Introduction to Seven Samurai
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Japan, 1954
HUM 210 Online Course Pack - Fall 2006 - Prof. Cora Agatucci
Internet Movie Database: Shichinin no samurai
Asian Film Connections: Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998)

MLA Style Works Cited bibliographical citation - film, DVD, videotape:

Seven Samurai [Japan: Shichinin no samurai]. Dir. Akira Kurosawa.  Wr. Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu
         Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni.  Perf. Takashi Shimura,
Toshirô Mifune, Isao Kimura, Yoshio
Toho Co. Ltd., 1954.  DVD. Janus Criterion Collection, 1998.


Medieval Japan: Sengoku Period - 16th Century (i.e. 1500's Common Era)
The Medieval period (end 12th - end 16th centuries) in Japan began with warfare at the end of the 12th century, and warfare continued off and on until the end of the 16th century.  "In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed West in search of a route to the East. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Copernicus, and Martin Luther were all reshaping Renaissance and Reformation Europe.  China was enjoying a period of peace and prosperity under the Ming Dynasty that had replaced the Mongols.  In Japan, however, this was the Sengoku era, the final stage of the medieval epoch, the period of the 'Country at War'" (Robert Oxnam, cited in Enrique 69).

OPENING FILM TITLE: "The Sengoku Period [16th century] was a time of civil wars; it was a lawless era and in the country the farmers were at the mercy of bands of brigands . . . . farmers everywhere [in Japan] were being crushed under the iron heels of cruel brigands [i.e. the Bandits]" (Kurosawa 69).

SENGOKU Period, 1467 - 1573 -  "Time of the Country at [civil] War" - aka: ONIN [civil] WARS
Warring factions led by feudal lords called daimyo (literally "great names") and their samurai engaged in lengthy, destructive civil wars.  "The Sengoku Age was a time of brutal fighting in Japan.  It is estimated that there was more fighting in Japan in terms of intensity, frequency, and duration than anywhere else in the world at this time.  So it was an extremely bloody period.  So great was the fighting and disorder in Sengoku times that in reading the records of this period one gets the feeling that social fabric might have been indeed torn apart.  And we see fighting among the various territorial lords, or regional lords [daimyo], for land and power. . . . These daimyo built castles and indeed castles became a symbol of this age" (Paul Varley, qtd. in Enrique 70).

Film critic Joan Mellon ranks Seven Samurai among those rare "[g]reat works of art in the epic mode" that "chronicle the historic fate of entire societies, cultures, and communities. . . . at moments of historical transition" (6).  "Kurosawa . . . evokes the cultural upheaval which followed the fall of Japanese militarism in the sixteenth century, no less than that of the moment [1952-1954] in which he made the film, the aftermath of the American Occupation [of Japan after the end of World War II]" (Mellon 7).

CLASS SYSTEM of JAPAN: Sengoku period Japanese society was divided into a rigid four-class system designed to limit (upward as well as downward) social mobility (Enrique 133):
1. Warrior [Samurai]: "The warrior is one who maintains his martial discipline even in time of peace . . . " (Ryusaku Tsunoda, de Bary, and Keene 329-330).
2. Farmer: "The farmer's toil is proverbial . . . . he selects the seed from last fall's crop and undergoes various hardships and anxieties through the heat of the summer until the seed grows finally to a rice plan . . .  the rice then becomes sustenance for the multitudes . . . " (Ryusaku Tsunoda and others, 329-330).
3. Artisan: "The artisan's occupation is to make and prepare wares and utensils for the use of others . . . " (Ryusaku Tsunoda, de Bary, and Keene 329-330).
4. Merchant: "The merchant facilitates the exchange of goods so that the people can cover their nakedness and keep their bodies warm" (Ryusaku Tsunoda, de Bary, and Keene 329-330).

"The samurai even by law could not become farmers . . . .
[a samurai] must play out the fate of his class" (Mellon 71).

"A true samurai wanted nothing more than to be attached to a daimyo and a castle,
to be 'tied down' in classic feudal organisation. . . . The samurai fought out of the kindness
and alliance of the land which justified, for Kurosawa, their entire birthright.  The very mention of money
and gratitude betray the spirit of Seven Samurai; the samurai code forbad the very touching of money
as beneath a samurai's dignity" (Mellon 71).

