Pulp Consumption: Yojimbo

Posted: September 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

This week’s Pulp Consumption continues the Kurosawa/Mifune love with YOJIMBO.

Broadswords and Blasters

YOJIMBO, a 1961 jidai geki by Akira Kurosawa, in many ways defines the itinerant swordsman for me. Sanjuro, the titular yojimbo, or bodyguard, as played by Toshiro Mifune, is a scruffy, dirty ronin on his way to nowhere in particular. He is so adrift in the world, that he lets which way a stick falls determine which path he takes.

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yojimbo_2082.jpg

His arbitrary decision leads him to a town under siege from two separate gangs. He decides to make it his mission to clean the town up, playing one side against the other to defeat both. Why? The motivation of the ronin, who gives his name was Sanjuro, is never made explicit, though he implies that he views it as an easy way to make some money. That said, greed is not Sanjuro’s sole motivator. Otherwise, why would he go out of his way to help a young couple, the…

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