#10 Musashi

"The Way of the Samurai in Cinema"
About the Hiroshi Inagaki Trilogy
by Denis Grizet & Pascal-Alex Vincent

Musashi is a trilogy consisting of the films The Legend of Musashi (1954), Duel at Ichijoji (1955) and The Way of Light (1956). Produced by the famous Toho company and directed by filmmaker Hiroshi Inagaki, it helped to make Japanese cinema known throughout the world. Oscar for best foreign film in 1956, Musashi also allowed Toshiro Mifune to confirm his status as an international star. Inspired by the life of Miyamoto Musashi, a real-life samurai and philosopher, this colorful trilogy represents the best of adventure cinema from the major Japanese studios.

Often brought to the screen, the tumultuous life of Musashi was first a bestselling novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, which appeared in two volumes: The Stone and the Saber and The Perfect Light . The river adaptation shot between 1954 and 1956, and to which this book is devoted, represents the quintessence of the know-how of the post-war Japanese film industry. This trilogy reminds us of a major filmmaker, Hiroshi Inagaki, eternal competitor of Akira Kurosawa, whose life spanned the entire century of the seventh art. But the return of these three films to French screens is above all an opportunity to evoke Miyamoto Musashi, national hero and movie hero.

Denis Grizet is a graduate in film studies. He is passionate about genre cinema and cinematography from the Far East .

Pascal-Alex Vincent is a filmmaker and teacher. He edited two dictionaries of Japanese cinema published by Carlotta Films.