Civil wars that plagued medieval Japan during the Sengoku era, resulted in death for many Japanese feudal warlords (DAIMYO) and in destruction of their castles and fiefdoms. Samurai warriors (similar to European Medieval knights) who had pledged their loyalty and used their swords in service of these defeated daimyo, suddenly found themselves without a lord to serve and honor, without a daimyo to reward them or to provide them sustenance. Such lord-less samurai became known as ronin (literally, "wave-men"), left to float about on the waves of fortune, as it were; cut adrift to wander and eke out a living as best they could. Some of these ronin became Bandits, using their skills in warfare and violence to prey upon seemingly defenseless farmers, like the villagers in this film. Other ronin, such as Kambei and the other seven samurai, sought to support themselves in more upright ways, applied their skills to more honorable causes. and remained true to the high values of Bushido (see below). 

While farmers suffered from the lawless violence of feuding daimyo and outlaw ronin during the Sengoku era, its weakened centralized government and regional chaos also relieved farming communities from strict and consistent taxation; and farmers, like those in the film, became adept at survival, taking advantage of opportunities to prey upon wounded and dying samurai who wandered onto the farmers' lands, "stripping them of their armour, hoarding food and sake . . . as Kikuchiyo reveals in the culminating moment of the first half of the film" (Mellon 17).  After bringing out the farmers' stash of confiscated samurai armor and weapons that would help in defending the village, Kikuchiyo is offended when even normally good-natured Heihachi explodes: "I'd like to kill every farmer in this village."  Kambei must explain the samurai's  response to Kikuchiyo: "One who has not been hunted [by farmers] would never understand."  Then it is Kikuchiyo's turn to explode: "What should a farmer do?" It is ruthless, warring samurai and outlaw ronin [like the Bandits] who destroy farmers' villages, steal their food, kidnap and rape their women, who have turned many farmers into "beasts."  One message of Seven Samurai is that violent excesses by both warriors [samurai] and farmers during wars of this turbulent period beget inhuman behavior, and deepen class difference and animosity.

BUSHIDO: The WAY of the WARRIOR  [Bushi = Warrior i.e. SAMURAI]
Developing in Japan between the 9th and 12th centuries, Bushido was "a code and way of life for Samurai."  Combining the influences of Buddhism, Zen, Confucianism, and Shintoism, Bushido emphasized the following fundamental principles: "loyalty [and obedience], self sacrifice, justice, sense of shame, refined manners, purity, modesty, frugality, martial spirit, honor, and affection"
(Nippon Steel Human Resources Development Co., Ltd. 329; qtd. in Clark, Bushido: "The Way of the Warrior").

Excerpts from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, first published in 1716, a widely read Tokugawa-period guide to samurai ethics (Enrique 135):
--"Concerning martial valor, merit lies more in dying for one's master than in striking down the enemy . . . " (Tsunetomo Yamomoto 37).
--"A warrior should not say something fainthearted even casually.  He should set his mind to this beforehand.  Even in trifling matters the depths of one's heart can be seen" (Tsunetomo Yamomoto 43).
--"When an official place is busy and someone comes in thoughtlessly with some business or other, often there are people who will treat him coldly and become angry.  This is not good at all.  At such times, the etiquette of a samurai is to calm himself and deal with the person in a good manner.  To treat a person harshly is the way of middle class lackeys" (Tsunetomo Yamomoto 51).
--". . . Whenever anyone is in unhappy circumstances, you should above all inquire after him by visiting or sending some gift.  and you should never in your whole life be negligent toward someone from whom you have received a favor.  By such thinking the consideration of others can be seen.  In this world the people who will rely on others when they are in difficulties and afterwards not give them a thought are many" (Tsunetomo Yamomoto 55).

"[B]eing a samurai was a matter of birth, . . . you didn't choose to be a samurai,
and . . . this station brought moral obligations of a higher order . . ." (Mellon 69).

"Kurosawa's abiding admiration for the dedication of the samurai class at its most authentic permits them to become heroic not merely in battle.  It reflects, too, his respect for his father, 'a strict man of military background,' as [Kurosawa] would later write in his Autobiography.  The family traced its ancestry to a famous Genji warrior, and as a child Kurosawa's father still wore the topknot, the emblem of the samurai class" (Mellon 9; emphasis added).  Mellon interprets the driving wind that "surges through the action" and punctuates many key scenes of Seven Samurai, as symbolizing the  "winds of change, of fortune and of adversity" (24): in particular, "It is a wind heralding the loss of samurai culture and the endurance of the peasantry" (24).

