The 47 Ronin (1941)

This is the original movie, of the 47 Ronin, before the new one with Keanu Reeves. Only in Japanese with English subtitles, this was released in Japan on December 1st, 1941. In the days when Japan was getting into power in WWII, as they were planning their attack on Pearl Harbor.

In this 4 hour and 15 minute long movie, this took place in medieval Japan. As there are shoguns, samurai’s, and emperors. When one emperor was murdered one fateful day, everyone were sad to hear the news. To avenge him, it would be impossible.

That was when they came. With no lords or masters to serve, there were called ronins. And by avenging the emperor, forty seven ronins joined. By doing a blood oath and signing it, they were to defend the castle first, then avenge him. 

After a divorce on a samurai leader to his wife and kids, leading to the end of Part I, and heading onto Part II, they were getting ready for the epic conclusion to come. And it  did. On December 14th, 1703 AD, on that snowy night, they found the murderer, attacked his palace and cut off the murderer’s head. Then placed it in a bag, tied it up, and then prayed to their master, that they avenged him. 

Unfortunately, they were in big trouble. By the order of the shogun, they were to commit harakiri. Death by stabbing yourself with a katana. 46 died, as they spared one to live longer. However, a female joined them in death. To see her love again in the afterlife. And every year in Japan, the tradition of paying respect at the graves of the 47 Ronin, continues every year on December 14. 

Thus, after that 1941 version, a week before WWII began in the Pacific, came the 2013 version with Keanu Reeves and was directed by Carl Rinsch. After 72 years passed by. 

It took me almost a week to finish this movie, all the way from Japan when I recorded this on my PVR. On my Bell Canada TV set. This was first aired on the TV channel of Turner Classic Movies, as I pushed my way through to try this movie. To try something new. And it was terrific. 

Recommended for the people of Japan that only speak Japanese, I give this 9/10 stars. Very long movie, but you’ll get use to it. 😉


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