Part of the 2023 season: Always Evolving


Chokosoku! Sankin kotai, 超高速!参勤交代

Director MOTOKI Katsuhide

Cast SASAKI Kuranosuke, FUKADA Kyoko, IHARA Tsuyoshi

2014, 119 min, English Subtitles

Set in the northern region of Tohoku during the eighteenth century and the reign of the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, Samurai Hustle tells the story of the financially modest Nagaya clan. One day, Lord Naito Masaatsu (SASAKI Kuranosuke), suddenly receives a demand from the shogunate to perform “Sankin Kotai” – a ritual visit to the shogun in Edo (Tokyo) – within five days. If he fails to comply, the clan’s lands will be confiscated. This semes like an impossible mission, as it usually takes six months to prepare for such a visit and eight days to travel to Edo. However, Masaatsu is determined to prove to the shogun that he can turn the impossible into the possible. Meanwhile, evil and greedy people working for the shogunate try to prevent his journey.

Partly comical and with superb action scenes, this entertaining film follows a familiar jidaigeki (period drama) storyline, making it an easy watch. No prior knowledge of Japanese history is required. This samurai action film set in the eighteenth century delivers a story and characters relatable to modern audiences.

Past screenings