Japanese Ninja Movies

Saturday, April 9 by Sheldon Reid

These Japanese ninja movies are crawling with sneaky characters, armed with smooth yet lethal moves. Along with samurai, ninja are some of the most iconic figures to emerge from Japanese history books. Hunt down these movies if you want to get in touch with your inner assassin. 

  1.  “Ninja Scroll.” In this animated Japanese ninja movie, a wandering warrior named Kibagami Jubei battles a group of demons that wants to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. Yoshiaki Kawajiri wrote and directed the action, while Yutaka Minowa worked on the amazing character design. The 1993 film spawned a thirteen episode anime series in 2003.
  2. “Azumi.” When warlords threaten to ruin the fragile peace of an era, a young woman named Azumi sharpens her blade and gets to work. Aya Ueto headed the cast, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. This 2003 Japanese ninja movie drew inspiration from a long-running manga series of the same name.
  3. “Shinobi- Heart Under Blade.” This Japanese ninja movie injects some romance into the action genre. In a plot reminiscent of “Romeo and Juliet,” two lovers from rival clans attempt to get kissy-kissy despite the surrounding bloodshed. Ten Shimoyama directed the 2005 film. Yukie Nakama and Jo Odagiri were the leading actors. The battles between the supernatural ninja are a must-see.
  4. “Kaze no Bushi.” The title of this Japanese ninja movie translates to “Warrior of the Wind.” The womanizing protagonist, Nabari Shinzo, is wrapped up in a complicated situation when he decides to take on a mission issued by the Tokugawa shogunate. This 1964 movie, directed by Tai Kato, comes equipped with stunning cinematography.

-Sheldon Reid

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