Seven Samurai

1954 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa
(Redirected from The Seven Samurai)

Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no samurai) is a 1954 film about war-torn 16th-century Japan, where a village of farmers look for ways to ward off a band of looters. Since they do not themselves know how to fight, they hire seven ronin (lordless samurai) to fight for them. This epic film is about the extinction of the samurai culture. The plot would later be adapted into the American film The Magnificent Seven.

This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you’ll only destroy yourself.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Written by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni.
The Mighty Warriors Who Became the Seven National Heroes of a Small Town.


As a matter of fact, I'm preparing for a tough war. It will bring us neither money nor fame. Want to join?
  • [drunkenly] You again. I see that bald head of yours in my dreams. You had the nerve to ask me if I wazz a samurai. Didn't you, huh? I never forget a face. Look here, though I look like hell, I'm a real samurai, all right. Here. I got something for you. Damn jerks. Looky here. [He clumsily fumbles around in his robe, and presents a scroll from inside it] There, juzz you look at this. Izz been handed down in my family for generations and generations. And you asked me if I were a samurai! You jerks. Look at this, juzz look at this! Thazz me right there.
  • What do you think of farmers? You think they're saints? Hah! They're foxy beasts! They say, "We've got no rice, we've no wheat. We've got nothing!" But they have! They have everything! Dig under the floors! Or search the barns! You'll find plenty! Beans, salt, rice, sake! Look in the valleys, they've got hidden warehouses! They pose as saints but are full of lies! If they smell a battle, they hunt the defeated! They're nothing but stingy, greedy, blubbering, foxy, and mean! God damn it all! But then . . . who made them such beasts? You did! You samurai did it! You burn their villages! Destroy their farms! Steal their food! Force them to labour! Take their women! And kill them if they resist! So what should farmers do? Damn it... [He sinks to his knees, sobbing] Damn it... God damn it...
  • [After having rung the alarm] Don't be so scared! No bandits are coming. Look here, you idiots. We came all this way and look at the welcome you give us! Yet when I ring the alarm a few times... [He runs up and down, mimicking the farmers] ... you all rush out screaming for us to help you! You bunch of suckers.
  • [To a bunch of kids laughing at his impression of Yohei] Hey! I'm gonna start charging admission, you know.
  • You there, chewing the cud. Can you cut that out? This isn't a cow barn!
  • [Kikuchiyo shambles into Rikichi's stable where the farmer had been staying.] It's me. I'm sleeping here from now on. Those guys cramp my style. [Humbled, Rikichi starts to hurry out, but Kikuchiyo grabs him] Stop cowering, you idiot! This is your place! You hand over your house and sleep in a barn and you still can't stand up for yourself! Go lie back down, you! [Kikuchiyo hurls Rikichi onto the straw, then lies down on the straw himself, with a straw mat over his body for a blanket. He sighs] Brings back memories.
  • [to the village children]: Does any of you have a cute sister?
  • Hey, everybody! Give your wives plenty of lovin' tonight, you hear?
  • This baby... is me! This is exactly what happened to me! [He sobs]

Gorobei Katayama

  • I thought I told you to let us go, did I not? To think that instead you would choose your own death.

Heihachi Hayashida

  • [To Rikichi, who is farming] Couples always work harder together. You ought to get married yourself. [Rikichi drops everything and runs off, upset] Hey, come back! I was just kidding!
  • [To Rikichi] You know, it helps to open up your feelings.

Kambei Shimada

  • Danger always strikes when everything seems fine.
  • I have no idea.
  • [To Gorobei, about Minoru] You said he'd be a treasure during hard times. The hard times have only just begun.
  • This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you’ll only destroy yourself.
  • Once more, we have survived.
  • So. Again we are defeated. The farmers have won. Not us.
  • Kikuchiyo. You're lucky it was us. If it was the bandits... you'd be looking for your head.


  • Bandits are coming, you fool. Why worry about the beard, when the head is about to fall?


Kambei Shimada: Go to the north. The decisive battle will be fought there.
Gorobei Katayama: Why didn't you build a fence there?
Kambei Shimada: A good fort needs a gap. The enemy must be lured in. So we can attack them. If we only defend, we lose the war.

Villager: How can we find a samurai we can pay with only rice?
Gisaku: Find hungry samurai.

[While Heihachi is chopping wood]
Gorobei Katayama: You're good.
Heihachi Hayashida: Yeah, yeah. But I'm better at killing enemies.
Gorobei Katayama: Killed many?
Heihachi Hayashida: Well — it's impossible to kill 'em all, so I usually run away.
Gorobei Katayama: A splendid principle!
Heihachi Hayashida: Thank you.
Gorobei Katamaya: And how do you feel about killing thirty bandits?
[Heihachi is so surprised that he completely misses the wood]

[after discussing how Shichirōji managed to survive the last battle they fought together]
Kambei Shimada: As a matter of fact, I'm preparing for a tough war. It will bring us neither money nor fame. Want to join?
Shichirōji: Yes!
Kambei Shimada: Maybe we die this time.
[Shichirōji smiles]

[The samurai look over into a stable at Kikuchiyo, who is asleep on a pile of straw]
Katsushiro Okamoto: Is he really a samurai?
Kambei Shimada: He only thinks he is.

[The men arrive at the village]
Kikuchiyo: I'd hate to die on that dung heap.
Heihachi: Nobody's asking you to.

[Kikuchiyo drags a captured bandit, bound by a rope, into a circle of peasants, and gives the prisoner a vicious kick every once in a while]
Bandit: Help! Help me!
[The bandit is close to tears]
Bandit: Help!
[As the bandit continues to scream for mercy, the other samurai try to restrain the crowd. Kambei rushes into the middle of the circle]
Kambei: Back off! He's a prisoner of war. He confessed. He's begging for his life. We can't just chop him to pieces.
[Heihachi tries to restrain a peasant lunging forth with a spear]
Peasant: Stay out of this!
[Kambei tries to hold back Rikichi, who is also full of murderous vengeance]
Rikichi: Let me at him!
[The shouting suddenly dies down, and they all turn to look at something: the old woman approaching menacingly with a hoe. The samurai watch as she walks past. Gisaku also approaches the crowd]
Gisaku: Let her avenge her son's death in her own way. Make way there. Somebody help her!
[Rikichi pushes past Kambei and charges forth with his spear. The other peasants follow suit. The samurai turn away dejectedly]

Katsushiro: He has the real samurai spirit. He is totally fearless. Yet at the same time, he is gentle, and modest- look how he acted after he went and got that gun. And how he went too- just as though he were going up into the hills to look for mushrooms.
Kikuchiyo (sarcastically): Delightful. Your yapping is absolutely riveting.

Kikuchiyo: What's that?
Yohei: ... It's my horse.
Kikuchiyo: Horse? I thought it was a big mouse.

Kikuchiyo: [about Rikichi] Something's upsetting the little bugger, but he won't say what. You can see it all over his face.
Heihachi: Those lips of his are bolted up tight as a house.



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