Throne of Blood - Kumonosu-j么

by Akira KUROSAWA, Japan, 1957
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This is a story which happened during the era of civil wars in Japan when there were constant feuds among the war lords. Taketoki Washizu is a captain under Kuniharu Tsuzuki, Lord of Kumonosu-Djo or Cobweb Castle. He is in command of Fort No. 1. When Fujimaki, in charge of the North Mansion, revolts unexpectedly, Taketoki and Yoshiaki Miki, who commands Fort No. 2, joins forces and distinguish themselves in battle by quelling the insurgents, thereby averting a crisis for their lord. On their way back to the castle, they wander into a baffling network of paths in the forest that lay before them. Here, they meet a weird, unearthly woman who foretells that Taketoki will take over charge of the North Mansion from that very night, and that he will, in time, become Lord of Cobweb Castle. She tells Yoshiaki that he will move up in command to Fort No. 1, and that his son may, some day, become Taketoki鈥檚 successor as a lord of the castle. The old woman鈥檚 words come true and things turn out exactly as she prophesied. From that time on, her words are seared in Taketoki鈥檚 mind. And he finds himself watching for the chance to usurp his lord鈥檚 position. Driven by desire and pricked by his conscience, he is tormented night and day by two opposing forces. Stirred up by his ambitious wife who is even more envious of power than he is, Taketoki finally carries out his plan, as, on the night his lord arrives at the North Mansion on his way to fight a neighboring enemy, Taketoki slays him. Odagura, Lord Tsuzuki鈥檚 trusted general, protects the young heir and returns to Cobweb Castle only to be greeted by a shower of arrows from Yoshiaki鈥檚 men who are guarding it. Taketoki arrives with his lord鈥檚 hearse and enters into the castle. And with the help of Yoshiaki, he becomes Lord of Cobweb Castle. Taketoki has no child to succeed him, so he intends to make Yoshiaki鈥檚 son his heir. But he then learns that his wife is with child so he plots to do away with both Yoshiaki and his son. Yoshiaki is assassinated but his son, wounded severely as he is, escapes to the neighboring province where Lord of Tsuzuki鈥檚 son has already sought refuge. Tortured by his conscience for the things he has done and plagued by suspicion, Taketoki鈥檚 days are filled with endless agony and wild frenzy. And the castle is shrouded in gloom. On the night of a heavy storm, Taketoki learns that his child is stillborn, and on the heels of this, he is told that his neighboring enemy has swarmed across the border into his own lands. Taketoki leaps on his horse and goes to see the old woman of the forest. She tells him that he is invincible so long as the whole forest does not rise up and march toward his castle. Taketoki returns and imparts this news to his captains. He attempts to raise their morale, for they have lost their will to fight, after losing battle after battle. But when he learns that his wife has gone mad, he becomes more and more harassed and uneasy. And, in the early morning mist, Taketoki sees the impossible happen. The forest begins to move towards the castle. Nailed to the spot, and pale with fear, Taketoki silently watches. He becomes the target of his own men and finally falls headlong from the turret. The moving forest was but the enemy camouflaged by twigs and branches. And as the men advance towards the castle, the morning sun casts its first bright rays across the moving forms.



Original Title
Throne of Blood - Kumonosu-j么
Throne of Blood - Kumonosu-j么
Directed by
Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ry没z么 Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa, William Sh
Film Editing
Chozo Obata
Masaru Sat么
Asakazu Nakai
Fumio Yanoguchi, Ichir么 Minawa
Taiki Mori
Production Design
Yoshir么 Muraki
Akira Kurosawa, S么jir么 Motoki
Blu-ray, DCP
110 min.
Toshir么 Mifune (Taketoki Washizu), Isuzu Yamada (Lady Asaji Washizu), Takashi Shimura (Noriyasu Odagura), Akira Kubo (Yoshiteru Miki), Hiroshi Tachikawa (Kunimaru Tsuzuki)

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芦Der grossartig inszenierte Film folgt zwar der Fabel, ver盲nderte aber den Charakter Macbeths. Dennoch ist es dem Regisseur gelungen, die Abgr眉ndigkeit und Trauer der Vorlage filmisch vollendet widerzuspiegeln. Ein kongeniales Werk.禄 Filmbeobachter

芦Die dichteste und st盲rkste Verfilmung aller Shakespeare-Verfilmungen.禄 The New Yorker