Samurai Marathon 1855 (2019) - full transcript

In 1855, a daimyo sends his men on a grueling marathon to discover if they're tough enough to face the newly arrived Americans. Misunderstanding his intent, the Shogun dispatches assassins.

For two-hundred and sixty years,

Japan cut itself off from the world.

And then...

the Black Ships came,

and Japan was changed forever...

Hey, Hayabusa!

What is he saying?

I'm terribly sorry Milord,

but he grunts like a hog.

I can't understand him.

Can I ask him to speak slower and clearer?

The arrival of the Black Ships frightened
many samurai lords.

Is this me?

Not bad.

Western-style, eh?

Yes, Father.

I copied it from a Dutch book
in your library.

You've gotten very good at this.

Kojiro, let him in.

It's time you were married.

I need a son-in-law to continue our line.

Tsujimura comes from a good family.

He would make a fine husband.

I can't let you leave Japan.

Anyway, there's nothing in America
but ugly barbarians.

I can't even let you go to Edo.

No chance...

We have no chance.


- Out of my way!
- Forgive me Milord!

We have no chance!

No chance!

- Kojiro!
- Yes, sir.

- Assemble all Samurai!
- Yes, sir!

What just happened?

Our lives were peaceful...

We had enjoyed peace and
tranquility for generations.

Alright, Chiyomaru.

Almost done.


Good boy.

But in my family there was a secret...

Jinnai. Come here.


This is the first Shogun Lord Tokugawa.

And this is our Annaka clan.

Listen carefully, Jinnai.

This dagger was given to our
ancestor by Shogun Tokugawa.

For generations, we have been Ninja.

We serve the Shogun as spies.

Our loyalty to the Annaka clan is a front.

I will pass down to you all
the skills of the ninja.

We are the Shogun's eyes and ears.

If we notice even the smallest
signs of rebellion,

we must report it to Edo immediately.

Anything remotely suspicious.

"No Change"

You must never let anyone know this.

To "Yanpo Apothecary"

- Please send this
- Right away, sir

Blend in.

Don't stand out.

Do not excel.

Do not fail.

Never disgrace yourself.

Never get drunk.

Do not even tell your wife.

If the truth comes out,

we are as good as dead.

So that was our Karasawa family secret...

we have been spies for generations.

Yo, Okajima!

- Wake up!
- Ouch!

Scored big, didn't you?

She wasn't that bad.

Let's go get Tsujimura.

Hurry up!

W... wait up!

N.. N... Nizaemon, wait!

Tsujimura, sir!

Pardon me, sir!

- Wake up, sir!
- It's too bright...

Milord is calling for us!

Milord is calling for us!
It could be war!

Grab his robe!

Get up, sir!

Here we go!

- Do I hear a drum?
- That's right, sir!

What is going on?

Why is he taking so long?

Good morning.

Where's Jinnai?

- There you are.
- Sorry for keeping you waiting.

Just because we're accountants,
doesn't mean we can be late.

Where's Squire Ueki?

Hope he shows up soon.

What is happening this morning?

I have no idea.

Here he comes!

Squire Ueki.

Too early in the morning for this fuss.

Who needs more shit to deal with?

It sounds like we're starting a war.


Let's go.

When was the last time there was war?

Umm... please go on ahead.

Not again?!

He always gets diarrhea
when the shit hits the fan.

Push my back, would you?


I have an urgent letter for
the apothecary in Edo.

I don't understand...
What is our Lord doing?

Plotting rebellion.


- Deliver this.
- Certainly, sir.

Thank you, sir.

- I'm going.
- Good.

- Mataemon.
- Yes, Milord.

I'm grateful for all
the years you protected me.

But now it's time for you to retire.


Yes, sir.

Give Mataemon a good pension.

Yes, sir.

- Coming through!
- Move!

Where's Jinnai?

Oh, there he comes.

Pardon me.

Sorry I'm late.


