The Magnificent Nine (2016) - full transcript

It is eighteenth century Japan and the residents of a poor town lead a typically meagre life. Then nine residents, which include Juzaburo, hatch a scheme to improve their lots by running a pawn and loan business with the proceeds being distributed among the townfolk. However, the plan is risky with such commerce and profiteering being frowned upon in a society with a caste system. Based on a novel by Isoda Michifumi, The Magnificient Nine features a cast of well-known Japanese cinema familiars.

This story is based
on a true event...

Grandma, are you alright?

Don't worry.

Where you going?

Leaving town with everything?

I think | loaned you money...

Forgive me!

10 YEARS LATER, 1766

Is your town really that poor?

Not at all,
there's nothing to worry about!

Tea Grower

Tea Grower
Poor people can just flee if they want.

Tea Grower

Tea Grower
But we can grow tea, and sell it.

But we can grow tea, and sell it.

I received Master Tea Grower
rank from the Senior Regent.

You won't suffer hardship.

Look! 'Kimo-iri' is
coming to meet us!


Means 'Village Chief',
an official.

lkuemon ENDO
Village Chief
Means 'Village Chief',
an official.

lkuemon ENDO
Village Chief

Comingjust to meet you?

In Yoshioka,
I, Tokuheiji Sugawaraya,

have earned a good reputation,

and I'm considered to be
a wise leader here.

Chief! I sold my tea in Kyoto,
even brought back a bride!

Your horse!


Another one fled!

Under the order,
we must provide at least 8 horses!

Get off now!

Excuse me!

What's going on?!


What in the world...?!


Sendai Domain,
Kurokawa District, Yoshioka Town,

24km north of Sendai castle
on Oshu Road.



and Lowtown combine
to form this small post-town.

Although a post-town,
most residents are farmers.

But since Yoshioka
has little farmland,

half of them make
their incomes by trading.

But even trade is limited,

nearby villages can
send goods directly to Sendai.

Also, for solve reason
traveling merchants use other roads,

so conditions are very bad.

To make matters worse,

the town suffered under
'post—horse duty'.

A duty to transport goods
along the road for their Lord,

from the previous post-town
to the next post-town.

cost wasn't borne by their Lord,

but by the residents themselves.

Poor farmers had to buy horses,
and hire laborers.

So many went bankrupt,
or fled the town at night.

80 many went bankrupt,
or fled the town at night.

So many went bankrupt,
or fled the town at night.

Established 150 years earlier,

the post-town of
200 householdes declined yearly.

The few remaining were left
with an even greater burden.

As a result,
households declined even more.

Yoshioka Town was trapped
in this terrible dilemma.

Careful with the horse.

Sake Brewer

It really is terrible.

When did you get back?

Just now.
They took my horse right away.

Pitiful beast...

In this town,
it's always the same.

Always the same...
It really is.

Nothing changes.

Head for Tomiya before sunset, hurry!

Dennosuke YASHIMA
District Governor
Head for Tomiya before sunset, hurry!

Dennosuke YASHIMA
District Governor

Dennosuke YASHIMA
District Governor
By the way, Kokudaya,

By the way, Kokudaya,

I brought back a wife.

Kyoto sweet shop daughter.

Impressively, she wants to
grow tea north of here!

I'm moved by her passion...

To Our Lord

What is that for?

A petition?!

Otherwise nothing will change!

You can't!
They'll behead you!

I've decided!

What are you doing,

Kokudaya, wait!
What are you doing?!


What's going on?

Hey, what's that?

Saw it already!

What are you |ousy...?!

What is it?
What's the problem?

What is it, Kokudaya?

A petition...!

No, it isn't!

I am Sugawaraya,
just back from Kyoto.


Senior Regent Kujo...

granted a name for my tea!

What? Show it to me!

Permission to use the name
Spring Breeze!


You deserve it,

You're remarkable,
especially for a farmer.

|'|| inform our Lord!

I'm very grateful!

I'm leaving.

you want to die?

It's all the same.

Even if I live now,
all of us farmers will be...

worked to the bone,
then discarded.

More crazy talk...

In any case, it's true.

Especially a man of your
wisdom must know that.

Well, I guess you're right.

What should we do?!

That's it! Sugawaraya,

a man like you must
have a great idea!

What should we do?!

- Well, we should...
- Yes?!

Each and every household
should give it their all.

Give our all!

- To what?!
- To what...?

Let's see...

To trading.

What's wrong?

Your great idea?

Now I know...

about your limits.

Hang on,
don't say '|imits'...!

Sake Brewer, Pawnshop

Sake Brewer, Pawnshop
I heard that you'd returned.

I heard that you'd returned.

For now...

Just the interest owed.

Is there no other way?

Want more tea fields,
but tough to pay even interest...

I heard you were granted
an Imperial tea name?

Our tea is too distant
to be respected in Edo.

|t'|| add prestige to our tea,
esteem for our Lord Date...

Your business will prosper.

I hope so.

I look forward to it.

Your wisdom will help you
repay interest more easily.

- Put it on my tab.
- Alright!

40 'mon' owed by...


Madame Lord, sake please.

