top of page

Sanjuro and the Bloody Gore = Accidental Genre

A mechanical failure captured in the final scene is where the trope of excessive blood spraying in anime and action films originates

The coupling on a pressurised hose carrying a mix of brown paint and carbonated water breaks as the sword scene commences.

The abrupt and shocking climax to the movie is ruined by wardrobe failure. Or is it?

Director Akira Kurosawa has some idea of what has occurred and doesn't order another take. The gore is the gore. Let it stand.

In the final scene of Sanjuro, the titular character faces off against Muroto, the chief swordsman of the villains. The two men stare at each other for 20 seconds before drawing their swords and fighting. The duel is over in a flash, with Muroto being killed by Sanjuro's single blow.

According to Kurosawa's biographer, Donald Richie, the director was very particular about how this scene was filmed. He wanted the duel to be as realistic as possible, so he had the actors practice the movements over and over again. He also insisted that the scene be shot in one take, so that the tension would be maintained.

On the day of the shoot, Kurosawa was so nervous that he refused to watch the scene being filmed. Instead, he hid in a nearby room and listened to the sound of the swords clashing. When the scene was over, he emerged from the room and congratulated the actors on their performance.

The final scene of Sanjuro is one of the most iconic moments in Japanese cinema. It is a beautifully choreographed duel that is both visually stunning and emotionally powerful. Kurosawa's attention to detail and his commitment to realism make this scene a true masterpiece.

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page