ZEN BUDDHISM in Late Medieval Japan
During Japan's medieval period, Buddhism spread beyond the religious discipline of priests, monks, and scholars, to a religion of common people seeking comfort in time of despair and hope for salvation after death.  Salvationist sects of Buddhism appealed to many people as a release from a life of suffering. "They didn't want to believe that this world ended with the terrible things that they had witnessed" (Donald Keene qtd. in Enrique 67).  "Buddhism believes that this existence is a place of impermanence, all things are in flux, things are constantly changing, nothing actually is real. . . . [P]eople suffer because people have desires, they try to acquire things and hold onto them, but they can't because they're not real.  So it's suffering.  So it's a very powerful message, a very powerful concept about existence, about life itself and the offering of great rewards to those who pursue Buddhist practices to achieve release from this suffering which was conceived in terms of transmigration.  You're born, you die, you're reborn, . . . in an endless sequence, and the suffering only increases because your bad karma from an earlier life affects you in this life . . . . but . . . it holds ultimate rewards--release from this suffering, entering into Nirvana . . . " (Paul Varley qtd. in Enrique 66-67).

But it was especially Zen Buddhism that appealed to the warrior class and flourished during the Sengoku period.  "In its pure form, Zen was and remains an austere faith, emphasizing the practice of meditation as the route to the ultimate truth beyond the illusions of the world.  Unlike other salvationist sects [like Amida Buddhism], which permitted the individual to escape from suffering by putting his faith completely in some other being or thing, Zen emphasized personal enlightenment through individual discipline."  According to Professor Patricia O'Neill, samurai were attracted to the following elements of Zen:


Unlikely as it may seem amid the constant fighting and chaos, later medieval age in Japan "was also a time of marvelous cultural [and artistic] development" (Paul Varley, qtd. in Enrique 70) strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism. Zen "stressed simplicity and directness in all forms of expression," and is at the heart of the ritualized tea ceremony (chanoyu) and attendant arts such as ceramics, lacquerware, painting, calligraphy, interior design, as well as gardens outside tea houses. (Robert Oxnam, qtd. in Enrique 70). The aim of the tea ceremony was to encourage harmony with nature Garden landscapes of sand and rocks (raked sand representing water, rocks representing mountains) within Zen temples were places for meditation.  Tea room features--such as tatami (rush mats used for flooring), shoji (sliding paper and wood screens used as room dividers), and tokonoma (ceremonial alcove where paper scrolls and flower arrangements [ikebana] are displayed)--have characterized Japanese architecture since the medieval period (Robert Oxnam qtd. in Enrique 71).

Japanese Film Genres & Kurosawa's Film Style

"'Japanese films all tend to be rather bland in flavor, like green tea over rice,' Kurosawa remarked in an interview, making a knowing dig at his staid rival, Yasujiro Osu (one of whose films was actually called The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice).  'I think we ought to have richer foods, and richer films.  So I thought I would make this kind of film entertaining enough to eat.'" (qtd. by David Ehrenstein, liner notes accompanying Seven Samurai - DVD). In Seven Samurai, Kurosawa works with but transcends the conventions of established Japanese film genres.

Seven Samurai can be classified as historical fiction.  One established Japanese film genre is the Jidai-geki, the period/costume film. "Set in the past, it exposes the meaning of history, enlisting for its surface action the lesser form of the chambara, or sword film" (Mellon 12, emphasis added). [Chambara is more popularly known as the Samurai film, a type Mellon equates to "the Japanese B-Western" (12).]  Jidai-geki typically evokes the "beauty of lost life and feeling" of a past time before the intrusion and influence of the West (Europe, U.S.) changed modern Japan, and often features Tate or "action in sword" (Iwamoto). Unlike U.S. Westerns, "Jidai-geki do not glorify the landscape.  The theme of duty versus inclination . . . pervades all of Japanese cinema . . . " (Mellon 69).

