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Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles) DVD Region 2

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Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.3 out of 10 (3)

YesAsia Editorial Description

From director Yamada Yoji (The Twilight Samurai) comes The Hidden Blade (a.k.a. Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume), another loving depiction of the bygone days of samurai heroism. Nagase Masatoshi (Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl, Pistol Opera) stars as a samurai, whose adherence to his code of honor is tested by the forces around him. It is mid-nineteenth century Japan, and the way of the samurai is fading, as Western influences and corruption are slowly taking hold in Japan.

Samurai Katagiri Munezo (Nagase Masatoshi) rescues a woman (Matsu Takako) who's being abused in her married life, but as a silent romance blossoms between them, his corrupt superiors challenge his honor. When the clan orders Katagiri to kill a fellow samurai fallen to corruption, can this man of honor - who has never killed - complete his duty? Like in The Twilight Samurai, Yamada Yoji explores complex themes in his depiction of the simple, yet conflicted life of a man following the strictest moral code. Full of fascinating detail and sublime humanity, The Hidden Blade is a marvelously-realized film that represents the best of what current Japanese cinema has to offer.

Disc 1: Feature Presentation

  • The movie
  • Teasers
  • Trailer
  • © 2005-2014 YesAsia.com Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

    Technical Information

    Product Title: Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles) 隱劍鬼爪 (普通版)(日本版 - 英文字幕) Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles) 隠し剣 鬼の爪 (通常版) Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)
    Artist Name(s): Matsu Takako (Actor) | Tomita Isao | Nagase Masatoshi (Actor) | Yoshioka Hidetaka (Actor) | Yamada Yoji | Ishii Iwao | Naganuma Mutsuo | Baisho Chieko | Ogata Ken | Tanaka Kunie 松隆子 (Actor) | Tomita Isao | 永瀨正敏 (Actor) | 吉岡秀隆 (Actor) | 山田洋次 | 石井嚴 | 長沼六男 | 倍賞千惠子 | 緒形拳 | 田中邦衛 松隆子 (Actor) | Tomita Isao | 永濑正敏 (Actor) | 吉冈秀隆 (Actor) | 山田洋次 | 石井严 | 长沼六男 | 倍赏千惠子 | 绪形拳 | 田中邦卫 松たか子 (Actor) | 冨田勲 | 永瀬正敏 (Actor) | 吉岡秀隆 (Actor) | 山田洋次 | 石井巌 | 長沼六男 | 倍賞千恵子 | 緒形拳 | 田中邦衛 마츠 타카코 (Actor) | Tomita Isao | Nagase Masatoshi (Actor) | Yoshioka Hidetaka (Actor) | Yamada Yoji | Ishii Iwao | Naganuma Mutsuo | Baisho Chieko | Ogata Ken | Tanaka Kunie
    Director: Yamada Yoji 山田洋次 山田洋次 山田洋次 Yamada Yoji
    Release Date: 2005-04-28
    Publisher Product Code: DA-619
    Language: Japanese
    Subtitles: English, Japanese
    Country of Origin: Japan
    Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
    Disc Format(s): DVD
    Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
    Publisher: Shochiku Home Video
    Other Information: DVD
    Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
    YesAsia Catalog No.: 1003962862

    Product Information

    [アーティスト/ キャスト]
    永瀬正敏 / 松たか子 / 吉岡秀隆 / 山田洋次 (監督、脚本) / 藤沢周平 (原作) / 冨田勲 (音楽)

    [特典情報]
    映像特典収録

    [テクニカル・インフォメーション]
    通常版/本編131分+特典23分
    製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
    公開年 : 2004

    [解説]
    幕末。愛に生きる侍がいた。/山田洋次監督が、藤沢周平の原作を映画化した時代劇第2弾。激しく揺れ動く動く幕末の東北地方・海坂藩。三百年続いた専制政治が崩れようよしている重苦しい動乱の時代に、未来の希望を探し求めて、恋に悩み、時として命をかけた若者たちが、己たちの運命を懸命に見定めようとします。主人公の下級武士・宗蔵に永瀬正敏、女中・きえに松たか子をはじめ、豪華キャストを揃え「たそがれ清兵衛」のスタッフが再び結集し、秘剣「鬼の爪」をめぐる、友情と憎悪とそして優しい愛の物語をお届けします。

