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This is, in my opinion, the greatest Japanese movie sword fight scene. The soft snow over the village, the fading light & two master swordsmen battling for what they both believe is their duty. The Samurai unquestioningly obeys the orders of his superiors and Ichi protects the weak & helpless. The combatants are not strangers. Circumstances made them friends first and then enemies. The Samurai has seen Ichi in action and respects his uncommon & deadly skill with a sword. He also respects Ichi as a man.
This is the longest one-on-one sword fight in the Zatoichi series. I kept the scene before the duel begins to give the fight it’s context. The ending is pure Bushido. Enjoy!