Oyari Haishaku – Yoidore Kotoji Tomegaki

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Akame Kotoji (Takenaka Naoto), a shabby, middle aged low-ranking samurai of small stature, is a stableman at the suburban villa of Narushima Michihisa, the feudal lord of the desperately poor Kuju domain. One day, he downs litres of alcohol in a drinking contest and misses sending his lord off as he leaves Edo for Kuju. (During the Edo period, feudal lords of every domain were required by the shogunate to spend alternate years in Edo and in their own domains in order to keep them under control. Each feudal lord would have to travel to and from Edo with a procession that included samurai from his domain.) Released from service for this blunder, Akame becomes a wandering samurai. However, he has a big hidden scheme. In the mountains of Hakone, he suddenly appears before the procession of the Wako domain’s feudal lord, whom fencing instructor Furuta Jusaburo (Fujiki Naohito) serves. Plunging right into the middle of the retinue, Akame snatches away the lance, which is the symbol and prestige of a feudal family, without killing anyone. He goes on to steal lances from other processions in acts of retaliation. The Fuki domain is another victim of his attack. Its vassal Murase Jidayu (Takahashi Hideki) hears that it is because of Akame’s grudge against the Narushima family and thinks this is the reason. For Furuta, suffering defeat is out of question. To protect his domain and family, he takes it on himself to meet Murase and proposes an alliance between the Wako, Fuki and Ushizu domains. With the fate of the feudal families in their hands, Furuta and Murase pursue Akame. Each with something to protect, the men fight desperately over the lances. But what is Akame’s motive?

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