Sugawaraya, welcome back!

Heard your wife
is very young?!

Gossip spreads
in this little town...

Is there no other way?

To do what?

About your younger brother.

Paid him half my
Kyoto income today.

I don't want to hear about him.

I know.

but totally different.

One challenges our Lord,
the other is a miser.

Everyone just
thinks about themselves.

Idon't think like that.

My tea will become known as a
local specialty of this post-town.

Local specialty...?

Lack of a specialty
dooms a post-town.

Thought so much of us?!

Of course.

I wanted to say so.
I didn't ignore it.

Here it is.


I want to grow new tea plants,
and double my fields.

But can't,
with such high interest,


Rather than...
your direct petition,

have your brother
give us his hoard of coins...

What's wrong?

Is it too salty?!

It is the interest.

I apologize for him,
just like our father...

Don't mean that.


What is it?


I've actually
been thinking about this,

what if we...

lend money...

to Lord?

- I don't need it.
- Not Madame Lord!

I am referring to
Lord Date.

- In other words...
- Yes?!

Lend money to our Lord,
and collect interest.

Then use that interest
to buy post-horses.

If we do that,
everyone's burden is gone,

and it'll revive their trade.

Will our Lord accept money
from his own farmers?!

Haven't our duties
been hard lately?

I heard our Lord's
cutting trees everywhere.

He is selling them.

Don't know why,
but in any case he needs money.

Our Lord is...

desperate for money.

How much would we lend?

How much?!

Let me see,

About 1,000 ryo.

1,000 ryo?

Interest about 10% per year.

Lend or Lord 1,000 ryo,
earn 100 ryo interest annually.

With 100 ryo,

post-horse costs
will be covered.

It's difficult to calculate Edo
currency in present values,

but for example, if a flask of sake
is used as a standard...

1 FLASK OF SAKE = 4 'MON' = 240 YEN

1,000 RYO = 300 MILLION YEN

Where is so much money
in this post-town?

Good point,
that's the problem!

We don't have the money.
Sorry to get carried away.

Just an empty dream.
Blame the sake, and forgive me.

Ahh, fell for your words!

Madame Lord,
can I put it on my tab?



Kokudaya is down below!

Alright, I'll go down!

Recently he doesn't go to
the public bath he loves,

takes cold ritual baths daily.

He fasts,
and paces to pray at the shrine.

Praying for a wish to come true?

Why'd you bother
to come so far?!

you're a brilliant man!

Miso Paste Maker

Why are you here?

I took a chance,
and told my uncle,

and he's absolutely with us!

With us? About what?

About what?!

The 1,000 ryo!
To lend to our Lord!

I knew that you
think differently.

The pride of Yoshioka!

Come on,
let's take a walk...

I told you it was
an empty dream!

Please look at this.

1,000 ryo gold is
5,000 kan in coins!

Back then, only samurai or
rich merchants used gold coins.

Commoners rarely saw them.

Of course,
in a town as poor as Yoshioka,

it was mainly 60-yen
copper coins in circulation.

Collecting that would be
very hard for two of us.

No, I can't...

But if there are
10 people like my uncle,

each one only needs 500 kan!


It's not impossible.

It isn't a get-rich-quick—scheme,
no matter what, we earn nothing.

I understand that.

You do,
but what about others?

Interest would be used
entirely for post-horses.

Is that true?

Not for ourselves,
but for the town.

You taught me that.

And if this scheme is leaked,
we may be beheaded.

By lending money to our Lord,

we're taking money from him.


I am ready to die!

There are others
that think like my uncle.

this is not an empty dream!

In that case, we will...

tell the Chief now.

Tell the Chief?!

Chief represents
townsfolk officially,

informing them of
the Lord's notices,

collecting on post-horse duty,
taxes, etc.,

subcontracting the Lord's
business, in other words...

He is our Lord's pawn!

Even if we do tell him now...

But can we skip him,
and inform our Lord?

You're right.

Important matters
are discussed with the Chief,

and permission received.

Let's keep everything official.

- What's this?
- Horse.

That's right!
Such a smart boy.

Tokichi is my first son,

I didn't imagine
a child could be so sweet.

Eventually he'll follow in my
footsteps, and be Village Chief.


the post-horse burden
just increases year by year.

What do you think of
post-horse duty?

It is unreasonable.


Notjust unreasonable!

Why are commoners like us...

forced to suffer by samurai?!

Chief, they'll hear you.

Tokichi, come here.

Even worse,

post-horse failures...

are all blamed on the Chief.

Thatjail in Sendai!

Winter in Mutsu is severed.

Thrown into the drafty jail
with just one thin kimono...

If Tokichi was...

I'm sure he would...
freeze to death!

We can't do anything?!

We can do something.

Is it really possible
to do such a thing?

It would be difficult.
To begin, we need 1,000 ryo...

I firmly believe in it.

I'd do anything for him.

I can earn money working!

If even selling everything
is not enough,

I'll put out my bowl
and be a beggar.

After all,

it's not just for Tokichi,

but for all Yoshioka kids!


it must be as you say!

It was worth it...

Next step is the Grand Chief.

We can't bypass Grand Chief,
and go to our Lord.

