The samurai warrior is a revered figure in Japanese
culture, and movies about the samurai have long been popular
around the world. Most samurai films are set in the late 19th
century, when warfare restarted after Japan’s mostly peaceful
Edo period. The main characters are usually rōnin,
masterless, unemployed samurai who were social outcasts and
often destitute. Epic displays of swordsmanship were the primary
appeal of samurai films, but rōnin were often depicted as
tragic, solitary figures, who hid their samurai swords until
forced to use them.
Saturday, April 5, 3 p.m.
The Sword of Doom
(Japan/1965—directed by Kihachi Okamoto)
In the 1860s, the merciless behavior of an outcast samurai
leaves him little choice other than to make his living as a paid
assassin. His fearsome authority is challenged and his life
placed in jeopardy when he makes an enemy of the only samurai
who is his equal as a swordsman. In Japanese with English
subtitles. Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors
Saturday, April 12, 3 p.m.
(Japan/2009—directed by Takashi Miike)
Set near the end of the feudal era, 13 Assassins is the
story of a group of unemployed samurai recruited to bring down a
sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne,
which would plunge the country into a bitter, war-saturated
future. In Japanese with English subtitles. Tickets are $8.50
and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.
Friday, April 18, 7 p.m.
Story of Floating Weeds
(Japan/1934—directed by Yasujiro Ozu),
Story of Floating Weeds
is the deceptively simple tale of an aging, travelling actor who
returns to a small town with his troupe where he reunites with
his former lover and their illegitimate son. This does not sit
well with his current mistress, who accompanies him, and the
flood of repressed emotions takes a profound toll on all.
Accompanied by Alex de Grassi, playing his original score,
commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival, for this silent
classic. Free admission.
Saturday, April 19, 3 p.m.
(Japan/1961—directed by Akira Kurosawa)
masterless samurai wanders into a village terrorized by two
warring factions. Seeing a way to turn the situation to his
advantage, he secretly sells his services as a master sworsdsman
to both sides, resulting in a tidal wave of apocalyptic
swordplay and a satisfying conclusion. A darkly funny, deeply
cynical adventure, Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) is a
blend of violence and wit, remade by Sergio Leone as A
Fistful of Dollars. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Tickets are $8.50 and $6.50 for DIA members, seniors and
Hours and Admission:
Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10
p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General
admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne,
Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all
others, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages
6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.