According to Iwamoto, a variant of the historical period/costume drama is Yazuka (usually set in Meiji Restoration days of the late 19th and early 20th centuries), characterized by four pairs of confrontations: old vs. new, social/economic conflicts of interest, refined vs. rough, and harmonious vs. disharmonious. The theme of wandering or roaming people (like the ronin) - Michiyuki, "a trip to the death," is repeated in many types of Japanese films, reflecting a Buddhist-influenced world view and aesthetic consciousness of the transience of life and acceptance of death as trivial.  In Yakuza films, keeping an obligation to the end (often meaning defeat and ruin) is a moral imperative; in Bushido, the code of warriors (samurai), true loyalty requires submission (to its consequences, even death) (Iwamoto).

Joan Mellon maintains that Seven Samurai is also Ofuna-cho, a "home drama" about "people like you and me": The character "Kambei is not merely a samurai leader, a warrior of consummate military accomplishment, but a man who has grown old in service without fulfilling the ambition of his youth to become a 'warlord' [daimyo]" (12). Seven Samurai also breaks from the seriousness of these other Japanese genres by offering a great deal of comedy, "with satiric scenes, verbal jokes, wit, irony and broad humor" (Mellon 9).

Iwamoto identifies two special characteristics of Japanese film: "suppression and excess."  Suppression  "means to push down expression" - to NOT ex-press (push outside) but to "in-press" (push inside) - to suppress "is to control and make calm," to not "express some desires or feelings, and to not explode."  "Excess means to push fervently an expression . . . outside, to express some desires or feeling, and to go off."  One source of dramatic and creative tension in Kurosawa's films might then be the balanced interplay between suppression and excess, "between inactivity and activity," visually expressed in "vivid contrast of light and shadow, and the dynamics of motion" (Iwamoto).  In terms of characterization in Seven Samurai, one might identify the character Kambei with suppression and, at the other end of this dynamic continuum, the character of  Kikuchiyo with excess. As Mellon observes, Kikuchiyo is "incapable of restraint, the member of the group whose every emotion is visible" (12).]

 Interestingly, Iwamoto accounts for Kurosawa's appeal to international and Western audiences because of his use of "excess of expression" - for example in "the emotion of energy like heavy rain, gale, the burning sun . . . ." - and in his "excess of a view of morality of enforcing humanism [and] of expression" that "make spectators embarrassed or moved." 

Seven Samurai


      "The plot of Seven Samurai is deceptively simple.  A village of farmers has suffered the annual encroachment of a group of forty ruthless bandits, who steal the harvest, kidnap the women and wreak general havoc.  In desperation, under the guidance of the ancient village elder, the desperate farmers decide, improbably, to hire samurai to save their village.  There had never before been a Japanese film in which peasants hired samurai, or an evocation of the social upheaval which made credible such an idea.
       "More accurately, the farmers seek disenfranchised samurai, or ronin, those warriors set adrift in society.  Without a master to serve, they are themselves starving and without occupation.  Six ronin, and one would-be warrior [Kikuchiyo], aided by the farmers, whom they train, save the village by killing all the bandits" (Mellon 7).

FARMERS of a Village repeatedly ravaged by Bandits

Rikichi (Yoshio Tsuchiya): a firebrand farmer who wants to fight, rather than give in to, the Bandits when they return; and leads the farmers' expedition to hire samurai.  The film will eventually reveal why Rikichi is consumed by strong personal motive for revenge against the marauding Bandits. Joan Mellon calls Rikichi "an everyman, whose character deepens with his suffering" (12).
Manzo (Kamatari Fujiwara): father of Shino; Manzo resists, but goes on, the expedition to hire samurai. Although bringing back samurai to defend the village against the Bandits is crucial to the community's survival, Manzo is consumed by (ultimately selfish) fear of personal shame if his daughter Shino were to be seduced by one of the hired samurai.  He tries to disguise Shino as a boy by cutting off her long hair and hiding her from the hired samurai
Mosuke (Yoshio Kosugi): Another villager who goes on the expedition to hire samurai; early on, Mosuke often tries to reconcile conflicts among dissenting villagers, but his is one of the three outlying houses that cannot be protected in defense of twenty houses that comprise the central village, and his willingness to sacrifice for the good of the group is sorely tested.
Yohei (Bokuzen Hidari): a meek villager who goes on expedition to hire samurai; who cowers in despair when he fails in his responsibility to protect the farmers' precious rice from theft in town; but discovers himself capable of defending his Village when the ruthless Bandits return to attack.
Grandad / Gisaku (Kokuten Kodo): wise, old village patriarch who has survived much violence and destruction during his lifetime, and draws upon that experience when he advises his villagers to hire samurai; when Bandits finally return to attack the village, he refuses to leave his water-mill home although it lies outside the village defenses carefully planned by the hired samurai.
Shino (Keiko Tsushima): daughter of Manzo, who tries to disguise Shino as a boy by cutting off her hair and hiding her when the hired samurai arrive in the village.  Despite Manzo's efforts, Shino will fall in love with the young samurai Katsushiro, though she fears that their love is doomed because "You are samurai and I'm a peasant" (Mellon 13).

