Japan, 83m, B&W
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cast: Susumu Fujita, Denjiro Okochi, Kokuten Kodo, Ryunosuke Tsukigata, Akitake Kono, Yukiko Todoroki
In the sequel to Sanshiro Sugata (1943), Sanshiro, the accomplished Judo student turned local fighting “legend” through his defeat of Jujitsu challengers once again must test his Judo skills, but this time against late nineteenth century American boxing – which is depicted as vulgar, and Karate – which is considered less disciplined and therefore not a true martial art. Like the original film, Sanshiro must find a balance between personal desires and cultural expectations. As a consequence of when this film was made – near the end of World War 2, and the criticism leveled at the original film, the sequel’s portrayal of the brutish Americans is also part propaganda and part historical document (Klaus Ming January 2011).