Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Obscure Japanese Film Question

Last night I watched a Japanese film 'The Hidden Blade' on BBC4 ('Kakushi ken oni no tsume'). It's almost exactly the same plot as the last Japanese film I saw. I looked on imdb and it doesn't say 'this is a remake of...' anything. But I think the one I was reminded of was 'The Twilight Samurai' ('Tasogare Seibei'). That's the previous film by the same director (Yoji Yamada). They are both about shabby Samurai in the second half of the 19th century, who get caught up in the social changes of the time.

The details are slightly different: in Twilight Samurai the hero is a widower with a senile mother who can't marry his love because she's divorced, in Hidden Blade he's a bachelor whose parents are dead who can't marry his love for caste reasons. But the similarities, of scenes, of plot, are much greater than the summaries on imdb would imply. The same bit of river bank is used, they both seem to work in the same place, and the final fight with his best friend.

Does anyone know why Yoji Yamada would make two such very similar films? I see these were his 77th and 78th films. Perhaps this is just the story he wants to tell.

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