Windows on Mifune Yojinbo

Windows on Mifune: Yōjinbō

Windows on Mifune Yojinbo

Yōjinbō (1961) - written often as simply Yojimbo - is considered one of the greatest and most influential collaborations between Mifune Toshirō and the internationally renowned director Kurosawa Akira. This timeless classic not only had an impact on Japanese cinema at that time, but it also inspired the (unofficial) remake For a Fistful of Dollars (1964) by Italian director Sergio Leone (who consequently is credited to have revolutionized European cinema with the new genre of ‘Spaghetti Western’), and the bootlegger film Last Man Standing (1996) by American director Walter Hill.

As a conclusion to Japan House London's season of film screenings ‘Windows on Mifune’ focussing on Mifune Toshirō, Yōjinbō offers a great opportunity to understand the legacy of the Japanese acting icon through one of the key performances in his career.

The film narrates the story of Kuwabatake Sanjūrō, a rōnin (masterless samurai) in 19th-century Japan who drifts into a rural town divided between two competing crime gangs. He proceeds to play them against each other for the best offer to be their protector hoping to gain the most out of this feud, but his plan is curtailed by the arrival of the son of one of the gangsters. Events spiral into violence and the samurai must eventually choose which side to take.

The iconography of Mifune’s character, clad in a baggy black kimono and exuding manly arrogance, came to exemplify the epitome of samurai action. Without concern for the audience’s takeaway on Sanjūrō, he unapologetically plays a merciless opportunist who also happens to be the most honourable man in the film. Mifune is also delightfully funny in Yōjinbō more so than in any of his previous roles, providing a mesmeric performance of vigorous dominance and calm bemusement that is pure entertainment infused with wit and intensity.

This film is in Japanese with English subtitles. Duration: approx. 106 minutes. Please note that this movie is rated PG and is therefore not considered suitable for an audience younger than 8 years old unaccompanied.

Booking tickets

Please choose your preferred screening date and time and click on the button to book your free ticket.

Sunday 14 August 2022, 14:30-16:10 Fully booked
Wednesday 17 August 2022, 18:30-20:10 Fully booked

Guests who are booked to attend the screening can also enjoy 10% off drinks at The Stand on their way in.