As you are all aware,

the Black Ships have come to Japan.

The foreigners are pressuring
the Shogun to sign a peace treaty.

The foreigners speak of peace,

but I believe their true intention is
to invade our nation.

260 years of peace time

has made us samurai weak, undisciplined.

We must become strong again.

We must toughen our minds and bodies!

Thus tomorrow,

at the hour of the hare,

there will be a foot race.

The race will be 36 miles over
steep hills and rough terrain.

All who serve the Annaka Domain,
samurai and foot soldiers,

under the age of 50, must run.


whoever wins this race,

I shall grant him a wish.

Anything he wants.


Yes, my lord.

A marathon ...

...with my bad back.

No way I can run 36 miles...

even with breaks.
We'll be back after sundown.

At any rate, no one expects us
accountants to win.



I need to win this race. I must.

It'll be good for all of us if I win.

- Understand?
- Yes, sir.


A... are we running with foot soldiers?



- You excited?
- Yes.

- Looking forward to the race?
- Yes.

Of course you are.

No one in this clan
can run faster than him.

Good luck!

You get it?

Get what?

I... I... I'm gonnna...

b....b... break your legs!

Beat it.

Sir, can I run in the race?

Off the road, kid.

Beat it.

What's the matter?

Can I have my letter back?

It went out early this morning.

It must have already reached --

I sent a wrong message
-- wrong prescription.

It's to your usual apothecary in Edo,

Just send them a new order?

It'll get there in three days.

Mr. Karasawa?!

This race isn't a rebellion.

It's just a drill...

I must retrieve my letter...

- Where's Princess Yuki?
- I... I don't know.

Princess Yuki?

- What have you done?
- I have no idea.


Where is she?!


Do you still want to marry
my daughter, Tsujimura?

Absolutely, sir.

Then find her. Bring her back.

Yes, my lord.

She can't have gone far.

She won't get past the checkpoint.

Has the courier come through yet?

Some time ago.

Show me your pass!

The Shogun will answer
my letter with assassins.

I have to stop them.

Hey, you.

What have you got there?

I'll give you a good price, sir...


Bring me the head and the kimono!

Yes, sir!


"Stumbling and falling,
over-the-hill I am..."

This is the end.

Found it.

Hey, boy.

What are you doing?

Picking mushrooms.

Found any?


Let me see.

Not so much.

I had a basketful but
a samurai knocked it over.

What's your name?

My name is Isuke Fukumoto.

Isuke Fukumoto?

Are you -


How big you've grown.

You have Kanbei's eyes.

You knew my father?

Yes, your father was known as
Kanbei the Spearman.

He taught me Sojutsu.

But he could never beat me.

How many years since he passed?

My mother thinks I'm just a kid, but I'm
ready to be a fine samurai like my father.

That's why I want to run the race.


Well said.

Do you know how to run like a samurai?

To run a long distance,

put your hands here.

Straighten your back.

Never lean forward, okay?

Feel the tip of a sword under your chin.

Steel your strength upward.

And move your hands and feet like this.

You got it?

Do it.

Yes, sir.

Your turn.

Please take this.

It's made out of the same
fabric as my lining.

The one you were wearing this morning.



I came in first or second...


I'm going for a run.

If you don't hurry, I'll beat you.

- I'm leaving.
- Oh, okay.

Dinner will be ready soon.

I won't be late.

I want to run with daddy.


I'm really tired of this.

Oh, Mr. Uesugi!

Won't you join me at a tea house?

- Ah... yes?
- Over there.

Go back folks.

It would take me an entire day
just to reach the Shrine.

You must have been born
with golden legs.

Please, eat.

A lot of people are placing bets.

You're the favorite by far.

So I have a small favor to ask of you.

I want you to lose.


Ten gold Ryo.

If you lose,

these will be yours...

Ten ryo?

Take one in advance....

as the bookie, I guarantee the balance.


I'm hungry.

