Back to IndieWire


For an outcast in the rigidly hierarchical society of seventeenth-century Japan, the only possible road to redemption is to become a ninja, an unorthodox fighter skilled in the art of stealth. However, the ruthless world of ninjas causes some to desert in search of freedom. One such fugitive is Kamui, an invincible warrior who has decided to follow his heart and betray his despicable clan with its culture of abuse and injustice. Japan’s hottest talent, Kenichi Matsuyama, plays the rebel ninja, giving his most spectacular performance to date.

On the run, Kamui abandons secluded forests and dark mountains for the blinding light and beauty of the ocean. He crosses paths with Hanbei (Kaoru Kobayashi), an indomitable fisherman who is always on the lookout for the perfect bait, the one that will ensure abundant fish for his beloved family. When Kamui washes ashore nearly dead on a little island, Hanbei happily brings him home and nurses him back to life. However, Kamui’s arrival does not sit well with Oshika (Koyuki), Hanbei’s dear wife, who senses the danger the sea has unexpectedly brought them. Nevertheless, Hanbei and Kamui’s encounter is a fated one, destined to change both men’s lives for better or for worse. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]