Japanese Samurai Film Genre Essays

616 Words 3 Pages
The Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa uses many film techniques and features of the Japanese samurai film genre to engage and influence the viewing audience. The Japanese samurai film genre focuses on the physical martial arts, and is very similar to American westerns. These films are usually set in the Tokugawa era and the main characters are samurai, or Ronin. The Seven Samurai is a stereotypical Japanese samurai movie set in the Tokugawa era about a village full of farmers who hire seven samurai to protect their village from a group of bandits. Kurosawa has used many features of a typical samurai film in The Seven Samurai such as the use of the katana, the samurai were usually clean cut and are seen as socially superior and that the endings were usually described as ‘bittersweet’ as life goes on in the face of tragedy.

Sword fighting and the use of the katana is symbolic in Japanese samurai films. The katana is the main weapon that samurai use and they carry it on them no matter what they are doing, eating, sleeping and most importantly when they are in battle. In the film you never see any of the samurai without their swords and at the end there is a long shot of the four samurai’s graves showing the katana sticking out of each grave. This shows that all samurai carry their katana with them, dead or alive; they take tradition very seriously and never part with their swords. There is a scene in the film where Kambei draws his katana out from under his clothes…