But Yazaki, can't we do something

about Twilight?

His kimono's all ripped

and hardly ever takes a bath

There's this smell

when you get close to him

It just won't do!

Yes, sir. we all find it

very hard to stomach

we've asked around about

finding him a new wife...

...but no woman would want

his situation


He's got two young girls

a senile old mother...

...and 20 of his 50 koku

gone in debt

Any woman who went to him

would have to take in work

Yes, he owes money

all over the place

I don't know how he paid for

his wife's funeral

Not even selling your sword

would pay for a funeral like that

A funeral! That's something

I have to worry about, too

My father's not going to

last much longer

Kawanami's lucky

Young parents and a pretty wife!

You'd better go easy with her

It could hurt your work

Is that why you're always

cat-napping on the job?

I am not!

Listen to him!



Isn't she gorgeous!


Bed-time, Gran

Good night, Seibei

Good night

It looks like

she remembered me

The Master said:
To rule a land

of a thousand chariots...


That's Confucius, isn't it?

when did you start learning that?

At the end of last month

The teacher says...

...from now on even girls

will need book learning

That's good

When I was a boy I read Confucius

over and over again


If I learn to do


...someday I can make kimonos

But what good will

book learning ever do me?

Well, it probably won't ever be

as useful as needlework

But you know... learning gives you

the power... think

However the world might change

if you have the power to think...'ll always survive somehow

That's true for boys

and for girls

All right?


Keep reading, then

Tseng Tzu said:
Each day

in three ways...

...I ask myself...

...if I have faithfully carried out

what I undertook for another...

My mother's illness had left

my father deep in debt

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