Can't you wait until your father is back?

Just a little bit then.

You're back.

A gift.

What is it?


Oh, my...

Where did you get this?

An official bought me lunch
so I'm not hungry.

Eat it with Toyotaro.

I see.

Daddy should eat it.


You should eat it tomorrow morning.

I'm okay.

You two should eat.

Then let's save it for after the race.
We'll all eat it together.

Daddy is going to win!

I can't wait.

What if...

you had to choose between me
winning the race...

...or getting rich?

Which is better?

What do you think?

Winning the race, of course.

If you win,

the Lord will grant you any wish.

You can become a samurai.

Just a little bit.


I'm back, mother!

You're late. I was so worried.

Ah, Kiyo!

This is Mr. Mataemon Kurita.
He knew daddy.

Well, would you like to come in?

It's just a humble place.

Watch your step.

After you.

Well, then.

Thank you.

Please, come in.

- Isuke, guide him in.
- Yes, mother.

What a fine sake.

Thank you.

Ah... he sold the mushrooms.


Where's the money you made today?

I kept it safe for him
while he was training.

So very kind of you.

Oh, my.

That much? Isuke. Well done.

Your son will become a fine samurai.

I certainly hope so.

A child who loses a parent
grows up stronger.

I heard you taught him Namba running.

I should have taught him.

So thank you.

- Do you have a child?
- No.


Who are you?

I mean no harm.

I haven't seen your face before.
Are you from Annaka clan?

I'm terribly hungry.

I haven't eaten anything
since this morning.

This scoundrel had her Kimono.



- What about the race?

The race will take place as planned.


Yes, sir.


Thank you.

Where are you headed?

Going to Edo.


What for?

Eat first.

Sounds like you have your reasons.

Do you have a pass?

No pass and that outfit?
You won't get through the checkpoint.

To "Yanpo Apothecary"

What are they up to?


You're originally from Annaka.

Yes, sir.

Ever get homesick?


We have no time to persuade
the opposition.

That said,

we must act discreetly.

Take these with you.

Take me with you!

This is not a game for children.

I want to join your cause.

Well, if you're ready to die, tag along.

Did everyone on the Black ships
have a gun?

Yes, and much bigger ones too


That they are.

But... must win the war.

I pray for your safe return.

It's just a race.

Chiyomaru and I will be waiting for you
at the castle gate.

I will be back.




Accounting department.

Yoshikuni Ueki.

Yoshikuni Ueki.

Move! Step aside!

What's this?

Chief retainer's son -
Heikuro Tsujimura.

Here you go.


Former guard. Mataemon Kurita.

Oh, you're signing up, too, Kurita?

The edict didn't say those over 50
are disqualified.



My name is Kumanosuke Itanoma.


We'll begin the race.

Run like true warriors of Annaka!

Yes, sir!

Get set!




Hey, Uesugi!

Remember your place!

Uesugi! Don't forget our agrement!

- You okay, sir?
- Yes

- Should I go ahead?
- Yes

- You sure it's alright, sir?
- Yes

He said to go ahead.

I wouldn't go in front of Squire Ueki
without permission

You know in the west, they run like this.


Like this.

Western style?

It's not for me.

Isuke, try that.

I'm sticking to my style.

I'm used to this.

What's wrong?

- You okay?
- Just my back pain.

Take care then. Leave him. Let's go!


He's a deserter.


Go! Go right ahead!

How far?

Almost there.

It's here somewhere.

Is that it?!

Oh, yeah, yeah!

Be careful!

You okay?

What is this piece of shit?!

Water, please...

Get going!

Hurry up!!

Let's go!

Off we go!


Go, you morons!

Nizaemon, the other way round!

I have to win this race! I must!

- Yes, sir!
- Go!

Can't you run faster?

Let's go!

Let's go, Okajima!

W... w... wait!


Out the way.

Don't underestimate me.

Where have you been?

Nature's call.

