Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island Poster

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)

Action | Biography | History
Rayting:   7.7/10 5.5K votes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Release date: 1 January 1956

Musashi Miyamoto is challenged to a duel by a confident swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. He agrees to fight him in a year's time.

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foxfirebrand 29 June 2009

This is the third part of a comment on The "Samurai Trilogy," following those on the pages for Miyamoto Musashi (Samurai I) and Ichijoji no Ketto (Samurai II). Ketto Genryujima (Duel at Genryu Island) can be seen as part 1 come full cycle, as the young Kojiro seeks validation through a confrontation in arms with Musashi. In fact this is mostly his movie in spite of Mifune's top billing, and Musashi's love interest Otsu is likewise partially eclipsed by her rival and foil Akemi and her machinations. The climactic finish is deferred many times, but each bit of side action comes forth with a sense of necessity, and its ethical principle is illustrated in a way that comes naturally from the context, and is not imposed with a didactic tone. By the time the duel happens, both participants have grown as men-- appreciative of the grand scheme of things, humbled by the small part they play, and respectful of each other. We do see the hateful side of the "bad guy," but such glimpses are then followed by an honorable act of some sort, or by evidence that he has reflected on his methods, and come to see a better way he should've followed. Inagaki's films, especially these three, have always been the best-regarded of the "classy" samurai movies-- I lived in Japan during the time these films were made, and I can tell you there were plenty of "trashy" ones! Today's pulp doesn't hold a candle. However seriously these films were taken in Japan, in the west there's been a tendency to pigeonhole them as samurai flicks, and the trilogy is only recently being seen as one major work, though I've still yet to see it shown all at once, as a single entity. Why that is, I'll never know, as the whole thing is uniform in quality, and the parts work as an epic accumulation as well as they stand on their own. The first episode did win the Oscar for best Foreign-language film, but interest in the rest of the trilogy was sporadic-- the films were issued and re-issued under generic-sounding names over the years, and when spoken of together it was in an off-putting way, simply as Samurai 1, 2 and 3. But Inagaki's masterpiece is the capstone of a distinguished career that began in the prewar silent era, and though he was deemed too "Japanese" and too specialized in Bushido culture and the prewar past by western critics, this work transcends all those inapt criticisms and is very satisfying fare to native and foreign viewer alike-- I am delighted to present the intact trilogy in support of these claims. (Look for it on YouTube, on the cuFFBlinks channel).

ebiros2 28 August 2011

Fmovies: Although this is a samurai movie, story is far more than just sword fights. Musashi Miyamoto is perhaps the most famous swordsman in Japan. He starts from a humble beginning to become the best sword fighter in Japanese history. His arch rival Kojiro Sasaki is hounding him to a duel. Kojiro is also a master swordsman.

Based on a novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, the final chapter of Musashi trilogy focuses on meeting between Musashi and his arch rival Kojiro Sasaki. The two battles in the most famous duel in Japanese history at Ganryu island.

I've read Yoshikawa's novel before seeing this trilogy, and the battle sequences are less gritty than the way they are depicted in the novel. This is perhaps not to portray Musashi as a mean swordsman.

There's dignity, and consideration for other human in Musashi. The caliber of people living a humble life around him seems to have dignity and innocence that's not seen these days. As a society, we are definitely going down hill compared to the times this movie was made.

You get to see young Toshiro Mifune , Kaoru Yachigusa, and Mariko Okada in their prime delivering their A list performances.

A very classy film that's worth watching.

dwpollar 19 April 2003

1st watched 4/19/2003 - 7 out of 10(Dir-Hiroshi Inagaki): Sweeping romantic Hollywood-like epic from Japan that just happens to be about a Samurai. This is the last in a trilogy of films about Mr. Musashi(played by Toshiru Mifune) and his Samurai journeys. This one plays more like a romantic piece with two women fighting(bawling & brawling) over the affections of this strong-willed but soft-hearted hero and brave warrior. It's awesome to see a film made in Japan where the warrior hero cares about more than killing his opponent. The obvious issue of honor is foremost in this Samurai's mind and the killing just comes with the job. So many films that Americans were introduced to from Japan were either silly Godzilla-type movies or karate flicks(with almost no heart, but a lot of fighting). This is the kind of movie that Japan is probably very proud of, but is not often seen by American audiences. Bravo to Criterion for putting this into their DVD collection!! Now I'd just like to see the 1st two pictures in the trilogy to know more about what happened to the characters prior to this film. The climatic duel is also `one-of-a-kind' and has to be seen to be appreciated. I'll just leave it at that without giving too much away. Give this one a shot, you'll be glad you did!

lastliberal 18 October 2008

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island fmovies. This was, by far the best of the trilogy and a fine ending. It had less Samurai action that the other two, but it was much more inspiring.

Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta) thought himself the best in the land and sought a duel with Musashi (Toshirô Mifune). But Musashi wanted to devote his life to becoming a better person. he went back to the land that he rejected and became a farmer.

In the meantime, both Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa) and Akemi (Mariko Okada) managed to find him. Can you imagine that scene? Feeling rejected, Akemi is made to betray Musashi to the brigands. The effort fails and Musashi accepts the duel with Kojiro.

The duel itself was magnificent but short. It was a fitting end to a film that featured outstanding cinematography and a compelling story of the drive to perfection.

botkiller 25 March 2007

The Samurai series is one of my favorites. Toshiro Mifune is by far one of the most classic and amazing Japanese actors of the screen, and he outdoes himself in the Samurai series. The colors, the settings of these films are amazing, and part III, with it's wonderful dual at Ganryu Island, is by far one of the most well-planned and conducted films in history. If you have not seen this series, you need to; it need not matter if you are a Samurai film junkie or just a cinemaphile, you will enjoy the subtle touches that make this one of the finest trilogies in film.

I'd also suggest seeing Yojimbo, Sanjuro and of course the Seven Samurai; other great titles are "The sleepy eyes of death" and The Lone Wolf and Cub series.

Miles-10 14 April 1999

It has been more than a decade since I first and last saw this movie, and it still haunts me. This whole trilogy of films, about two rival samurai in medieval Japan, is mythic. It even inspired me to write a poem-- which I will spare you. It is not just a male flick, either. The sub-plot about Otsu is very romantic, though in a non-feminist, self-sacrificial way. On the other hand, she is the only character who gets what she wants. She just has to wait through three movies to have it. Throughout the trilogy, Mifune plays the famous samurai Musashi Miyamoto who develops from an outlaw wild-man in the first movie to a mystic philosopher in this one. While his rival, Kojiro, possesses consummate skill, Musashi achieves, in this film, a graceful detachment which almost makes him resist the climactic sword fight. But swashbuckler fans need not worry because the final confrontation is spectacular.

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