Rikyu (1991)





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Acclaimed director and headmaster of the Sogestsu school of flower arranging Hiroshi Teshigahara helms this elegant historical drama about tea master Sen no Rikyu. A Buddhist priest who talks of the beauty of a single flower or the shape of a hand holding a teacup, Rikyu (played by Rentaro Mikuni) not only perfected the art of the tea ceremony, but he was one of the primary arbiters of taste during his age. That era was a bloody one, culminating in the uniting of Japan's disparate kingdoms by a series of strong leaders. The most ambitious and the most extravagant was Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Tsutomu Yamazaki), who favored flashy displays of wealth as much as he did violent conquest. Hideyoshi thought of the tea ceremony not as an art but as a show of refinement and power. In 1587 he held a ten-day tea-drinking orgy in Kyoto and Osaka. Hideyoshi chose Rikyu to oversee it and soon the buffoonish, violent leader and the reserved master were engaged in a thinly veiled clash of wills. Rikyu eventually does teach Hideyoshi that beauty is found in the minute. Yet when Hideyoshi receives both guns and a globe from Portuguese missionaries, he is overwhelmed with Napoleonic visions. When Rikyu expresses his reservations about Hideyoshi's impending invasion of Korea and China, the potentate demands an apology. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
Art House & International , Documentary , Drama
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Rentaro Mikuni
as Sen-no Rikyu
Tsutomu Yamazaki
as Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Hisashi Igawa
as Soji Yamanoue
Koshiro Matsumoto
as Nobunaga Oda
Kichiemon Nakamura
as Ieyasu Tokugawa
Ryo Tamura
as Hidenaga Toyotomi
Donald Richie
as Casper
Keishi Arashi
as Oribe Furuta
Yasosuke Bando
as Mitsunari Ishida
Hideo Kanze
as Yahei Torigai
Kyoko Kishida
as Kita-no-mandokoro
Tanie Kitabayashi
as O-mandokoro
Hashinosuke Nakamura
as Tadaoki Hosokawa
Ichiro Zaitsu
as Priest Kokei
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Critic Reviews for Rikyu

All Critics (2)

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July 14, 2005

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April 14, 2004
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Rikyu

I very much respect Buddism and I enjoy watching movies such as this one. Brilliant

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Timeless in principle and disturbingly so in it's struggle: "This is the story of the duel between art and politics, of the beliefs of one man against the ambitions of another..." Can art be defended from those who would "use" it rather than living it?

Rebekah S
Rebekah S

Awesome film about the modern day inventor (1600's Japan) of the tea ceremony, monk turned sycophant Sen no Rikyu. Interesting historical perspective with well directed aesthetics.

Ben de Jesus
Ben de Jesus

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