Sword of Desperation (2010)


Sword of Desperation (2010)
Hisshiken torisashi (original title)

A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzaemon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, Kanemi received a lenient sentence for his crime and is allowed to return to his clan after only one year of imprisonment. Following his return, Kanemi is faced with the death of his wife, Mutsue. Thereafter, Kanemi lives with and cares for his wife's niece, Satoo, who has secret affections for Kanemi and expresses them by helping change his bleak outlook on life. Meanwhile, Kanemi's develops his unique "bird-catching" sword technique which he will soon put to test in battle for the first time against the fearsome swordsman, Hayatonosho Obiya.
IMDb   7.2 /10
TheMovieDb    6.5 /10
FilmAffinity   7.0 /10
Director Hideyuki Hirayama
Writer Shûhei Fujisawa
Writer Hidehiro Ito
Writer Itaru Era
Release Date2010-07-09
Runtime1h 54min
GenreAction, History
Content Rating
AwardsAwards1 win & 9 nominations
CompanyExcellent Film
Kanemi Sanzaemonas Kanemi Sanzaemon
Obiyaas Obiya
Fukuias Fukui
Tenkyû Fukuda
Tenkyû Fukuda
Hyoue Makihuzias Hyoue Makihuzi
Mitsutoshi Gotô
Mitsutoshi Gotô
Mitsuokaas Mitsuoka
Yûdai Ishiyama
Yûdai Ishiyama
Mokichias Mokichi
Hanaas Hana
Deputy Chief Retainer Tsudaas Deputy Chief Retainer Tsuda
Tôru Kizu
Tôru Kizu
Tsunekichias Tsunekichi
Tsunai Hashinaas Tsunai Hashina
Ken Maeda
Ken Maeda
Kisukeas Kisuke
Lord Tabu Ukyouas Lord Tabu Ukyou
Seminosuke Murasugi
Seminosuke Murasugi
Yamauchias Yamauchi
Lady Renkoas Lady Renko
Mitsutoshi Shundo
Mitsutoshi Shundo
Michuokaas Michuoka
Denichiroas Denichiro
Koinoborou Takigawa
Koinoborou Takigawa
Naoya Anzaias Naoya Anzai

Sword of Desperation

Sword of Desperation (必死剣鳥刺し, Hisshiken Torisashi) is a 2010 Japanese jidaigeki drama film directed by Hideyuki Hirayama. It was released in Japan on July 10, 2010. It was written by Hidehiro Itō and Itaru Era, based on a novel by Shūhei Fujisawa. It was produced by Hidehiro Itō.


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Samurai Kanemi Sanzaemon murders Lady Renko, one of his Lord's concubines. He is put into solitary confinement for twelve months. Through flashbacks his noble intentions are revealed. Two years after release he is made the lord's chief attendant. His humility after release has brought him back into favour.

The term Sword of Desperation is from an alternative name of the "Bird catcher" sword technique that Sanzaemon developed.


  • Etsushi Toyokawa as Sanzaemon Kanemi
  • Chizuru Ikewaki as Rio
  • Kōji Kikkawa as Hayatonosho Obiya
  • Naho Toda as Mutsue
  • Jun Murakami as Ukyo-dayu
  • Megumi Seki as Renko
  • Fumiyo Kohinata as Junai Hoshina
  • Ittoku Kishibe as Minbu Tsuda