The Village Chief
represents the townspeople,

above that is Grand Chief,

representing about 40 villages.

Grand Chief
representing about 40 villages.

Grand Chief

Grand Chief
To commoners,
the official closest to the Lord.

To commoners,
the official closest to the Lord.

We should give up on this.

Chisaka wants to be a samurai.

If he tells our Lord directly,

we'll get beheaded!

In that case,
we must convince him!

In Sendai,
even when it rained,

commoners could use only
oil-paper or straw rain capes,

but at the rank of Grand Chief,
an umbrella was permitted.

One key role of the
Grand Chief was...

exposing criminal activity.

Offering money to our Lord,
to increase your rank.

No, that is not our plan...!

I truly believed...

you came to consult about that.

Recently, citizens...

think only of...

getting profit for themselves.



you are not like that!


I have to consider this
as Grand Chief.

From this evening,

I beg you to...

regard me as one of you!

Thank you.


In this year,

the Lord of the Sendai Domain
Shigemura Date, was 25 years of age.

Junior 4th Upper Court Rank,
Lieutenant General of
Imperial Guards

He absolutely wanted
promotion to that rank.

But that rank changes nothing.

It was purely due to
rivalry with Lord Satsuma,

who held similar rank.

Gift to the Council of Elders
of the Shogun in Edo,

50,000 ryo.

For approval of construction,
200,000 ryo.

There is simply not enough
money to pay that.

Hey, Kaya ba,

what should we do?

Financial Deputy

Financial Deputy
The Financial Deputy managed finances for the domain,

The Financial Deputy managed finances for the domain,

but on occasion exercised
more authority than superiors.

Are you listening?

He held tremendous power.

All such matters...

should be left to me,
Moku Kayaba.

Buy up all rice.

Almost none remains,
commoners will have nothing to eat!

They have barley,
millet, and radishes.

They won't die.

Predecessors borrowed
money from merchants...



Being rich or poor
is determined byjust one thing.

Whether you earn interest,

or whether you pay interest.

Being in debt is
totally unacceptable!

If there is no rice,

produce coins instead.


Our Lord has started
to produce coins.


I knew it!
Our Lord needs money!

exactly as you said!

Perfect timing. Let's hurry!

we still don't have 10 members.

Tough to raise 1,000 ryo
with only us...

Don't be so easygoing!

After our Lord has coins in circulation,
he won't need a loan!

Pay one kan for
one set of furniture...

In other words,

you won't use our present savings
to expand the tea fields?

Let's give up
selling fields and things!

You're wonderful.

My father always says 50.
Give for the benefit of all.

I am so...

proud to support you
as my husband.

- This also.
- Natsu!

You can't sell that!

In times like this, we must
sell our finest treasures.

It was your idea,
you have to set an example.

It's magnificent.


I haven't agreed to this yet.

Even our mementos?

What would Mother say,
if she were still alive...?

She was also from this town,
so won't complain.

But imagine how we feel,

and Kayo won't be able to marry.

Don't worry about me.

why have a business to just...

give all our money away?


Shameful my own son says that.

You're just like my father,
and my younger brother.

| feel the same.
I'd rather be born an Asanoya.


Wasn't this from
the Senior Regent?!

In such times,
even treasures.

It was my idea,

so I have to set an example.

Take it away!

Junai ENDO
Money Exchange Shop


More people are fleeing town!

What?! Who?

Kokudaya and Sugawaraya.
Household goods on carts this morning.

Oh... that's all?

Alright, got it.

I'll check on them later.

Lend money to our Lord?!

I don't know exactly,

but that's what I heard.

Not nearly enough money...

We knew it would be tough
with just five...

Grand Chief has come?

Isn't it wrong to secretly
discuss such matters,

and even have
the Chief involved?

What are you talking about?

Lending money to the Lord.

That's what I mean.

Who told you?

I'm a money-changer.

By nature,
I have an instinct about money.

Our Lord has started
producing coins.

To produce coins,
he has to buy copper.

A furnace, firewood,
and laborers are required.

Massive amounts of
money are needed.

Clearly the best way
to make money...

is to lend money
to someone making money.

I want in on the investment.
How much is it?

No, Junai,
you misunderstand...

It's 500 kan for one share.

In that case,
I'll take two shares!

It's settled.

1,000 kan!

Hey, hey,
is that really alright?

Thinks it's to get-rich-quick.

I didn't lie.
We're still lending money to our Lord.


It's for the benefit of
this post-town.

If we explain sincerely,
I'm sure he'll eventually agree.

with Junai involved...


Our goal is in sight.

If the scheme is leaked,
we'll deal with it at that time...



That's the plan!

That is the plan!

So, no profit or compensation?

It's enough to make you cry.

Kokudaya, and Sugawaraya.

And Jubei and the Chief.

Hang on,
they're all men from Midtown!

True, all Midtown.

Midtown's the best.

Gentlemen from our
Midtown are great!

Right, that's why
Midtown is so good.

If this continues,
our Lowtown will pay nothing!

In the future,
we'll hang our heads in shame.

Cereals Shop
In the future,
we'll hang our heads in shame.

