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The Hidden Blade (Kakushi-ken: oni no tsume)

A movie directed by Yôji Yamada.

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  • Oct 31, 2009
I usually like Asian cinema, and liked "Twilight," but I just wasn't crazy about "Hidden Blade." The movie is about pre-Meiji Japan and the rapidly changing role of the samurai (same time period as the The Last Samurai). However, I never really connected to the characters or the plot. It is also somewhat slow until the last 40 minutes.

The movie itself looks much older and drabber than something that came out only a few years ago. I loved other Japanese movies that portray bright and rich colors, but everything in "Hidden Blade" seemed so brown and dark. The scene with the person getting his hand shot off looked like 1950s special effects.

I will say this, if you're considering watching "Hidden Blade" and the The Last Samurai, "Hidden Blade" is much more authentic.

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More The Hidden Blade reviews
review by . March 01, 2011
When the concern is self-serving
With Yoji Yamada's The Hidden Blade, set in the early 1860s, the age of the samurai was passing; the age of moviedom's bastardization of the samurai was sometime in the future. The Hidden Blade is one of three movies Yamada made based on stories by Shuhei Fujisawa. They all deal with the end of the rigid social caste system of the Tokugawa era, the cracks and corruption in the samurai code, and the effects of this on some of those in the samurai class whom we come to know. These movies aren't …
review by . December 26, 2008
posted in ASIANatomy
Dvd cover
HIDDEN BLADE (a.k.a. Kakushi Ken Oni No Tsume) is the second chambara film by Yoji Yamada, who is not particularly well-known for his samurai films. However, there aren't too many directors during these modern times that mastered the art of chambara film-making as Yamada has in such a short time. After his award-winning hit; "Twilight Samurai", Director Yamada looks poised for more samurai fame. "Hidden Blade" has even been nominated for numerous international film awards even …
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #77
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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About this movie


The epic tale of munezo a samurai being displaced in a rapidly changing japan. After a failed political coup he is ordered to prove his innocence by finding & killing yaichiro a former friend samurai & brilliant swordsman. Munezo enlists the help of their old teacher who entrusts him with a secret technique. Studio: Genius Products Inc Release Date: 08/08/2006
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Director: Yôji Yamada
Genre: Foreign
Release Date: June 23, 2006
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
Runtime: 132 minutes
Studio: Tartan Video
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