JFF – Flower and Sword

Director Tetsuo Shinohara
Starring Ennosuke Ichikawa IV, Kiichi Nakai, Mansai Nomura
Rated Recommended for ages 15 and over (contains moderate themes and mild violence.)
Score 6/6

In the late 16th century, after the death of Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi takes power. The age of war is about to end, but Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s rule makes life difficult for the people. Monk Senko Ikenobo is a master of flower arrangement. He prays for peace in the world and tries to give hope to the people with flower arrangement. He becomes good friends with Rikyu. Rikyu is a monk and a politician. He has the most profound influence on chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony). Rikyu is forced to commit hara-kiri by Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s order. Monk Senko Ikenobo challenges Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

© 2017 “FLOWER AND SWORD” Film Partners

If you ever go to a Japanese film festival there are two movie genres that you should watch at least one period movie and one anime. For those of you who might be interested Flower and Sword was based on the novel “Hana Ikusa” by Tadashi Onitsuka published December, 2011 by Kadokawa Shoten
I enjoyed watching Flower and Sword though it wasn’t what I thought that it was going, I was expecting a little more political tension then the movie seemed to have and there seemed to have been more than a few opportunities wasted in favour of keeping the story with the Monk Senko Ikenobo.
The actor who portrayed Senko Mansai Nomura, gave a brilliant performance. Nomura brought strange cheerfulness to his character that you would probably associate with an idiot, but he managed to win me over with it with his facial expressions that seemed to be on the same level as Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean that brought to me a sense of happiness that warmed me to the core. This played brilliantly off of the sadistic nature of Hideyoshi Toyotomi who was portrayed by Ennosuke Ichikawa. Though I am unfamiliar with Nomura’s work an interesting piece of trivia is that he portrayed Godzilla through motion capture in Shin Gojira.