Cereals Shop

Perhaps you're right...

I'm sure of it.

I'd like to contribute money,
but a guy like me can't afford it.

But you, Hayasakaya,
are different.

In an case, your big shop
in Lowtown should contribute.

Perhaps you're right...

I'm sure of it.
Your name will live on for eternity.

Perhaps you're...

I'm sure of it!

"Dead tiger leaves its skin,
dead man leaves his name."

How much should I contribute?

Hayasakaya will pay?!

Heihachi, you're amazing.

Maybe we can do something?

Want to,
but have no money...

What happened with Uptown?

I wonder...
Maybe men like Asanoya?

No way,
misers since the Father.

Haven't donated to the
temple even once.

Brews sake and lends money,

after lending money,
charges inflated interest rates.

Remember Chubei,
who fled at night over a decade ago?

Yeah, carpenter.

While fleeing,
stopped in his tracks by a shout.

Know what was said?

Yelled "Pay back the loan!"


No blood or tears in him!

Kokudaya is an excellent man.

Yeah, but the father and son
are totally different.

Uptown is no good.

Our Midtown
has to do something.

That's right.

Midtown and Lowtown
have to deal with it.

No, hang on.

What are you saying?

What is it? What's wrong?

What is it? What...?!

What's wrong? What...?

What were you saying?

Why are you crying?!

Surprised me!

This endeavor will support
your descendants for eternity.

You are lucky
to have this opportunity.

General Akechi got a bad
reputation by killing his Lord Oda,

but Kyoto was exempt
from taxes in his lifetime...

Even now, in Kyoto,

Akechi is a man who is
greatly respected.

Consider use of money
for the benefit of this town...

If this continues,
Yoshioka has no tomorrow!

Think of nothing but posterity,

let yourself be one of them!

The story has leaked.

Rumor has spread
throughout the town!

What's going on?!

If we explain sincerely,
he'll eventually agree...?

Yes, he definitely will.

Well then, do your best.

I don't understand!

Why is all the interest
used by the post-town?!

That is to ease the burden
on the post-horses...

That is fine.
But then we earn nothing.

Of course,
there will be no earnings.

I don't understand.

To save this post-town.

Somehow, to this foolish merchant,
that is difficult to understand.

I want out of the scheme.

Tell me!

Who'd you recommend it to?

Hayasa kaya, in Lowtown.

From my fortune,

I can only invest...

Offered 300 kan.

But he can pay more.
He has lots of money saved!

He's obsessed with
boring a health spa tunnel.

"Health spa"...
is a hot spring?

He recently visited Naruko spa,

and is obsessed with
boring a tunnel to get water.

Damn! That's why
he won't give more!

Any others?

Who else did you tell?

In Uptown...

I told Zenpachi.

I heard they were broke.


Here you are.

General Store

General Store
I understand. I'll make money soon!

I understand. I'll make money soon!

Will you wait?


And offered 200 kan.

He probably
misunderstood something.

About what?

He's a widower, like me.

He may think the money
is a dowry to marry you.

That's fine by me.


Why not?

If that's how you feel,
you should marry me.

But I have another ambition.

After that is fulfilled,
will you want me?

It will take many years...

How many years?

How many years...?

I'm just joking.

Oh, you were joking?


We went to see Watanabeya,
Asamaya, and Sakuraiya, but...

Of course
I want to be part of it,

but with limited
savings such as mine...

It's all just a publicity stunt.
They should be ashamed.

They just want to
show off that they're rich.

They're not like that at all.

No, I understand how they feel.

I know people that
feel good through charity.

I can't stand it anymore!

Who's there?!

It's Rihei.

What happened?
Probably rejected?

Where did you go?

To Asanoya.

Impossible over there,
he won't pay.

Well, actually...

He'll pay?!

How much?

100 kan? 200 kan?


500 mon?

500 kan.

He said he'll pay 500 kan.

Hey, hey, wait!
He definitely said 'pay'?

Sure he didn't say 'lend'?

It is true.


Asanoya, you realize there's no profit?
All interest is for post-horses.

I know that.

I won't prosper
unless the town does.

So I'll invest in the town.

It's the same as
lending money to you.

I heard that it was you,

who came up with this idea?

Well, I did...

You're really a remarkable man.

In that case,
write off my debt as investment...?

I guess not...

My elder brother...

How much will Kokudaya invest?

At present,
everyone is equal,

investing 500 kan.

In that case,

|'|| invest another 500 kan.

If I pay the same,
in Yoshioka the name Asanoya...

will become tainted,
Rihei persuaded me.

He is simply paying to spite me!

If he joins our plan,
I'll drop out of it.

Why do you suddenly say that?!


your family seems to
have a strange relationship.

What happened?

Isn't this the strange thing?

I'm the older brother,
but was sent for adoption!

You do have a point..

I was 7 when I was adopted out.

For me,

the only memory I have is listening
to Father reading difficult text.

Even now I don't
know if it was Confucius,

and understood
nothing at age 7.

But my brother was different.

Only 4 or 5 years old
but listened intently.

My father gave up on me.

To preserve our family fortune,
he chose my smarter brother.

