Director Yamada's long-awaited foray into samurai cinema that was definitely worth the wait. Story takes place in mid-19th century feudal Japan and centers on Seibei (Sanada), a very capable but low-level samurai who must single-handedly take care of his aged, senile mother and two young daughters after the recent death of his wife. The hard-working Seibei makes very little from his clan-appointed jobs and spends the rest of his time doing household chores. Still grieving his wife, the staunchly single Seibei slowly begins to soften to the idea of love until suddenly being dispatched by the clan to take on the rebel Yogo (Tanaka), a master swordsman. Yamada lets the human drama takes center stage over the spectacular swordfighting usually found in this genre. Based on a novel by Shuhei Fujiwara.