Film Review: The Samurai Vagabonds (1960) by Tsutomu Tamura

“If you’re too nice to pests they increase.”

In general, Tsutomu Tamura is mostly known for his fruitful collaborations with one of the greatest icons of the Japanese New Wave, director Nagisa Oshima. Starting with “Shiiku” (1961) most of Oshima’s movies, such as “Boy” (1969) or “Death by Hanging” (1968), were based on the magnificent scripts by Tamura. The characters and their dialogues defined the right kind of mix between absurdist drama and bleakness which became a trademark for these films as well as the movement as a whole.

Interestingly, Tamura is lesser known for his only film called “The Samurai Vagabonds”, a movie which brings together some of the future stars of his collaborations with Oshima. At the same time, it is a feature that sets the tone for the particular kind of writing he provided for these later works. Now that his film is re-discovered by institutions such as Japan Society,
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