You don't know that for sure...

My brother is like Father.

He's intelligent,
and good at business.

He's also just as
miserly and stingy.

I was adopted out
to a sake brewer,

and worked hard to be
as successful as my family.


I can't stand it
if he's offering...

1,000 kan so easily...

That's a different story...

It's all the same.

I simply have nothing at all.

it seems that you...

started this just to triumph
over your father and brother?

I will keep my investment at 500 kan.

please remove my name.

I am definitely not
trying to promote my name.



has anyone donated
more than I have?

You are foremost, Junai,
and have donated the most.

It is rare for a man...

to hide his ambitions,
while caring about temple donation.

I heard about it.

Your donation to the
Lord of our domain.

I was struck right to my heart.

Giving up selfish desire,

showing great
spiritual generosity,

by accepting the suffering
of the post-town as your own,

causing me to weep so much,

my black sleeves were
soaked with tears.

However, I wonder if
such a scheme will really work?

It's not a matter of success...

or of failure.

I'll leave a written
record of the details,

so future generations
will know of it.

This town will take
great pride in your actions,

for many generations to come.

Until now,

each member has
contributed 500 kan.


We have a new donation,

from Hayasakaya, 300 kan.


From Zenpachi Kokudaya, 200 kan.


And from Asanoya,

1,000 kan.

1,000 KAN = 60 MILLION YEN

As a result,

we have a total of 4,000 kan.

Only 1,000 kan more is required.

May | enter?

I also want to contribute.

I've had a change of heart.

I want to accept the suffering
of this post-town as my own.

It's not a matter of
being able to or not.

In that case...

1,000 kan!

Oh, we collected 1,000 ryo!

No, I'll pay the same
amount as others.

No, I'm not refusing to pay...

The Chief,

and Grand Chief have paid,

so I hesitate to pay more.

Besides, the amount
is fixed at 500 kan each.

Someone did pay less,
but a fixed amount is a fixed amount.

It's best not to differ.

Are you referring to me?

I'll pay it.

500 kan is lacking?
I will pay it.

So, a total of 1,500 kan?!

Oh, but that's...

1,500 KAN = 90 MILLION YEN
Oh, but that's...

1,500 KAN = 90 MILLION YEN

what are you up to?

The Grand Chief and Chief
paid 500 kan, all of us!

Hold on, Junai!

At 1,500 kan,

you want all
the glory for this deed?!

What deed?

Stop that, stop!
Don't quarrel!

All members are present
at this meeting today.

we must be discreet...

in our behavior.

We are not paying
to be honored or promote ourselves.

Am I mistaken?

That is correct.

I have prepared this document.

Please allow me to read it.

"Agreed, refrain from
brawls and quarrels."

please forgive insults.

"Agreed, refrain from revealing
this matter to outsiders."

Don't tell post-town
residents that you invested.

Why is that...?

If questioned,
pretend that you know nothing.

Including who paid how much?

Be discreet.

That seems best.

- Lucky for you!
- What's that?!

You werejust told
not to quarrel!

"Agreed, when making
donations to shrines and temples,

refrain from being named."

Best to avoid our names
in all things from now on.

To avoid criticism.

when walking about,

refrain from
discourteous behavior."

0n the roads,
try to walk along the side.

Do we have to
be that cautious...?

when attending public events,

sit in the lowest seats
not places of honor."

Actually, you mean...?

What's wrong?

Do you mean
avoid honored seats...

our entire lives?

For generations to come.

Children? Grandchildren?!

None of us will boast
of paying this money,

but our descendants may not agree.

With this, we establish our
"Code of Discretion".

Those in agreement...

will affix their name seal.

It is said half the commoners
couldn't read in this era.

So for town politics,

reading aloud was important.

In Yoshioka,
in autumn of that year,

it is recorded that a
petition was read aloud.

"We lack horses,

"but can't buy at the standard price.

"Even if we can buy them,

"they suffer from lack of fodder,

"become emaciated,
and die one after the other.

"Due to enormous expenses,

"commoners are...

"falling deeper into poverty.

"Many houses face collapse,
and many people face collapse.

"They're unable to fulfill public duty.

with all due respect."

Show discretion.

"We beg that
compassion be shown.

"Full-fledged farmer households,

"6 kan.

"Half-fledged farmer households, 4 kan,

"from the upcoming year."

Must be a fire somewhere...?

I'll go and check on it.

"If what we have requested...

"is considered as asked,

"as an expression of gratitude..."

No one even stands...

They fear poverty more than fire.

Already this year,
two more households have fled.

From this point onwards,
Chisaka, we depend on you.

Thank you.
We're counting on you.

Without fail
I will return with good news.

For this matter,

see my colleague,
Governor Hashimoto.

The "colleague"...

refers to dividing his own
given authority with others.

In this era,
there was a surplus of samurai.

The colleague, Gonemon Hashimoto,
was located very far away.

District Governor

This is unusual...

Raise your head.

In all my days,

I have never heard of
a petition such as this.


without fail,
|'|| consult with my Superiors!

|'|| prepare a letter of
reference now. Wait here.

0h... Are you in a hurry?

