The Samurai Trilogy: Musashi Mifune
The Samurai Trilogy: Musashi Mifune by Stephen Prince. "...Hiroshi Inagaki’s The Samurai Trilogy gave Toshiro Mifune one of his most important starring roles, as Musashi Miyamoto, a masterless, wandering samurai whose skill with a sword is so great no one can match him. Musashi is among Japan’s supreme folk heroes, a seventeenth-century warrior whose exploits have inspired books, plays, movies, and television shows. With his power and charisma, Mifune was a natural choice for the role. His career was still in its early years, but he was a bankable and popular Toho star and, with Akira Kurosawa, had found international acclaim with Rashomon (1950). The first film in the trilogy, Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954), inspired two sequels, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955) and Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956); was a hit at home and overseas, winning the Academy Award for best foreign film; and remains popular and famous to this day. The kind of superswordsman Mifune plays here became an indelible part of his image, inspiring even Kurosawa to tweak it in Yojimbo (1961)."