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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple" or "Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijôji no kettô" or "Samurai 2: Ichijôji no kettô" or "Ichijoji no ketto" or "Swords of Doom" )

directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Japan 1955

Toshiro Mifune furiously embodies swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he comes into his own in the action-packed middle section of the Samurai Trilogy. Duel at Ichijoji Temple furthers Miyamoto along his path to spiritual enlightenment, as well as further from the arms of the two women who love him: loyal Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa) and conniving yet tragic Akemi (Mariko Okada). The film also brings him face to face with hoards of rivals intent on cutting him down, especially his legendary rival Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta). The titular climax is one of Japanese cinema’s most rousingly choreographed conflicts, intensified by Jun Yasumoto’s color cinematography and Ikuma Dan’s triumphant score.

***

In this the second of three films about Miyamoto Musashi, we start media res with the famous duel between Musashi and Baiken (a master of kusari-gama). Here Musashi also finds his apprentice. Together they now wander the land, seeking out to duel the master of a famous school, which is the duel at Ichijoji temple. Once again, Otsu tries to get Musashi to love her, but he brings shame on her and the film ends with Otsu becoming a nun and Musashi walking the curved path of enlightenment.

Having established the central storylines in the first part, this is where the story really begins to pick up pace and become great. Matahachi has lost everything, Otsu still fights for her love and Musashi is perfecting his skill. A new character is introduced, Sasaki Kojiro, a young master who eventually also is seeking perfection.

Both in story and in film superior to the first part. There are some amazing compositions in medium and long shots here, especially during the final duel, but also in the scenes taking place indoor. Characters also have become more colourful in terms of costumes, as they have come town from countryside.

 

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: July 12, 1955

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Comparison:

Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC vs. ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for all the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

 

 

You may also buy the Three Samurai films (Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island) in a Criterion Boxset - saving over purchasing individually.

               

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine #15

Region 0 - NTSC

ArtsMagic
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #15 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:47 1.43:13 1:43:38.253
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.46 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,891,434,527 bytes

Feature: 22,670,045,184 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Criterion Collection

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio 1.0 Dolby Digital Japanese Monaural

2.0 MPEG Japanese Monaural

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English (burned) English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 4 page insert
• Original Japanese Trailer (3:45)

DVD Release Date: July 21, 1998 (Reissue: May 18, 2004)
Amarey

Chapters 35
 

Release Information:
Studio: ArtsMagic

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers:
• Samurai 1 (2:25)
• Samurai 2 (1:47)
• Samurai 3 (1:34)
• Red Lion (2:00)
• Ambush at Blood Pass (1:46)
• Zatoichi the Outlaw (1:31)
• Biographies for Hiroshi and Mifune
• Cast gallery
• Artwork for Babycart Assasin, Zatoichi and Lady Snowblood
• Notes of Musashi's 'Book of 5 rings': The Water Book and The Fire Book

 

DVD Release Date: August 27, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection
 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1
 

Edition Details:
• New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films
• On Musashi Miyamoto Part 2 (7:13)
• Trailer (3:46)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

Blu-ray Release Date: June 17th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters 20

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (June 2012): I'll make the same comments for all three - 1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island on Criterion Blu-ray look tremendous. You only need to view the screen captures to see the huge difference and superiority over the green video-like SD-DVD versions. It makes them look unwatchable. Grain, detail, colors - what a triumph. Parts one and two are on the first, a dual-layered, Blu-ray and part three is one a second disc single-layered  Blu-ray. The audio goes via a linear PCM and the uncompressed monaural soundtracks sound superb if not dynamic. Supplements offer interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films and a trailer for each film plus a booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson. Incredibly impressive all-round and it was like seeing the film from scratch - the transfer was that good. Bravo to Criterion - a rousing thumbs up. Don't miss these masterpieces in 1080P!

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs: Once again as with the first DVD, Criterion has a nice enough picture, but suffers from edge enhancement and the sound is pretty bad, audible scratches and in desperate need for a remastering. It is slightly better than the first DVD.

Again, ArtsMagic is horrible bad. Colours are faded and bloom, there are edge enhancement halo’s and it simply is way below acceptable norms for DVD.

About the bitrate: It was impossible for the program to get anything. The bitrate is, if one looks at the outswing on the info while playing about par with the other two DVD (4.5 mb/s avg).

Again, as on the other discs, the trailer is superior in quality to the film itself.

 - Henrik Sylow


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"


Menus

(Criterion Collection - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Crash Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) ArtsMagic - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

  

 

 

You may also buy the Three Samurai films (Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island) in a Criterion Boxset - saving over purchasing individually.

               

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine #15

Region 0 - NTSC

ArtsMagic
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #15 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...