Shinobi no mono (1962)

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Shinobi no mono: Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto. With Raizô Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Yûnosuke Itô, Katsuhiko Kobayashi. Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo), a talented young ninja, becomes ensnared in a twisted scheme to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, an evil warlord bent on ruling feudal Japan with an iron fist. Deceit, treachery, and entire gangs of enemy ninja lurk around every corner as Goemon travels the countryside to complete his task, win back his honor, and save his skin!

“I saw this film back in the late 1990u0026#39;s when I was a college student. After recently watching the Kyoshiro Nemuri films and being impressed with Ichikawa Raizo, I was curious to try the Shinobi No Mono series, even though I had a vague memory of not caring much for this first film.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOn re-watching this first film, I remembered why I was not overly taken with the film. It is slow going with a lot of intrigue but very little action, much different than the Kyoshiro Nemuri films. Raizo is still good though. He plays Ishikawa Goemon, a young Iga ninja. At the start of the film, he has ambitious dreams of becoming the master of his ninja clan. After engaging in an affair with his masteru0026#39;s neglected wife, Goemon is exiled from the clan and given two tasks. The first of these is to commit robberies to help the clan with expenses. The second is to kill Nobunaga Oda (played by Tomisaburo Wakayama from Lone Wolf and Cub), a cruel warlord that is the target of several ninja clans. The film has a lot more plot, including a prostitute that Goemon falls for and a rival ninja that Goemon fights (in the filmu0026#39;s two best scenes).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eShinobi No Mono is a well shot, well made film that only occasionally grabs me. It is also problematic that the hero is mostly absent from the filmu0026#39;s action climax (which leaves many plot threads unresolved). Viewers knowledgeable in Japanese and/or martial arts history will get more from the film than casual viewers. While I canu0026#39;t say that I dislike Shinobi No Mono, I must admit that I do prefer Revenge of the Ninja with Sho Kosugui as ninja films go. Call me a philistine.”


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