Farmers, of low class, have only one name, while higher class Samurai usually have both a Family surname and a Personal name.
Driving wind that "surges through the action" and punctuates many key scenes of Seven Samurai, Joan Mellon interprets as symbolizing the "winds of change, of fortune and of adversity" (24): in particular, "It is a wind heralding the loss of samurai culture and the endurance of the peasantry" (24). Akira Kurosawa has stated: "I wanted to say that after everything the peasants were the stronger, closely clinging to the earth.  It is the samurai who were weak because they were being blown by the winds of time" (qtd. in Mellon 65).

 For Mellon, the farmers are strong "because of their brute energy, determination and persistence," and "because of their usefulness as provides of food to the community," while "for all their nobility, even these [seven] samurai belong to an ethos of war and killing which ultimately does the society no good" (Mellon 65).

SEVEN SAMURAI, enlisted to defend the Village from Bandit horde

"Each character is distinctly complex and individual,
while exemplifying a facet of samurai virtue" (Mellon 8).

"Seven Samurai is above all a homage to the samurai class at its most noble" (Mellon 20).


1. Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura): The first samurai recruited and leader of the seven samurai, Kambei exemplifies samurai integrity and selflessness. First introduced doing the unthinkable, Kambei has his topknot cut off and his head shaved so that he can pose as a Buddhist priest and save a child from a ruthless kidnapper/thief. Kambei also "embodies samurai modesty," trying to dissuade young Katsushiro from following him, rubbing his shaved head whenever "praise would embarrass" (Mellon 8).  "Self-effacement is a redeeming and vanishing trait, evocative of samurai modesty for Kurosawa" (Mellon 8). Kambei is a mature "samurai leader, a warrior of consummate military accomplishment, but a man who has grown old in service without fulfilling the ambition of his youth to become a 'warlord' [daimyo]" (Mellon 12). Although Kambei is weary of constant warfare, he is the first ronin-samurai to accept the farmer's mission, and recruits or attracts the other six samurai.  Under Kambei's leadership, the seven samurai will mobilize the farmers and successfully defend their village against the Bandits
2. Gorobei Katayama (Yoshio Inaba): The second samurai recruited recognizes that "The deepest friendship often comes from a chance encounter," and accepts the mission because he is fascinated by Kambei, the leader.
3. Shichiroji (Daisuke Katô): The third samurai recruited is an old friend of Kambei: Shichiroji was Kambei's "right-hand man" in many past battles that the two fought together. Few words are needed between these two old comrades who have survived against all odds, and who are already bonded by loyalty, admiration and love.
4. Heihachi Hayashida (Minoru Chiaki): The fourth samurai recruited (by Gorobei) is discovered cheerfully chopping wood to pay for his room and board. Heihachi later jokingly describes himself as a "fencer of the Wood Cut school," and demonstrates a "capacity for open-hearted generosity" of the samurai class at its best (Mellon 7).  Heihachi, a kind and sensitive samurai, develops a special friendship for Rikichi, despite class barriers between warrior and farmer.
5. Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi): The fifth samurai is a master swordsman, personifying traditional samurai skills; at first he rejects, but then decides to accept Kambei's offer to join the mission.
6. Katsushiro Okamoto (Isao /Ko Kimura): The sixth samurai is a wealthy, self-recruited youth of samurai-class who seeks experience and offers himself as disciple to Kambei, "at the very moment when Kambei has become disillusioned and weary of a life of endless combat" (Mellon 7-8).  Kambei reluctantly accepts "the kid" as the sixth samurai on the mission to defend the village.  Katsushiro's coming-of-age story becomes a subplot of the film, tracing the consequences of Katsushiro's making a hero of Kyuzo, samurai sword master, and falling in love with Shino, farmer Manzo's daughter. "Katsushiro's admiration for the cool ascetic discipline and skill of Kyuzo captures the source of inspiration where the young discover their own strength.  Katsushiro's passion for . . . Shino . . . contains the universal defiance of young love . . ." (Mellon 13).
7. Kikuchiyo with no family surname (Toshirô Mifune): For film critic Joan Mellon, Kikuchiyo "stands at the emotional heart of the film.  His peasant origins and rebellious transformation into an iconoclastic warrior express the epic moment of social transition at the heart of Seven Samurai. . . . He is accepted as a samurai out of the passion, energy, and the intensity of his desire which transcends the social impediment of his class" (Mellon 8). Kikuchiyo, born a farmer's son and lowly in his manners, is "incapable of restraint, the member of the group whose every emotion is visible" (Mellon 12). Kikuchiyo also provides much of the film's comedy. Yet because of his links to the farmers and to the earth, Kikuchiyo possesses vital knowledge and skills that the other samurai lack and that will help in defending the village.  And ultimately, Kikuchiyo will rise to the best possibilities within himself and prove to the others that "he is a samurai in courage, wit, selflessness and strength . . . " (Mellon 10).