Annaka Castle


- Mr. Heikuro Tsujimura?
- Indeed.

Please proceed.

We appreciate your service.

Okajima, Momose, follow me!

- Mr. Kazuma Kakizaki?
- Yes, sir.

Please proceed.

Thank you for your service.

Foot soldier, Hironoshin Uesugi.

Yes, sir.

Go on.

Thank you for your service.



I didn't know you were so fit.

I'm not. I'm exhausted

You're a strange guy.


Should we go through checkpoint
without Squire Ueki?


if we get there too late we'll look bad.

Let's pass the checkpoint without him.

- Okay, then.
- Let's go.

By the way --

have you sent him a year-end gift yet?

Year-end gift?

Let's see...

He has a sweet tooth.

I gave him 'manju'. You?

Me, too.

- I did, too.
- You, too?


We all sent him 'manju'?

Jinnai. What about you?

Weren't you listening?
Talking about year-end gift.


I haven't.


That's why you won't get promotion.

Somebody should go back and
check on Squire Ueki.


Right, Jinnai?

I'll go.

Counting on you.

Good luck.


- Are you okay?
- I'm fine.

Keep going,
we're almost at the checkpoint.


What's wrong?

Please go without me.

Without you?


Please look after Mataemon.

Be well.

Are you okay?

Slippery there. It's downhill.

Well done.
I applaud you for making this far.

Please help yourself to water, cucumber,
and fresh rice cake.

This way to obtain a return tag.

My name is Heikuro Tsujimura.

My name is Hironoshin Uesugi.

I'm Kazuma Kakizaki.

This is the midway point. Those
who obtained a tag are cleared to return.

I... I'm T... Togo... O... Okajima.

Are you alright, sir?

Please pay your respect to the
shrine ahead before turning back.

Let's go!

I sure like to win but...

Tsujimura decided he'd be first.


Show us your pass.

Hold it!

One moment, please.

You're Princess Yuki, aren't you?


Stay out of my way.

I'm Kumanosuke Itanoma!

We'll lose our heads if we let you pass.

We beg you!

Your father, the Lord has told us...

.... that we must not allow....

... allow you to pass this checkpoint.

I beg you!

I beg you.

The Lord has ordered us to detain you.

Princess - Please forgive us.

How dare you resting?

Aren't you all samurai?!


My leg again!

Awww. Go ahead, Isuke.

Don't push yourself too hard, sir.

- Go without me!
- No, I won't!

I won't leave you, master.

It's OK. Go.

My mother said to me.

What did she say?

That I must repay your kindness.

And that I must protect you if necessary.

Okay, Isuke.

Let's GO!

Squire Ueki?

A horse?


Not for the race.

You too...Ueki...


Our party from Edo has arrived.

They'll strike as soon as the runners
reach the castle, exhausted.

And so do we.

This is all because of my letter?

- Yup, you did your job.
- That was a mistake!

This is just a harmless race.

They're not conspiring against
the Shogun.

You know this as well.

That's not the point.

We serve the Shogun.
Not Annaka.

We can't let them return to the castle.

You're wrong.

Jinnai. Remember who you are.

Betraying your oath has consequences.

There are more like us in Annaka.

We are born Ninja.

That's all we are.

Mercy will cost you.


I see.

Then you die.

Squire Ueki!


I see.


What were you thinking?


Who's that?

Where did you come from?

Show us your pass!

Announce yourself.


Somebody, Help!


Don't kill me!

Please, don't!

Please, don't kill me!

Once the officials see this massacre,
it's all over for Annaka.

Tsujimura, sir.

Just up here on the left...

Don't touch me!

You're Princess Yuki, aren't you?

And who are you really, Jinnai?

Let me take a look at your wound.

I'll do it myself.

What happened?

The checkpoint was ambushed by bandits.

I must return to the castle.

there's something I have to tell you...


Is this really a short cut?

Y... y... yes!

Wouldn't it be better to stay on the path?

This shortcut bypasses the checkpoint.

Help me!

Be careful, you idiot!

My bad.

I'm going.


Don't move.

Out of my way!



Momose is waiting for you down
by the gorge.

W... wait! No!

Okajima! You traitor!


Shit, eh?



Princess Yuki!

You're alive!

Princess Yuki!

Give me your hand.

Princess Yuki.

I'm glad you're alive and well.

Jinnai, explain to me.

What the hell is happening?

The Shogun has attacked us....

Take the horse.

I'll round up our men and
lead them back to town.

Jinnai, protect the Princess.

Princess, stay safe!

Good luck!

Jinnai, I know it's not your fault.


Have you seen Squire Ueki?

Have you guys seen
Tsujimura and Momose?


We've lost Ueki so we're worried.

Squire Ueki must be somewhere.

You're different today, Okajima...

Like you've been possessed by a fox
or a racoon...


I see.

I feel swell today.

Where did your stutter go?

Okajima is a spy.

Our clan is under attack.
We must return immediately.

Run as if your life depends on it.

Yes, sir!

Follow me!

Let's go!

Wait here and ambush them.

Still the same crappy town.

Get ready!


You never had any manners.

It's not very polite to leave
your town defenceless...

or to send out all your men
to make trouble.

So you think we are starting a rebellion?

Aren't you?
You and your clan are a disgrace..

You will be wiped out.

Japan is changing, my Lord.

This is the Colt .45.

Also known as the 'Peacemaker.'

You might need that in a barbaric place
like America.

Not here.

Hayabusa, you bastard...

You won't get very far with this, Hayabusa.

My men are on their way back .

Who did this?!

What happened ?


The enemy is headed for our town.

Let's get them!


Take cover!

Get down!

Follow me!



Let's get going....

Let's go then.

Back to our castle!

Let's run.



Let me win and I'll give you 10 ryo.

H... how about 20 ryo?!




you too.

My dear Kakizaki.



For you. Eat.


I'm grateful for what you've done.

Thank you.

Please look after our town.



What's that?

What the...

They're dead.

All dead...

All of them!

Wait, is he still breathing?

Come on!

He's gone.


We must protect Milord.

Let's go!

Yes, sir!


You're almost there!

My Lord!

Well done.

I commend everyone that
completed the course.

Your courage and endurance is heartening.

Now I am certain that
whatever trials lie ahead for us...

we will face them together,
strong and united.

Come, lie down.

Pardon the intrusion!

I have betrayed you.

Allow me to repent with death.

I have just one request.

Please spare my family.


Jinnai risked his life for our town...

...and saved your life, too.


It seems that Jinnai Karasawa

ordered the wrong medicine from Edo

and it nearly killed him.

Yes, father.

However, since you survived
there is a service I need from you.

You must order
a different kind of medicine from Edo.

Yes, my Lord.


I'll deliver the order myself

as I am going to Edo.

The new era has arrived.

Twelve years after the race,

the age of Samurai came to an end.

Annual "Samurai Marathon" - Annaka City

Directed by Bernard Rose

Produced by

Based on the novel
"The Marathon Samurai: Five Tales of Japan's First Marathon"

by Akihero Dobashi
Published by Kadokawa Haruki Corporation

Written by

Music by Philip Glass

Costumes designed by Emi Wada

Director of Photography
Takuro Ishizaka

Production Designer
Takashi Sasaki

Mako Kamitsuna


Takeru Satoh as Jinnai

Nana Komatsu as Princess Yuki

Mirai Moriyama as Tsujimura

Shota Sometani as Hironoshin

Munetaka Aoki as Ueki

Ryu Kohata as Hayabusa

And Danny Huston as Commodore Perry

Naoto Takenaka as Mataemon

Ruka Wakabayashi as Isuke

Etsushi Toyokawa as Ioki

Hiroki Hasegawa as Katsuakira