Kagemusha(Shadow Warrior) by Akira Kurosawa

1749 words 7 pages
Research Paper
Shadow Warrior by Akira Kurosawa The film “Shadow Warrior” also known as “Kagemusha” was made by Kurosawa in the year of 1980. The film recounted the actual historical event about the death of a great samurai Shingen Takeda who was known as the head of Takeda family. The film started in the year of 1573 while all samurai families competed with each other and the final goal was to unite Japan as a whole. The period was also known as Sengoku period. The story began in Shingen’s place while his younger brother, Nobukado found a thief who looked almost exactly like his brother. The safety for the head of family was top priority during Sengoku period. Therefore, the using of substitute in order to confuse enemies was a common
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It was a real pain to watch this part of the movie. The movement of the horses dying was so real and made u think if they actually wounded those horses during the making of the film or not. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any information regarding the condition of those horses but I hope they were doing fine after filming. In Kagemusha, we could find many different aspects of humanity and values. As I thoroughly watch the movie, many questions came into my mind. What’s the importance of selflessness? How could Kagemusha adapt his values and believes as Shingen’s? Those are pretty critical questions but Kurosawa seemed to reveals his answers in the film. “In his autobiography, Kurosawa remarks, “The Japanese see self-assertion as immoral and self-sacrifice as the sensible course to take in life””(P203 Malpezzi) It was the power of traditional Japanese’s value and Bushido spirit to create a successful Kagemusha. In the beginning of the movie we could clearly identify the character of the thief who was selfish and rude. After the death of Shingen, we quickly discovered the sympathy inside the thief’s heart. He had a choice to just be himself instead of Shingen’s Kagemusha but he still chose to because he simply didn’t want enemies’ spies to find out the death of Shingen which might lead to the destruction of Takeda Family. Shingen’s brother, Nobukado had guide the Kagemusha fairly well through out those 2

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