This is one of a series of notes for A Chronological Biography of Akira Kurosawa.

A story of Shakespearean scope set at the time of the wars before the Tokugawa era involving the Takeda clan (my own distant ancestral line, actually). In order to confuse the enemy, a disreputable thief is employed as the double, or kagemusha, of Takeda Shingen. When Lord Shingen is assasinated he lives as the Lord for a time so that the clan might continue to prepare itself for battle. When the deception is uncovered by his own carelessness, he is thrown out and wanders the countryside like a pariah. Majesty, tragedy, red sunsets, blood, battles, sadness, death. Great fun for the whole family. The Takeda clan is shattered.

Title: Kagemusha ("The Shadow Warrior")
Original Title in Japanese: Kagemusha
Running Time: 179 min
Year: 1980
Company: Kurosawa Productions, Toho
Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Masato Ide Director(s) of Photography: Takao Saito, Shouji Ueda (support: Kazuo Miyagawa, Choichi Nakai)
Production Designer: Yoshiro Muraki
Music: Shinichiro Ikebe

Tatsuya Nakadai (Shingen Takeda, kagemusha), Kenichi Hagiwara (Katsuyori Takeda), Jinpachi Nezu (Souhachiro Tsuchiya), Tsutomu Yamazaki (Nobukane Takeda)

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