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Apr 16 2018

13 Assassins (movie)

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13 Assassins was a movie about a group of samurai in feudal Japan  that are hired to assassinate the shogunate’s brother. This was ordered by the senior adviser to the Shogun after the Shogun’s brother Naritsugu raped his son’s wife and committed multiple murders while as a guest in a Lord’s home. Furthermore, there is a lot of evidence for his cruel and power hungry motives. The senior adviser see that and hires Shinzaemon a very skilled Samurai, to track down and assassinate Naritsugu. With the help of a friend and his nephew Shinzaemon is able to gather 12 men for this mission. This gets complicated when a nearby rich and powerful clan the Ashika get involved and provide at first 70 but ultimately become 200 soldiers for the protection of Naritsugu. The commander of the Ashika, Hanbei and Shinzaemon are former rivals and throughout the middle of the movie try to out think the other in strategy. Even though they are severely outnumbered the 13 Samurai travel through the forest as to not get spotted by the Ashika and then convert a small town Ochiai into a deathtrap ready for the Ashika Army. As the Ashika army passes through Hanbei realizes something is wrong and attempts to flee just to get cut off by explosives and traps at every road. The fight starts off well for the Samurai but the numbers prove to be too great and one by one the are cut down while inflicting major losses in the Ashika army. Towards the end of the battle Shinzamon and Hanbei cross paths at the edge of the town and the battle comes down to a one on one which Shinzaemon wins. Shinzaemon turns his attention to Naritsugu and they have a conversation about ruling and where power truly comes from. Naritsugu is stabbed and shows how scared he is of dying and acts a karmic retribution for all the cruel things he did to innocent people. Shinzaemon finished the job by cutting off his head and dies following the battle wounds he suffered. His final words are a plea to his nephew (the only surviving samurai) to not follow in his footsteps and to do whatever he wants in his life because a Samurais life is a great burden. At the end of the film we see him holding a sword but symbolically putting it down and smiling.