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Love And Honour

Love And Honour“The beautiful, sad but ultimately heart-
  warming story told by the film Love
And Honour is typically Japanese and
  explores the consequences of a loving
s sacrifice following her samurai
s tragic blindness and loss of

WORKING AS A POISON-TASTER TO THE SHOGUN, low-ranking samurai Shinnojo Mimura (Japanese film and pop superstar Takuya Kimura: 2046; Howl's Moving Castle) lives a thrifty but happy life with his beautiful and much-loved wife Kayo (Rei Dan) and their old servant Tokuhei (Takashi Sasano).

Shinnojo's dream is to leave his job and open a kendo dojo where children from any background could learn to master fighting with a sword. His vision included changing the way fencing masters taught, because he recognised that each child is different.

Shinnojo's otherwise contented life is tragically shattered when he samples a dish of red tsubugai sashimi destined for the Shogun's table that contains suspect shellfish, leading him to contract food poisoning. Although he recovers, the illness has cost him his sight and he can no longer work at the Shogun's castle.

Falling into a deep depression and afraid that his lovely wife will leave him, Shinnojo wants to end his life honourably by his own sword. But when Kayo tells him that if he dies she will follow him, he relents.

Beside herself with anguish, Kayo visits the Hundred Prayers Stone and is later approached by Chief Duty Officer Shimada Toya (Mitsugoro Bando), who had been an admirer in her youth. Kayo's husband's family encourage her to ask him for help and he agrees to talk to the Shogun in exchange for certain favours. But what started out as a way out for Kayo and Shinnojo turns into blackmail and deceit.

There is already talk about Kayo in the castle town as she has been seen entering a tea house in Somekawacho with Shimada Toya. A suspicious Shinnojo orders Tokuhei to follow Kayo and, discovering that the gossip is true, he disowns his wife. But when he finds out that Toya has been ruthlessly exploiting Kayo while not keeping to his part of the unthinkable bargain Shinnojo, with his honour at stake, challenges Shamada Toya to a duel.

How can a blind man hope to win against a high-born samurai? Can he forgive his wife and take her back? Love And Honour deals with an impossible dilemma and a love that transcends the bounds of propriety with the benefit of Yoji Yamada's sensitive and creative artistry.

Love And Honour also features: Takashi Sasano; Nenji Kobayashi; Kaori Momoi and Ken Ogata. The film is based on the story by Shuhei Fujisawa; Screenplay is by Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu and Ichiro Yamamoto; Producers are Hiroshi Fukasawa and Ichiro Yamamoto; Cinematography is by Mutsuo Naganuma; Art Director is Mitsuo Degawa; the beautiful music by Isao Tomita; and the film is Directed by Yoji Yamada.

Love And Honour completes Yamada's acclaimed Samurai Trilogy with this simple, graceful film that continues the theme of its two predecessors — the Oscar-nominated The Twilight Samurai and Hidden Blade — and closes the series with a swordfight that will be remembered as one of the greatest duels in Japanese cinematic history. This stunning film has garnered numerous accolades including three Japanese Academy Awards

Legendary director Yoji Yamada's Love And Honour will be released on 22 June (2009), courtesy of ICA Films at a RRP of £12.99.

"Love And Honour deals with an impossible dilemma and a love that transcends the bounds of propriety with the benefit of Yoji Yamada's sensitive and creative artistry" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"A fervent, sweet-natured tragic romance" — The Guardian

"Even die hard Zatoichi-ites will admire the deftness of Yamada's masterly direction" — Empire

"…a gracefully shot, convincingly acted affair that turns a shrew's eye to the inequalities of the class system in which its characters are rooted" — Total Film

"Intricate, artfully constructed and utterly assured… Essential viewing" — Channel4