I've never met a Grand Chief
so kind to commoners.

You need other clothes.
|'|| lend you mine.

Hey! Bring some clothes!

Shichisaburo IMAIZUMI
Prefectural Governor

People of Yoshioka request this.
What shall we do? lmaizumi


However, a windfall of
1,000 ryo is something...

Taking advantage.

Not worth consideration.

Very sorry.

Instead of that,

I received some fine cloth,

take some,
as a souvenir for your wife.

"Not worth consideration."

This is the end.
Doesn't even say why...

Made us wait
three months for this?

Seems we made an
impossible request to the Lord?

How about circulating
the 1,000 ryo amongst us,

and distribute interest to the town?

what's gotten into you?


If we could circulate money here,
we wouldn't involve our Lord.

Listen, this is also
for the benefit of our Lord.

Without post-towns,
horses and people would be gone.

Request 2 or 3 times,
our Lord will...


I have my own position.


What is it?


50 late...

Chief didn't hear anything either?

Nothing at all.

Can't believe
we've been waiting one year.

Taking so long to reply...

Perhaps we made a
petition beyond our status.

Temple Donations
Junai Endo, 5 kan


on the far left

can't we just display
a nameplate saying...

"Anonymous Donor, Midtown"?

Well, if we did do that,
it would be a problem...

for other anonymous donors.

Other anonymous donors?!

What are you doing?







Won't get by me!

Everybody, a thief!
Catch him!


Sorry, Madame. A thief!

I'm not a thief!

Then what about this money?!

It's you!


Why did you come back?

It must be to get
revenge on Asanoya?

Revenge? Why would I
want revenge on Asanoya?

When you were fleeing,
didn't he force you to pay him back?

It's true that he did stop me...

Where you going?

I think | loaned you money...

Forgive me!

Sir, we have nothing left...

You don't need to return this.

Forget the debt you owe.


You did your best.

It's not your fault
that you have to leave.

Social structure is to blame.

Be aware of that,

don't be a bitter person.

He was only strict
about payment...

when collecting
from the rich.

But from poor people like us,

he never once
pushed for repayment.

Thanks to his money,

in Sendai,

I really worked like crazy,

and after 15 years,

I wanted to return to
at least pay back the capital.

But when I did,

he'd already
died seven years earlier!

Went to pay his son,

all records were destroyed.

Since I had no choice,

I tried to sneak in,

and return the money...

It seems that we...

were totally wrong about Asanoya.



It can't be...
It can't...


You come also!

Have you been in good health?

Yes, I have.

Father saved coins
in a ceramicjar every night.

About 100 kan in each jar.

There are a total of seven jars,
he saved very well.

He started saving
around the time you were born.

Father intended to
pay the money to the Lord,

and request reduction
of the post-horse duty.

If I can't do it,

you do it.

If you can't do it...

If I couldn't do it,
my child...

Even if it took generations,
to uphold his aspiration...

to use the money for a
self-sustaining post-town.

I never heard
anything about this!

That was also his wish.

Your Kokudaya family
should not be involved.

However, even though
you weren't informed,

you supported post-town relief,
ruining the Kokudaya family...

Parent and child
really are very much alike.


since we weren't told about that,

you know the rumors that spread.

Such as stingy,
miserly, tight-fisted?

Never allow for this matter...

to be known to outsiders.

Ignore any slanderous
remarks that occur.

This is not being done
to receive praise from others.

Father taught us this.

It was written in the
neo—Confucian book, "Myogakun".

He always read it to us,
from an early age.

"Never seek gratitude,

"do not seek reward,

"do what is right to do,

"man and all things
under Heaven's Law..."


I was never listening to him.

You were listening!

You listened carefully,
while appearing to play.

Isn't that the reason you're
now doing what our Father did?

What happened?

Please come with me now.

What will we do,
at this late hour?

Perhaps you mentioned
that matter to the others?

Even without talking,
it'll become known.

Even so, it is rude to appeal
to our Lord again so soon...

Which side are you on?!

Having a name and sword
make you into a samurai,

but in the end you're
a commoner like us!

Using an umbrella
is so admirable?!

It is not you who is admirable.

It is Juzaburo and the laborers,

and also...


Even just a little bit,

people who try to find
purity in an impure world!

Asanoya, I'm sorry,

but please tell that story...

once again to the Grand Chief.

Elder brother...
thank you so much for this.

What's wrong?

Everything is blurry,
I can barely see.


Our father was too
ashamed to send...

someone like me
out for adoption.

You have been....

swept up in such matters.

I am truly...

sorry for everything.


In any case,
it is simply unlucky.

He said only "Taking advantage",
and rejected the petition.

"Taking advantage"?

It means the ones
earning interest win.

Seeing our Lord needed money,
taking advantage with high interest.

That's not true!

I know that, too.

It actually began...

almost 40 or 50 years ago.

There was a man
named Jinnai Asanoya.

One day, that man
began to save coins.

He scrimped every day
on what he ate,

the savings...

were put into a ceramicjar,
one coin at a time.

No one knows why
he started doing that.

He was ridiculed
as a miserly man.


the mystery was solved
as he lay on his deathbed.