    [ストーリー]
    時は幕末。東北の小藩である海坂藩に籍を置く片桐宗蔵は、かつて自らの家に女中奉公に来ていた娘・きえと再会を果たす。しかし、大きな油問屋に嫁ぎ、幸せに暮らしていると信じていたきえの、寂しげな後ろ姿に胸を痛める。 それから数ヵ月後、妹の志乃からきえが病で伏せっていると聞いた宗蔵は油問屋へ駆けつける。 やつれ果てたきえの姿を見た宗蔵は、主人に離縁状を用意するよう申し伝え、自らきえを背負って自分の家に連れて帰るのだった。 きえは日に日に回復し、宗蔵の家にはまた昔のように華やいだ笑いが溢れるようになっていた。 そんなある日、海坂藩江戸屋敷で謀反が発覚。 藩は首謀者の一人である狭間弥市郎を山奥の座敷牢に閉じ込める“郷入り”という極刑に処すため、奥羽山脈の麓の村に護送した。 宗蔵と弥市郎とは、かつて藩の剣術指南役だった戸田寛斎の門下生で親しい友人だった…。

    [受賞]
    日本アカデミー賞最優秀美術賞
    [受賞]
    報知映画賞最優秀主演女優賞 ()
    Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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    Awards

    This film has won 1 award(s) and received 11 award nomination(s).
    • Japan Academy Prize 2005
      • Picture of the Year Nomination
      • Director of the Year Nomination, Yamada Yoji
      • Screen Play of the Year Nomination, Yamada Yoji
      • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Nomination, Nagase Masatoshi
      • Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Nomination, Matsu Takako
      • Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nomination, Yoshioka Hidetaka
      • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Nomination
      • Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing Nomination
      • Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Winner
      • Outstanding Achievement in Music Nomination, Tomita Isao
      • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording Nomination
      • Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction Nomination
    All Award-Winning Asian Films

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    YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

    Professional Review of "Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)"

    September 12, 2005

    If The Twilight Samurai was meant in part to deconstruct the samurai film as a genre, then The Hidden Blade takes that attitude to the next level by introducing two elements not fully explored in the previous film – the idea that faithful samurai were forced to do the bidding of corrupt officials and the effect that Western firearms had on the samurai way of life. Whereas The Twilight Samurai innovatively focused its attention on the home life of a lowly, but noble samurai with a family to support, The Hidden Blade centers on a more traditional figure in the chambara film – the lone swordsman of samurai legend. However, this lone wolf isn't a ronin, but a faithful vassal, one who has never killed before and is about to come to a crossroads in his life, as he begins to wonder if the samurai way really is all that it's cracked up to be.

    The film begins with two pals, Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase) and Samon Shibada (Hidetaka Yoshioka), bidding farewell to Yaichiro Hazama (Yukiyoshi Osawa) as he heads to take an important post in Edo. Afterwards, they head to Munezo's home, which is occupied by his mother, his sister Shino (Tomoko Tabata), and the maid Kie (Takako Matsu). It seems that Kie grew up on a farm and is living with the Katagiri family until she learns enough about taking care of a household to find a good husband. Together, they eat, drink, and have a good time with one another. All in all, it seems like an idyllic sort of life.

    Flash forward three years, and Samon has married Shino, Munezo's mother has passed away, and Kie has been married into a prestigious family. One day, the still single Munezo happens upon Kie while she is shopping and is shocked by her change in appearance. This chance meeting sets off a chain of events in which Munezo eventually finds out that Kie has been treated so poorly that she's on the brink of death, a fact which immediately compels him to rush to Kie's aid, command that divorce proceedings take effect against her no-good husband, and bring her back to his own house for safekeeping.

    Over time, Kie is nursed back to health, and she returns to the role she occupied three years earlier, taking care of the house and Munezo in particular. However, this newfound happiness is threatened when Yaichiro is implicated in an internal clan conspiracy. This spells trouble for Munezo as both he and Yaichiro were students of Kansai Toda (Min Tanaka), master swordsman-turned-humble farmer. Although Yaichiro was the superior swordsman, Toda passed on the secret of "The Devil's Claw" to Munezo instead, a fact that has always eaten at Yaichiro. During the investigation, Munezo is asked by his superior to name names in connection with Yaichiro. Although Munezo has no knowledge of Yaichiro's dealings, he not only passes on answering the question, but goes one step further by telling that he feels it is dishonorable for a samurai to inform on others, an act which only infuriates his superiors, soon putting him a very awkward position politically.

