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Ultimate Samurai Miyamoto Musashi (1961)

Kinnosuke Nakamura , Tomu Uchida  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

List Price: $99.98
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Ultimate Samurai Miyamoto Musashi + Sleepy Eyes of Death: Collector's Set 3 + Sleepy Eyes of Death: Collector's Set, Vol. 1
Price for all three: $153.71

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kinnosuke Nakamura
  • Directors: Tomu Uchida
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Animeigo
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010
  • Run Time: 570 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038P1D0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Epic 5-film series that chronicles the life of Japan's most famous swordsman, Miyamoto Mushashi, founder of the Niten-ryu school of swordsmanship, and author of "The Book of Five Rings," the world-famous book on strategy, tactics and philosophy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
I've seen this series probably about 35 years ago when it was shown on a local Japanese televison station. This is an epic samurai movie series, in my opinion right up there with the Seven Samurai and anything else Akira Kurosawa or Toshiro Mifune ever did. The battle scences are awesome and the cinematography is just beautiful! They simply don't make movies like this anymore. The best comparison I can make is that this movie series has the scope and feel of something like Gone With the Wind, samurai style. Up to now, most people have only heard about or seen the Toshiro Mifune version of Miyamoto Musashi, which was called "Samurai". I've seen that version and it pales badly to this production. Kinosuke Nakamura is simply fantastic as Miyamoto Musashi and is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast.

The movies show the spiritual development of Musashi from a drifter seeking fame and fortune to finally understanding and embracing the true spirit of the samurai. The movie series builds up to the ultimate clash between Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, Musashi's arch nemesis, truly one on the best samurai confrontations ever filmed.

If you love Japanese samurai movies or just plain appreciate a well crafted and beautifully filmed movie, I highly recommend this series. I've hoped and prayed they would one day put this movie out on DVD and now my prayers are answered!! Order it by all means!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally released in the US!!! June 24, 2010
Ask an American samurai-film fan about legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi) on film, and they will probably think of Inagaki Hiroshi's Samurai Trilogy staring Mifune Toshiro. Ask the same thing to a Japanese samurai-film fan, and they will most likely think of this series, the five-film series by Uchida Tomo and staring Nakamura Kinnosuke (Portrait of Hell). Both are adaptations of Yoshikawa Eiji's famous novel Musashi, but in Japan the Uchida/Nakamura version is by far the more famous.

While I love the Mifune Toshiro, in Inagaki's trilogy it is hard to separate the actor from the role, and it is much more "Mifune as Musashi" than Nakamura's performance here. Over the five films, Nakamura develops the character of Musashi from the wild beast of his youth to the sage warrior who duels on Ganryu island. Nakamura was a kabuki actor who transferred over to film, and his acting style is more nuanced than Mifune's energetic performance.

Uchida's "Miyamoto Musashi" follows Yoshikawa's novel faithfully, from Takezo and Matahachi's survival at the Battle of Sekigahara, to Takezo returning alone to their home villiage and romance with Matahachi's fiancé Otsu. After three years of study, the wild Takezo is transformed into the educated warrior Miyamoto Musashi and sets out to test himself against the great fighters of Japan.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mere 5 years after Toho's Samurai Trilogy... May 19, 2010
Verified Purchase
A mere 5 years after Toho's Samurai Trilogy on the life of Miyamoto Musashi, (staring Toshirô Mifune), finished with the 1956 Samurai III: Duel At Ganryu Island... Toei Company, their competitor, decides to do it all over again with a five part series staring Yorozuya Kinnosuke!
They're similar, but different, and both top quality programs easily worth watching... with maybe an extra star to the Toshirô Mifune version (hey, it's got Toshirô Mifune!). But at this price and a running time close to ten hours, this set is a steal! It's quality all the way! Thank-you Animeigo!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ohayo, gozaimassu

To everyone of you who follows bushido and takes Musashi sensei as the best and most skillfull samurai fencer, and specially for those who study and practice Niten Ichi Ryu, this is the second best Musashi sensei saga movie ever made.

Their five movies are all splendid, ending with the epic duel against Kojiro Sasaki-sama. The 1950's trilogy with Mifune Toshiro is still # 1. But I love this one.

The first time I watched it was on computer downloaded files of the original VHS - released only in Japan. Now it's time for the fully restored 1961-1965 movies.

And Nakamura Kinnosuke is perfect as Musashi sensei. Nakamura is much younger than when he played "Lone Wolf and Cub" three season TV series in the 1970s.

I still hope and wait for the DVD release of Musashi-sama 1985 "Sorekara no Musashi" TV series... I'm waiting for years now...

Enjoy this box-set!

domo arigato gozaimassu


Sao Paulo
BrazilUltimate Samurai Miyamoto Musashi (5pc) (Coll)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musashi slices, dices and chops January 4, 2012
By scott
Verified Purchase
Awesome movie loved it, different and longer than the Toshiro Mifune version. But I loved both of them they both goods and bads but who cares about the bads when there is so much good. But besides the slicing, dicing and chopping the presents an terrific view into the Japanese culture of the late 1600's.
much more to say but to put things simply I would buy it again.

'nuf said
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by John Lockinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Version
Without knowing the true history of Miyamoto Musashi, I would like to think that this version played by Nakamura Kinnosuke would be it.
Published 3 months ago by Alan K. Okinaka
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the Best Japanese Version Of Musashi
Not to take away anything from Mr. Mifune in the earlier Musashi (3) part film series, But this version includes (5) separate DVDs and follows Eiji Yoshikawa's version of his... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Surfone
5.0 out of 5 stars another classic movie set
I may be biased as I love all Musahi movies and books. If you're like me then this is a must have.
Published 4 months ago by GhOsTeR 808
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series of Films
Kinnosuke Nakamura is a less masculine actor than Toshiro Mifuni so his portrayal of Musashi is more nuanced than than the previous set of three films done 10 years before these. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mark from Seattle
4.0 out of 5 stars Great account of Musashi's life
This is more of a biopic than straight Samurai film, but that's why I ordered it. It's very well done and the price was excellent. Read more
Published 14 months ago by D. Gilmer
Published 16 months ago by dave sakakuraamazon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I had seen the Toshiro Mifune version previously and then ordered the Nakamura Kinnosuke series. KInnosuke was a childhood favorite of mine some 50 years ago. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Donald Nakano
4.0 out of 5 stars A more subtle interpretation
This is a set of five films made in the 1960s about the legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645). Read more
Published 23 months ago by G. Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent version of Musashi
I enjoyed this version of Musashi's story better than the Mifune one. I think this was in large part due to the emphasis of putting the viewer in the time and place of the events. Read more
Published on August 16, 2012 by Miranda Appel
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