This rivalry has resulted in numerous duels. To end the bloodshed, each are sacrificed by the heads of their schools by kicking them out. The two are also rivals who each love the same woman. But both are highly honorable, sort of a samurai version of "frenemies."
Raizo Ichikawa is probably best known for his roles as Zatoichi and as Hanzo the Razor. It's terrific seeing him paired off with Ichikawa in this epic swordplay variation on the story of the 47 Ronin.
I had the opportunity to watch a screener of Samurai Vendetta and really enjoyed it. So much so that I'm going to the opening night screening and see it again!
This series has been curated by Chris D. (a.k.a. Chris Desjardins), author of Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film (a fine book that I'm about half-way through), and is an updated version of a series he presented in Los Angeles in 2002. He's slated to be present for the opening night festivities, which will include a reception and book signing in addition to the screening.
For more information, go to my November 24th post, or to this page at the Japan Society website.