#2. Hara Kiri – Masaki Kobayashi shows us the anti-Samurai movie, in this ingenious drama about the honorable death of seppuku. The action may not be as abundant as you are used to in this genre, but quality more than makes up for quantity in this sharp, never-ending twist of a story. Be sure to pay attention to the beginning and the end to understand the historical significance.
#3. Samurai Assassin – Another true story(?) that only makes me want to pick up a Japanese history text book. Deftly weaving plot with action, Okamoto spins this yarn of a man trying to make something of himself in a world against him. Watch him win?
#4. Samurai III (Duel on Ganryu Island) – The final episode in the epic trilogy of one of Japan’s greatest folk heroes, Miyamoto Musashi, has the greatest sword fight in samurai movie history. But pay attention to the sword MM wields against his greatest adversary in his last battle or you may miss it…
#5. Samurai II (Duel at Ichijoji Temple) – The second part of Hiroshi Inagaki’s Historical Masterpiece is the action packed third you would expect from a properly paced trilogy. Swords flash across the screen as one of the greatest escapes in film is perpetrated by Miyamoto Musashi.