From the director of Oscar-nominated The Twilight Samurai. Set in then mid-19th century, at the time when guns are taking over from swords, Yoji Yamada's tale is an exploration of Samurai ethics and forbidden love. Munezo's best friend, Yaichiro, has gone to join a distant clan and he remains in a small village where he becomes one of the few samurai to be taught the new skills of artillery. However, when he takes in his sick and ailing former maid, he's also implicated in a plot by members of the Edo clan against his leaders. The main plotter is Yaichiro, and to prove his clan loyalty, Munezo is ordered to kill his childhood friend. Nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival.