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Old 09-27-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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Can anybody else remember some enjoyable Samurai television shows? One of my favorites was Nemuri Kyoshiro, starring Kataoka Takao. His version seems quite different from the version done by Ichikawa Raizo for the theatrical movies. In the Raizo version, Nemuri was very ruthless. But then came the movies starring Tamura Masakazu where Nemuri has a guilty conscience. In the Tamura version, Nemuri has such a guilty conscience that when a lady falls in love with him, he tells her to stay away because anybody too close to him will get hurt or even killed by those who attack him (Nemuri). Apparently, the Tamura version was the transitional phase during which Nemuri underwent a characteristic change from ruthless to compassionate.
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:30 PM
 
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The titular role of Toyama No Kinsan (The Tattooed Magistrate) was portrayed by so many different actors too numerous to include that I'll just mention those that I consider the best. They were Satomi Kotaro, and Saigo Teruhiko, and Sugi Ryotaro. In the Sugi version, he sang the theme song for the show, and that song became a popular hit-record.

What's unusual about the Teruhiko version is that in his version, the Kinsan character teams up with Murasaki Zukin, who wears a Purple Hood, and is a lady swordsmaster!
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:35 PM
 
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Forgot to include a very important fact about the above Toyama series, that when Kinsan uses his Sword, he uses the "mineuchi" technique. "Mi-ne" is the back-edge of the sword, the blunt side, while "Uchi" means to hit. So the combined words refer to using the blunt edge of the sword so that it does not kill but instead to knock out the adversaries.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:14 PM
 
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One of the best episodes in the Kataoka version of Nemuri Kyoshiro was when Kyoshiro encountered the Cursed Sword, the Muramasa. There was an actual Sword-Maker in Japanese history named Muramasa whose Swords became cursed because he felt so much envy toward his teacher Masamune. When this kind of intense resentment is felt during the actual smithing-process, it is believed that those negative Emotions can be spiritually absorbed by the Sword being made. Apparently, that's the case with the Muramasa Swords.

Interestingly, it also happens that Kyoshiro's Sword is a Masamune, which is the diametric Opposite of the Muramasa. So that made it even doubly interesting, to see if Kyoshiro's Sword could serve as an exorcism over the Evil Sword.

The story builds to a climax in which we again see Kyoshiro's trademark technique called the Engetsu (Full-Moon Cut) where he wields his Sword in an unusual circular movement (therefore called the Full-Moon Cut) which has an almost mesmerizing effect on his adversary. Just as it worked in the Raizo and Tamura versions, so it continued in the Kataoka version too, with the Engetsu Swordplay again showing its unequalled martial technique.
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