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Written by Kurosawa - his last film - photographed by his cinematographer Shoji Ueda, and with most of the cast from Ran, Yume, and Yojimbo.

It's a change from his epic films like Ran and Kagemusha. It tells the story of an unattached samurai and his wife. When we come in to the story, the samurai is at an inn, waiting for the rain to stop and for the river to recede so they can continue their journey.

While he's waiting, he meets the lord of the area (played by Toshiro Mifune's son Shiro, in typical Mifune style), who wants him to be his fencing master.

It's a very upbeat, optomistic film.

The photography is excellent, as usual.

There's a scene in the middle of the film, where the samurai meets 5 or 6 fencing masters who think they should have a crack at the job. They gang up on him, but he manages to defeat all of them (and he doesn't even draw his sword until after Bad Guy Nr 3 or 4 falls). This scene was done in one take. Several cameras, but just one take. The photographer, Ueda, said that the actors are so good, trained and disciplined, that he rarely needed more than one take anywhere in the film.

(In the credits, the cinematographer is listed as "Shoji Ueda", and under "Ran", as "Masaharu Ueda". Does anybody know if these are the same person, or father & son?)
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