Kagemusha – Criterion [Blu-ray] (1980) *NEW*

Kagemusha – Criterion [Blu-ray] (1980) *NEW*


Just as many American studio-era directors found acclaim abroad that was denied them in their home country, by 1980 Akira Kurosawa’s reputation outside Japan exceeded his esteem at home. As uncompromising as ever, he found considerable difficulty securing backing for his ambitious projects. Unsure he would be able to film it, the director, an aspiring artist before he entered filmmaking, converted Kagemusha into a series of paintings, and it was partly on the basis of these that he won the financial support of longtime admirers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Set in the 16th century, when powerful warlords competed for control of Japan, it offers an examination of the nature of political power and the slipperiness of identity. For some time, Shingen Takeda Tatsuya Nakadai has been able to stay removed from the heat of battle by using his brother Nobukado Tsutomu Yamazaki as a double.

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Akira Kurosawa's lauded feudal epic presents the tale of a petty thief (Tatsuya Nakadai) who is recruited to impersonate Shingen (also Nakadai), an aging warlord, in order to avoid attacks by competing clans. When Shingen dies, his generals reluctantly agree to have the impostor take over as the powerful ruler. He soon begins to appreciate life as Shingen, but his commitment to the role is tested when he must lead his troops into battle against the forces of a rival warlord.


Kurosawa's own artwork
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by
Written by
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Masato Ide
Starring Tatsuya Nakadai
Music by Shin'ichirō Ikebe
Cinematography Takao Saitō
Edited by Akira Kurosawa (uncredited)
  • Kurosawa Production
  • Toho
Distributed by
Release date
  • April 26, 1980 (Japan)
Running time
180 minutes
  • Japan
Language Japanese
  • ¥2,300,000,000
  • ($11,000,000) or US$7.5 million
Box office ¥3,057,990,000 or $26,000,000 (Japan), $4,000,000 (US)

Ready to ship in 1-3 business days from United States (US)

Weight 0.6 lbs
Dimensions 5.3 × 0.5 × 6.75 in


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