Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo
“I hate seeing people getting hurt or hurting other people. I hate seeing blood. I am very intolerant of physical pain. I find violence horrifying, so much so that I can’t help being intrigued by it. I think I am more of a coward than anybody. It’s a very weird feeling. The more I fear violence, the more I’m inclined to depict it in films. It just so happens that violent movies, like Sonatine, Fireworks, and so on, have tended to get more popular, although I’ve made just as many films where violence plays very little part, such as Dolls, Kikujiro, Kids Return, Getting Any?, and A Scene At The Sea. What is ironic is that when I made those movies, the journalists still wanted me to talk about violence: ‘Why no violence this time?’”
Toshirō Mifune as Kikuchiyo in a publicity photo for Seven Samurai
Sanjuro | Akira Kurosawa | 1962
Akugenda Yoshihira, returning as a ghost, executes vengeance with a thunderbolt on his slayer, Namba Jiro (defeating the source of the evil).
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Woodblock Print, Oban tate-e.