© 2012 niall. All rights reserved.

it’s hard being a samurai

This is a video clip of a very cool swordfight. It’s from The Twilight Samurai directed by Yoji Yamada.

Yoji Yamada is famous as the director of the popular Otoko wa tsurai yo – It’s hard being a man – series of Tora-san movies. They are rather lightweight. So the samurai trilogy Yamada directed subsequently was a wonderful surprise.

The three movies are The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade and Love and Honor. I recommend them – they are all really excellent movies.

The swordfight is interesting because the main character Seibei uses a short wooden sword against his opponent’s katana. A little like Miyamoto Musashi using a sword carved from an oar in his duel with Sasaki Kojiro.

Hiroyuki Sanada who plays Seibei has a background in martial arts and he is one of the few Japanese actors who looks competent when he is using a sword. He was in The Last Samurai and he is also in 47 Ronin due for release in 2013.


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photo: The Twilight Samurai by Jonah Sng http://www.flickr.com/photos/godchased/363258873/
Jonah Sng’s photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/godchased/with/363258873/

This post is published simultaneously on the aikido site aikiweb

my columns on aikiweb http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75&filter[1]=Niall%20Matthews

I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

© niall matthews 2012



  1. niall

    Hi Marcos. Kill Bill is Quentin Tarantino’s hommage to samurai movies. And manga.

    Nice Kill Bill quote:

    For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior’s only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.

  2. niall

    Yes Carina – they are great movies. Subtle and cool. In a way these movies are like the very best westerns.

    • to me kill bill is one of the best samurai films hands down, i was in hshoicgohl when it came out, and skipped class just to go watch it, and i loved it and it’s the reason i saw all those other samurai films. ut on the other hand, seeing it the other day, it is just a great swordsman revenge movie, it has the sagely master, the massive group battle, the one on one finale etc. perfect movie i think

  3. Thank you Niall, yes the movies are excellent, I saw the first and the second one and agree with you. Will try to download the third one.

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