Hiroshi Inagaki

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

Toshiro Mifune furiously embodies swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he comes into his own in the action-packed middle section of the Samurai Trilogy. Duel at Ichijoji Temple furthers Miyamoto along his path to spiritual enlightenment, as well as further from the arms of the two women who love him: loyal Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa) and conniving yet tragic Akemi (Mariko Okada). The film also brings him face to face with hordes of rivals intent on cutting him down, especially his legendary rival Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta). The titular climax is one of Japanese cinema’s most rousingly choreographed conflicts, intensified by Jun Yasumoto’s color cinematography and Ikuma Dan’s triumphant score.

Film Info

  • Japan
  • 1955
  • 103 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #15

Available In

Collector's Set

The Samurai Trilogy

The Samurai Trilogy

Blu-ray Box Set

2 Discs


Collector's Set

The Samurai Trilogy

The Samurai Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs


Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple
Toshiro Mifune
Musashi Miyamoto
Koji Tsuruta
Kojiro Sasaki
Kaoru Yachigusa
Mariko Okada
Michiyo Kogure
Lady Yoshino
Mitsuko Mito
Akihiko Hirata
Seijuro Yoshioka
Daisuke Kato
Toji Gion
Kuroemon Onoe
Sachio Sakai
Honiden Matahachi
Yu Fujiki
Denshichiro Yoshioka
Machiko Kitagawa
Ko Mihashi
Koetsu Honami
Kokuten Kodo
Priest Nikkan
Eiko Miyoshi
Eijiro Tono
Baiken Shishido
Kenjin Iida
Hiroshi Inagaki
Kazuo Takimura
Tokuhei Wakao
Hiroshi Inagaki
From Hideji Hojo's adaptation of Musashi, by
Eiji Yoshikawa
Jun Yasumoto
Art direction
Makoto Sono
Art direction
Kisaku Ito
Shigeru Mori
Choshichiro Mikami
Ikuma Dan


The Book of Five Rings
The Book of Five Rings

The warrior and philosopher protagonist of The Samurai Trilogy, Musashi Miyamoto, was a real-life seventeenth-century figure. Here, the translator of Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings tells us about this fascinating man and his principles of swordpl

By William Scott Wilson

The Samurai Trilogy: Musashi Mifune
The Samurai Trilogy: Musashi Mifune

Hiroshi Inagaki’s action epic is as responsible for creating Toshiro Mifune’s legendary cinematic persona as the films of Kurosawa.

By Stephen Prince

Samurai II
Samurai II
Despite its title, Samurai II, Duel at Ichijoji Temple, is not really an action film. It has more than its share of action and violence, to be sure—the duel between Musashi Miyamoto (Toshiro Mifune) and the chain-and-sickle master that opens the mo…

By Bruce Eder


Toshiro Mifune


Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune

Akira Kurosawa once said, “The ordinary Japanese actor might need ten feet of film to get across an impression. Toshiro Mifune needed only three feet.” The filmmaker certainly gave Mifune a lot of space, however: over the course of sixteen collaborations, the actor and the director created some of the most dynamic characters ever put on-screen, all marked by an intense physicality and a surprising tenderness. Kurosawa first took note of the handsome actor when Mifune was twenty-seven, during an open audition at Toho Studios; he was soon cast in Snow Trail (1947), a film Kurosawa wrote for director Senkichi Taniguchi. Just one year later, Kurosawa gave him the lead in Drunken Angel as a consumptive gangster. Mifune proceeded to inhabit a variety of deeply felt roles for Kurosawa, including an artist hounded by paparazzi (Scandal); a bandit who may or not be a rapist and murderer (Rashomon); a loose cannon ronin who reluctantly protects a village (Seven Samurai); an elderly patriarch terrified of a second nuclear attack (I Live in Fear); and, probably most iconically, the wily, shiftless samurai Yojimbo. Mifune is known for more than his work with Kurosawa; see him in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Oscar-winning Samurai Trilogy and Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion. But it is Kurosawa’s greatest films that are most unimaginable without Mifune’s bravado streaking across them like lightning. The pair parted ways professionally in 1965.