That man held his son's hand,
and said the following.

"It's my dream...

"to present these savings to our Lord,

"with the request that our post-town
be forever saved from suffering."

But it still wasn't enough money.

Succeeding his father's name,

the son began to save coins,
one by one.

Day by day, for decades...

Wait a moment...

Saving money of his wife,
children, servants.

Chisaka, wait!

Is that the money...

referred to in the petition,
the 1,000 ryo?

It was rejected by our Lord,
but wasn't taking advantage...


I want to confirm one point.

You're notjust inventing
this story for the first time now?

No, a man called Jinnai...

You mean that it...

started decades ago,
and has spanned two generations?

It is remarkable.

I can't give up on this.


let's rewrite the petition.

Deputy Kayaba!

Please reconsider the
Yoshioka matter.

Ask the Prefectural Governor.

Deputy Kayaba!

Deputy Kayaba!

I said that was rejected.
Taking advantage.

It is not that!

Your interpretation
is totally wrong!


Why is it wrong?

It all started about
40 or 50 years ago!

Day by day,
saving coins for decades...

Everything is written here!


a commendable deed.


Thank you!


just one point
has to be revised.

What is it?

Lord doesn't accept coins.

Revise "5,000 kan in coins"
to "1,000 ryo in gold".

Of course!
Is that everything?

I am so grateful!

All of the post-town
residents will celebrate.

50 late...

Please proceed.

I got it!

Only one revision,
Deputy Kayaba approved.

The Asanoya ancestors
achieved this.

Asanoya isn't here...?

He tricked us.

"Payment in coins
would present difficulties,

"so an amount of 1,000 ryo
in gold will be paid instead".

So we have to pay in gold
rather than coins?

Yes, Lord doesn't take coins.

No, that's no good!

Why not?

The standard rate was
5,000 kan for 1,000 ryo,

but now Lord's minting more coins,
reducing the value.

You mean 5,000 kan
is not enough?

How much will it be?

1,000 ryo in gold is...?

5,800 kan!

We need 800 kan more?!


Forgive me,
I failed to notice...

I'll go back to Sendai now,
and have it revoked!

Please don't!

This is our lifeline!

Right, he won't
reconsider the matter.

He agreed to 1,000 ryo,
but may refuse next time.

You're right,
Deputy Kayaba is like that.

Prefectural Governor,
thank you for your success.

our lifeline.

Deputy Kayaba,
that was too unfair...

"A drowning man
will grasp at straws"...

Before grasping,

he must be pushed
into the water,

and drowning...

I'm afraid that
he'll try to take even more.


Making him even more of a miser.

It's always been this way.


Regardless of that,

what about the 800 kan?

I've got nothing more to give.

Junai, what about you?

There are others who should give.

Are you talking about me?

I don't mean you.
I'm talking about...

You mean Hayasa kaya?

We haven't seen him
for quite a while.

Madame, sake is done!

Show respect for the Grand Chief!

What's wrong?
Some kind of trouble?

Everything is fine.

Hey! Out of sake, Madame.

How much more is needed?

800 kan.

- Don't add!
- Not here for money!

I can offer 500 kan more.

No more!

But we're almost there.

We've climbed so far already,
the peak is in sight...

If your business is ruined,
it's all for nothing.

He's right.

You can't pay any more.

Please leave it to us.

If we split what's owing,
it won't be too much.

Plus, by brazenly requesting
the original 5,000 kan amount,

we can gain time for
collecting money...

What's wrong?

No work chant...

Let me pass by.

What is it?!

Step aside!


No unrefined sake?

Why no brewers?

I'm not making sake this year.

Why not?!

Wasn't able to buy rice...

Everything has been revealed...

As you can see,

everything has been lost.

We already sacrificed,

selling all our clothes
and household goods,

prepared to do
whatever we had to do.

So we are already
resigned to our fate.

Please let us...

offer some more money.

Elder brother,


we beg you to...

accept our offer.


Well then,

we humbly...

accept your offer.

We're greatly relieved!

| just don't get it!

Considering your wealth,
paying only 300 kan is strange!

You have money for
the hot-spring tunnel.

No business
can prosper forever.


if the family head falls,
descendants get nothing.


You care more about yourself
than future generations?!

You shameless...!

We agreed to
refrain from quarrels!

Restrain yourself!
Let's settle down!

Asanoya offered...

another 500 kan to us.

Can't be!

But his business...

He'll go bankrupt.

He's already
resigned to that.

As a result...

we still need...

300 kan.


Hey, did you hear what we said?!

-I heard it!
- Didn't listen!

Everybody settle down!

Our Lord is to blame.

We're fighting because of our Lord,
that's ridiculous!

It's alright.


I'll pay the rest.

Hey, what's all this?!

Collecting unpaid tabs.

So much?!

Been waiting 6 years!
They never pay their tabs!

How long to get all 1,000 ryo?!

You gents have to pay up, too.

Thank you!

Sugawaraya, 1 kan...

Junai, 2 kan 400 mon.

Now | see!

I was impressed that you
drink a lot with no money.

All on tabs!

Others who hesitate to pay
did contribute coins...

All together, 50 kan.