"The samurai become a family in themselves and then integrate themselves
within the wider family of the village" (Mellon 13).

BANDITS & their horde

Bandit Chief (Shinpei Takagi): "Only the bandits are flat, one-dimensional characters, having completely surrendered all standards and moral restraint" (Mellon 12-13)..
Rikichi's wife
(Yukiko Shimazaki): kidnapped in previous Village raid and kept by the Bandits

"That the bandits who prey on the peasants are themselves ronin [like most of the seven samurai] contributes to the dramatic irony which suffuses this film and highlights the theme that overwhelming change presses people into roles they would not otherwise assume" (Mellon 8).

"[T]he samurai are departing from the stage of history . . . " (Mellon 66).
"The unique selflessness, the goodness of the six samurai meets throughout the film the paradox that the entire class - the good along with the worse elements, represented by the forty bandits -
is becoming obsolete.  The transitory survival of three samurai is met by the pathos of historical defeat
 . . . the worthy must disappear along with the villainous" (Mellon 67).

Works Cited

Clark, James.  Bushido:"The Way of the Warrior." 1996. Asian Studies, Matsushita Center for
        Electronic Learning (MCEL), Pacific University. 2003.  5 Jan. 2004
Enrique, Ninette R., ed.  Japanese History and Literature Guide.  South Burlington, VT: Columbia
        University's Project on Asia in the Core Curriculum of Schools and Colleges - Annenberg/CPB
        Project, 1996.
Iwamoto, Kenji.  "The Aesthetics of Japanese Cinema." [Rev. speech, "Symposium for Asian Art Film
         Festival," Seoul, Korea] 1998. Asian Film Connections. Univ. of Southern California, 1998-2004.
         5 Jan. 2004 <>.
Kurosawa, Akira.  Seven Samurai.  Trans. Donald Keene. 1970.  Seven Samurai and Other
         Screenplays: Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood. 
London: Faber and Faber, 1992.
Mellon, Joan.  Seven Samurai.  BFI Film Classics Series. Ed. Rob White. London, UK: British Film
          Institute, 2002.
O'Neill, Patricia.  Chapter 11: Medieval Japan. East Asian History. Unpubl. HST-291M Course Packet,
          Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR:  Winter 2004. 
Ryusaku Tsunoda, William Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene.  Sources of Japanese Tradition.  New
          York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1964.
Seven Samurai [Japan: Shichinin no samurai]. Dir. Akira Kurosawa.  Wr. Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu
          Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni.  Perf. Takashi Shimura,
Toshirô Mifune, Isao Kimura, Yoshio
Toho Co. Ltd., 1954.  DVD. David Ehrenstein, DVD Liner Notes. Janus Criterion Collection,

Tsunetomo Yamototo.  Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.  Trans. William Scott Wilson. Tokyo & New
         York: Kodansha International, 1979.

You are here: Introduction to Seven Samurai

Disclaimer: Rest of handouts reveals plot in increments:

 Seven Samurai  Film Notes, Part I

Seven Samurai  Film Notes, Part II

Seven Samurai  Film Notes, Part III

Seven Samurai  Film Notes, Part IV

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