Come Not Between The Dragon and His Wrath. (King Lear, Act 1 Scene1.)

The great director, 黒澤 明 (Akira Kurosawa) made 乱 (Ran=War/Chaos) in 1985. I'm not sure where I picked up this book, but it includes the original screenplay and storyboards of the Academy Award-winning film. I won't go into great detail here, you can always check out this essay or the Wiki entry. Most people know that it is based on Shakespeare's King Lear though I have yet to read it in that form (but you can if you click the link.)

So let's take a pictorial trip through Akira Kurosawa's illustrations for Ran! (Check out this cool figure of Kurosawa that I got in a Seven Samurai set.)

"The Samurai in the lead, old but tough, draws his bow, aiming a the prey. His long white hair and beard billow in the wind; his hawkish eyes shine in his sun-tanned face--the magnificent vision of a great warrior who has survived hundreds of battles. This is the Great Lord, Hidetora Ichimonji." (Tatsuya Nakadai)

Nobohiro Fujimaki played by Hitoshi Ueki.

Seiji Ayabe played by Jun Tazaki.

父と子 (chichi to kodomo or Father & Sons.)

姫路かえで or Princess Kaede. I must say the actress, Mieko Harada, looks better than this drawing.

Kyoami is played by "Peter", a famous celebrity cross-dresser who goes by the stage name of 池畑 慎之介, Ikehata Shinnosuke.

One heck of an archer.

One heck of a pincushion.

Is this a dagger I see before me? (Oops, sorry wrong play.) Check out Kurosawa's version of the Scottish play, Throne of Blood. (蜘蛛巣城 or Kumonosu Jo which is literally "Spiderweb Castle".)

No, he's not a zombie, but he is 'armless.

Hidetoro has gone Kuru. At this point Lord Ichimonji has gone a bit mad.

"Hidetora staggering over the fild scattered with autumn flowers in the moonlight, as if running from something fearful."

Saburo Naotora (Daisuke Ryu) and Seiji Ayabe (Jun Tazaki.)

"On top of the steep stone wall, Tsurumaru is at a loss. The evening glow is no in its final stages. The last light of day will soon fade, and darkness will reign over the realm."

"Against the background of the last glow of evening, the small figure of Tsurumaru is standing alone on the lofty stone wall in the remains of the castle.

If you're interesting in your own copy, try this Amazon link.

Finally, here's a few minutes of the movie for your YouTubing pleasure.

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