Yoji Yamada of 'Tora-san' and 'School' series fame now embarks on his first samurai film. For its plot, Yamada chose three short novels, 'Tasogare Seibei (Twilight Seibei),' 'Hoito Sukehachi (Sukehachi, the Beggar)' and 'Takemitsu Shimatsu (Record of a Bamboo Sword),' all by Shuhei Fujisawa, one of Japan's foremost authors of samurai fiction. It marks the first time for screen adaptation of his novels. The film 'Tasogare Seibei' depicts an unknown, low-ranking samurai and his family who lived during the age of turbulence prior to the 1868 Meiji Revolution.
No one has been able to film the unique realm of Fujisawa's novels, representing the difficulties, joys and sorrows of life as well as the nostalgia he so eloquently depicts. But at last Yoji Yamada, a man who has directed many heartwarming movies, is undertaking this difficult task. The dream of the author and director to portray a northern province in Japan in the latter half of the 19th century is about to grace theaters 140 years later as an uniquely different style of samurai movie.
The film stars Hiroyuki Sanada from the original 'RING' series, who has also recently been selected to appear in 'THE LAST SAMURAI' starring Tom Cruise, making his first appearance in a Yamada film, and Rie Miyazawa, who won Best Actress Award for a Hong Kong feature 'PEONY PAVILLION' at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Also, Min Tanaka, the great master of Butoh (avant-garde Japanese dance), makes his debut in film as a invincible swordsman.
The cast also includes Mitsuru Fukikoshi (SF-Samurai Fiction, Whiteout) and Ren Osugi (Hana-Bi, SONATINE), who have a irreplaceable character in Japanese film industry, Tetsuro Tanba, who is making his second appearance in a Yamada film following 'fifteen (Gakko IV)' and also has shown his never fading talent in Miike Takashi's 'THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS', Keiko Kishi, who won Best Actress at Japan Academy Awards for 'Ka-chan / Big Mama,' and Nenji Kobayashi, an ongoing regular in Yamada's films.
Shuhei Fujisawa (author)Born 1927 in Yamagata Prefecture. Following commencement from a teachers norm, he moved to Tokyo to work as a newspaper editor. He began actively writing when after winning the All Yomiuri New Writer's Award for his short 'The Vast Sea (Kurai Umi).' He received the Naoki Prize, one of the most prestigious writing awards in Japan for his samurai short 'History of Assassination (Ansatsu no Nenrin),' after which he resigned from the newspaper and concentrated on writing. As the generation of samurai novelists underwent a transition, Fujisawa emerged as one of the most popular authors of samurai and historical novels owing to his clever writing style. In this, he created a new wave in the realm of 'master-fencer' novels. Over 23 million copies of his paperbacks have been printed. The film will be the first version of Shuhei Fujisawa's works.