Film Review: Sanshiro Sugata (1943) by Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s directorial debut is based on the homonymous novel by Tsuneo Tomita, the son of prominent judoka Tsunejiro Tomita, with the main character drawing from Shiro Saigo, one of the earliest disciples of Judo, a martial art that was originally created by Jigoro Kano. The film revolves around the challenges Sanshiro Sugata faces, both from himself and from opponents, in his effort to prove judo’s superiority over traditional jujitsu techniques. Gennosuke Higaki, the “villain” in the story, is also based on a real-life fighter, Mataemon Tanabe, who is considered one of the greatest modern jujutsuka.

As usually in my reviews of the classics, I will focus on presenting a contemporary look on the film, as I feel that the writings about such films by people with much more knowledge than me in the particular era have analyzed the film as thoroughly as possible.

On a second note,
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