    Although the relationship between Kie and Munezo is blossoming, both have become the subject of vicious rumors that Munezo has taken her as his mistress. Since Munezo is aware that a samurai cannot marry someone of low caste, and is fearful that the gossip will negatively affect her prospects to remarry, he reluctantly sends her away to her parents' home, much to Kie's eternal disappointment. Things only get worse when Yaichiro escapes from jail and takes several unsuspecting innocents hostage. Hiding in their farmhouse, Yaichiro swears to kill each and every person who enters the hovel. Given a direct order by his superiors to kill Yaichiro, Munezo has no choice but to face his former classmate in a duel to the death. Will Munezo survive? And if he does, is there still hope for him and Kie? And what's to be done about Munezo's duplicitous superior?

    Especially when viewed back-to-back, The Hidden Blade and The Twilight Samurai bear remarkable similarities to one another in terms of plot and character. In truth, the Kie/Munezo relationship is simply a repeat of the Tomoe/Seibei relationship from the first film, with issues of money and class standing still being of major importance. Munezo is given an order he can't refuse much as Seibei was, and they both must face their adversary in a confined space. And of course, the thought of impending death has both characters re-evaluating both their values and their lives in a wholly dramatic fashion. For viewers who don't mind getting a second helping of The Twilight Samurai in a different form, these repeats shouldn't be too distracting, perhaps even welcome.

    But that isn't to say the film is merely a retread. Where The Hidden Blade primarily differs is in its extended exploration on how the age of the samurai is soon coming to an end, an issue suggested in The Twilight Samurai, but made explicit here with the intrusion of Western weaponry into the narrative. This feature of the plot comes to the surface in the final duel between Munezo and Yaichiro, a battle that harkens back to one of the climactic showdowns in the first Once Upon a Time in China film. In both movies Western technology ultimately inserts itself into what is meant to be a private duel of honor.

    Whatever the film's merits, there's no doubt that some viewers may be put off by The Hidden Blade's more than passing resemblance to The Twilight Samurai. Even so, the movie's compelling romantic angle and occasional comic moments help matters considerably, as the film begins to take a shape of its own. Considering how great the first film was, it's still a shame that the new ideas included in The Hidden Blade simply couldn't have been developed earlier in The Twilight Samurai, particularly the climactic student against student duel (which trumps, at least in concept, Seibei's duel with a swordsman he doesn't know), the intrusion of western firearms (which helps punctuate the narrative's overarching theme), and the idea of a special hidden technique (when finally unleashed, "The Devil's Claw" proves to a surprisingly fatal move). Perhaps it's because of these very additions that Yamada was compelled to make The Hidden Blade in the first place – just to get them onscreen. Whatever the case, the film serves as a wonderfully satisfying companion piece to Yamada's award-winning 2002 film. The film's denouement recalls certain classic movie moments, not only among samurai films, but from some of the best cowboy films as well, a welcome bit of nostalgia within the film's less than flattering commentary on the feudal era. Although The Hidden Blade successfully dips back into the well once more, here's hoping that the third film in Yamada's proposed trilogy proves to be more innovative.

    By Calvin McMillin

    This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

    Customer Review of "Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) (Normal Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)"

    Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)
    Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.3 out of 10 (3)

    Rhoda
    See all my reviews


    October 14, 2006

    This customer review refers to The Hidden Blade (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)
    1 people found this review helpful

    Love the story Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    The story is about a well off family who has maid but later got married but was abused not only by the husband but also the whole family. We went to that family and took her with him. Quite touching...but the ending could have been better.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Anonymous

    May 12, 2005

    This customer review refers to Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume (The Hidden Blade) Special Edition (Limited Edition)(Japan Version - English Subtitles)
    Japanese! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    "Samurai"! This is what I like the most! I could find the real "Spirit of Samurai" in the story.
    Throughout the story, I could feel the love and contracdictory position of the Samurai who was facing a new era.
    By the way, Matsu Takako is very beautiful and attractive!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Anonymous

    May 2, 2005

    Hidden Blade full of emotion Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    An absolute masterpiece of the life of a samurai this film tugs at your heartstrings and evokes a lot of emotion as the characters go about their daily lives and we see our hero always aware of one particular woman who lives just beyond his reach. Beautifully crafted! His decisions about Samurai life and the Samurai code are at the heart of this wonderful film beautifully expressed by the actors and their surroundings. Nature and the changing seasons is key to the enjoyment of this beautifully presented DVD, and the end is well worth the journey. With English subtitles too!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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