That's it?

Still not enough?!


We still need 250 kan.

Hearing of Father's
cherished ambition,

and that only 250 kan
was still needed,

I borrowed it from
Miuraya, in Sendai.

I agreed...

to become an
apprentice to Miuraya,

with 10 years of wages
to be paid to me in advance.

From now I will work,
while scrimping and saving,

and do my utmost to serve.


I will know how to carry on
the Kokudaya business.


please forgive
my willful behavior.

Thank you,


Thank you.


it will be cold again this winter.

Keep the charcoal burning,
so Father won 't catch a cold,

while I am away.


They have it?

Exactly 1,000 ryo in gold,
not even one ryo missing.

I thought they'd have more.

Asanoya faces bankruptcy,
and the ruin of that family.

That man is too fine
to be just a commoner.

Raise your heads.

Kurokawa Ward Grand Chief,
Chunai Chisaka.

Same, Yoshioka Town Chief,

Same, commoner,






Given 2 ryo 2 'bu', as reward.

2 RYO 2 lBU' = 750,000 YEN

Your petition
is truly commendable.

Yoshioka Town commoner,


given 3 ryo 3 'bu', as reward.

He received more,
to include predecessors.

Where is Asanoya?


What's wrong?

He isn't here?

He has difficulty seeing...

That is strange.

I sent a horse and palanquin.

I heard he can walk around.
Can't even ride a horse?

From "Myogakun"...


What is it?

Our father's lectures
to not ride on horses.

Who is he? His name?

Elder brother of Jinnai Asanoya.

Then you must be...

the son of the Asanoya
who began saving money?


about not riding horses?

Man is the lord of creation,

so must refrain from
causing suffering to...

an ox or horse,
by riding on its back.


I haven't heard that before.

Could come by palanquin.

That is even worse.

One man being
carried by another...

shows contempt,

so is not acceptable.

Do not make use of men
or cause them suffering.

Do not cause suffering
to a horse by riding on its back.

Do not cause...

suffering to a man's back
by riding in a palanquin.

He taught that...

people should not cause
suffering to other people.

Riding in a palanquin...

causes suffering to the
men carrying it,

which is contemptible behavior.

Is that correct?

You must know who
most often rides in a palanquin...

here in Sendai?

That is all.

All of you,
thanks for your efforts.

You want to die?!

You'll give even
the reward to townsfolk?

Listen, Asanoya.

We all gave that money
to save your business from ruin.

One wanted it
for a hot spring trip.

And someone wanted to buy
fabric for his wife, but...

We'll be fine.

Are you sure that
you won't accept it?

I won't.

Told you.

Just as they said...

We did talk about
how you'd probably refuse it.

that would be a problem.

Townsfolk also said that
they would not accept it.

They're in the inner room!

What is...?!

lam Shigemura.

Ouch, that hurts!

Sorry, sorry!

Shigemura DATE
Lord of Sendai

Is one of you Jinnai Asanoya?

Elder brother, Kokudaya?

Yes, that is me.

Both refuse to ride
on a horse or in a palanquin?

That's why I had to come here.

My inkstone!

Please forgive Kayaba.

It is my fault
my castle has no money.

I also must show some humility.

You are a sake brewer.

Use these for
official name endorsement.

Frosty Night

Spring Breeze

Winter Moon

Your business
must not be ruined.

If you fail because of your Lord,
my honor will be stained.

No horses or palanquin.
|'|| walk home to my castle!

Thank you. Thank you!

Matazo, from Lowtown.

Your 4 kan.

In this way, every year end,
Yoshioka post-town...

distributed interest
from the domain,

which greatly reduced
the post-horse burden.

Zuishi Eishu,
Master of Ryusenin Temple,

wrote a detailed
account of this incident.

According to his "Koku-on-ki",

the Asanoya sake endorsed
by the Lord sold very well,

the shop avoided ruin.

Jinnai used these profits...

for bridge and road maintenance,

and lived until age 75.

Grand Chief Chunai Chisaka...

continued to actively
support the people,

given a bounty of 1.5 tons of rice
by Lord Date for loyalty.

He achieved his dream,
becoming a samurai.

Sugawaraya tea became a
famous Kurokawa item.

Tokuheiji continued to play a key
role in future domain negotiations,

and died at age 65.



Names of the couple
side by side on their grave.

Interest payments
continued for some time,

but 40 years later were suddenly
stopped by the selfish domain.

However, a similar relief project
was started once again,

and payments resumed.

Among the investors at that time...

is the name
"Shinshiro Hayasakaya III".

Paid for about 60 years,

until the end of the Edo era,

with approximately
6,000 ryo being paid to them.

The post-town
retained its population,

and entered the Meiji era.

Juzaburo Kokudaya got remarried,
to food shop owner, Toki.

Actually, that's unknown,
but we hope so...

The record says he died
four years after fulfilling his dream.

His will states,
"Do not tell others what I have done".

The Kokudaya sakeshop
is still in business in Yoshioka.

Sadawo ABE









Screenplays by
Yoshihiro NAKAMURA
Kenichi SUZUKI

Directed by Yoshihiro NAKAMURA