Starring Toshiro Mifune, Koji Tsuruta
First film in this epic trilogy charting the evolution of the legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto. This installment follows Miyamoto in his early years as a rebellious soldier out for personal glory along with his friend Matahachi. After fighting for the losing side in a war, the two men forge wildly different paths for themselves, with Matahachi becoming idle after marrying an older seductress, and Miyamoto becoming a priest after a saintly man rescues him from his life as a fugitive. Added to the plot is Miyamoto’s romance with the woman who was supposed to marry Matahachi, and the story is setup for later installments. It’s a beautiful film on its own, but even more substantial as part of this sweeping series.