Yojimbo

Japan Release: 1961
Running Time:
110 minutes

Yojimbo


Japanese Title

 用心棒
[Yojimbo]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho / Kurosawa Productions

A wandering samurai, Sanjuro, stumbles upon a town under siege. Embroiled in a war between rival gangs, the conflict has left the area in shambles as the death toll ever rises. With deep pockets, the gangs continue to hire those who wander into the area, making the conflict seem endless. Learning of the villagers' plight, the wandering samurai decides to aid them. First masking his intentions as a "gun for hire", Sanjuro begins to manipulate the two gangs. His goal is to have them eliminate each other, leaving the town in peace. These efforts are complicated by the arrival of the gun touting Unosuke...

Live Action

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

Yojimbo

Initial US Title

Yojimbo: The Bodygaurd
US Distributor: Seneca International (1962) / Time: 75 Minutes

Alternate Titles

The Bodygaurd
[Literal translation]

 


Staff

Cast

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Writing credits Akira Kurosawa, Ryuzo Kikushima
Produced by Akira Kurosawa, Ryuzo Kikushima, Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Masaru Sato
Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa
Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa
Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki
Assistant Director Shiro Moritani
Sanjuro Kuwabatake, Yojimbo Toshiro Mifune
Unosuke, Gunfighter Tatsuya Nakadai
Nui Yoko Tsukasa
Orin Isuzu Yamada
Inokichi, Ushitora's Brother Daisuke Kato
Seibei, Brothel Operator Seizaburo Kawazu
Tokuemon Takashi Shimura
Yoichiro Hiroshi Tachikawa
Kohei's Son Yosuke Natsuki
Gonji, Tavern Keeper Eijiro Tono
Tazaemon Kamatari Fujiwara
Hansuke Ikio Sawamura
Coffin-Maker Atsushi Watanabe
Ushitora Kyu Sazanka
Kuma Ko Nishimura
Kohei Yoshio Tsuchiya
Homma, Instructor That Flees Susumu Fujita
Kobuhachi, Ronin Takeshi Kato
Samurai Ichiro Nakaya, Fuminori Ohashi
Foot Soldiers Sachio Sakai, Ichiro Chiba
Kame Akira Tani
Kannuki, the "Giant" Namigoro Rashomon
Magotaro Gen Shimizu
Matsukichi Yutaka Sada
Kumosuke Shin Otomo
Yahachi, Seibei's Henchman Hideyo Amamoto
Sukeju Shoji Oki
Farmer Hiroshi Yoseyama
Traveler Senkichi Omura
Farmer's Ex-Wife Fumiko Honma
Seibei's Henchmen Ryusuke Nishio, Naoya Kusakawa, Nadao Kirino, Jun Otomo, Junichiro Mukai, Fumiyoshi Kamagaya, Rinsaku Ogata
Ushitora's Henchmen Shoichi Hirose, Shinpei Takagi, Akio Kusama, Yasuzo Ogawa, Hiroshi Takagi, Haruya Sakamoto, Fumio Kogushi
Women at Seibei's House Yoko Terui, Hiromi Mineoka, Michiko Kawa

Posters



Box Office

Release Date: April 25th, 1961 (Japan)
Budget: ¥90,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)
Distribution Earning: ¥351,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Yojimbo Criterion (1999) Order
United States Region 1 Yojimbo Criterion (2007) Order
Japan Region 2 The Bodyguard Toho (2003)
Australia Region 4 Yojimbo Madman (2004)
United States Blu-ray Yojimbo Criterion (2010) Order

Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on July 15th, 1983 with the registration number PA0000185585 and with the title Yojimbo and also a literal translation of the title into English as "The Bodyguard".
  • According to actor Tatsuya Nakadai during an interview for the Toho Masterworks, the reason Sanjuro is constantly shifting around is because he's supposed to have fleas and he's itchy.
  • Three years after release, in 1964, Sergio Leone released the movie A Fistful of Dollars. The similarities between that movie and Yojimbo were overt, as the protagonist ventures to a town under siege by two rival gangs and pits them against one another. The films didn't just share broad strokes in the plot but is similar enough to be called a remake, with scenes like the protagonist telling the coffin maker to get three coffins ready to the scene where his manipulations of the groups catches up with him and he's beaten up. The similarities were strong enough that Toho sued them over this. The matter was eventually settled out of court.
  • In 1996, a remake called Last Man Standing was released in the United States. It features Bruce Willis and Christopher Walken.