Love and Honor - Bushi no Ichibun

by Yoji Yamada, Japan, 2007
Picture of

Shortly after assuming his post as food taster, Shinnojo loses his eyesight. The fish that was given to the head of the clan was poisoned. Prior to this, Shinnojo had held an inferior position in the ruler’s entourage. Realising that not only will he remain blind until the end of his days, but he must now relinquish his position and will need assistance for rest of his life, Shinnojo becomes dejected and melancholy. His wife, Kayo, is the only one able to prevent him from committing suicide: “I can’t imagine life without you. But, go ahead and kill yourself. If you do so, I will follow you immediately”, is her response. Touched by her loyalty, Shinnojo gives up his plan to take his own life. Shortly afterwards, Shinnojo’s uncle advises him that, since he is no longer able to work, Shinnojo should ask Kayo to go to Shimada, the influential steward of the estate, and ask for his help. As time goes by, Shinnojo begins to get used to being blind. But then one day his aunt Ine tells him of a rumour she has heard about Kayo’s infidelity. Madly jealous, Shinnojo, who loves his wife and had always trusted her, orders his old servant, Tokuhei, to follow Kayo. Tokuhei discovers that the rumour is true. Having noticed that she was being watched, Kayo admits to having committed adultery with Shimada, explaining that the steward demanded her body in return for supporting Shinnojo. Throwing his wife out of the house, Shinnojo prepares himself for one last battle.

Festivals & awards

Award of the Japanese Academy Best Cinematography, Mutsuo Naganuma Best Lighting, Takeshi Nakasu Best Supporting Actor, Takashi Sasano Blue Ribbon Award, Taiwan, Best New Actress
Rei Dan Kinema Junpo Award, Best New Actress, Rei Dan Best Supporting Actor, Takashi
Sasano Mainichi Film Concours, Best Supporting Actor, Takashi Sasano Sponichi Grand Prize New Talent Award, Rei Dan Golden Goblet, Best Music, Isao Tomita



Original Title
Love and Honor - Bushi no Ichibun
Love and Honor - Bushi no Ichibun
Directed by
Yoji Yamada
Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, Ichiro Yamamoto nach „Moumokuk
Film Editing
Iwao Ishii
Isao Tomita
Mutsuo Naganuma
Kazumi Kishida
Kazuko Kurosawa
Production Design
Mitsuo Degawa, Naomi Koike
Shochiku, Tokyo, Takeo Hisamatsu
35mm, DVD
122 min.
Takuya Kimura, Rei Dan, Mitsugoro Bando, Kaori Momoi

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Date(s) of screening Screening(s)

Press voices

«Wer die Vielfalt des Kulturgutes Film gegen die kommerzialisierte Vereinheitlichung der filmischen Erzählformen verteidigt, sollte sehr glücklich sein über diesen grossartigen Film von Yoji Yamada.»

Andreas Tai, festivalblog

«Oubliez Zatoichi! Au plus fameux sabreur aveugle du cinéma nippon, Yoji Yamada oppose dans Love and Honor un jeune samouraï également frappé de cécité, mais plus maladroit et suicidaire qu'héroïque et doué d'une habileté surhumaine. Et le cinéma en sort gagnant, au terme d'un mélodrame bouleversant! Ce miracle, les admirateurs de The Twilight Samurai il y a quatre ans savent déjà à quoi l'attribuer: à l'art discret de Yoji Yamada, vétéran (75 ans) au style plus proche de Yazujiro Ozu que d'Akira Kurosawa.»

Le temps, Norbert Creutz

«Behutsam begleitet Yamadas Kamera seine Figuren auf ihrem Parcours, greift ihre Bewegungen wie ein sie zärtlich behütender Vertrauter auf. Manchmal stimmt es unendlich traurig, dass eine Trilogie mit dem dritten Teil abgeschlossen sein muss.»

Gerhard Midding, Berliner Zeitung

«Yamadas altersweiser Blick auf die Heldenklassik Japans ist nicht nur für seinen Realismus bemerkenswert, sondern für den Versuch, den aller Samurai-Dichtung zugrunde liegenden Widerstreit von Giri (Treuepflicht) und Ninjo (Menschlichkeit) an das Private anzubinden ... LOVE AND HONOR ist ein Alterswerk geworden in seiner allerbesten Form: Kein Bild und keine Geste sind zu viel in diesem Heldenlied, das zwar traurig klingt und ein wenig erschöpft, aber zugleich konzentriert, hell, klar und schön."

Sebastian Handke, Der Tagesspiegel

Viewers of the other trilogy films will recognize familiar tropes, including the climactic duel that, true to Yamada's keep-it-real code, has none of the fantastic flash of other films about blind swordsmen, including the "Zatoichi" series. The sword moves are the real deal, the battle intensely personal, the results grippingly final. That is to say, if you liked the first two films, you'll like this one even more. Cooks tend to improve with practice -- and Yamada's third batch of noodles is his best. Japanese Times In what is being referred to as the third film in his "Samurai trilogy," vet helmer Yoji Yamada's meller "Love and Honor" delivers style and grace with a final restrained drop of bloodshed. Building on Yamada's "The Hidden Blade" (2004) and Oscar-nommed "The Twilight Samurai" (2002), "Honor" has accrued socko biz since opening in Japan last December.